Slumbering Days

Dreaming in Arabic

Mosque 1It is just after 4 am. The first call to prayer for the day invades my dreams. It is the first day of Ramadan. The first day of fasting for millions of Muslims around the world. I have not even contemplated my morning cup of coffee, yet, the pre-dawn meal, or suhoor, has already been consumed by most of the residents in my neighbourhood in preparation for about 15 hours of fasting.

Each month in the Islamic calendar begins and ends with a sighting of the new crescent moon, the hilal. Despite modern technology, these sightings have to be made with the naked eye, and are particularly important when determining the start of Ramadan, as it begins the morning after the new moon is seen, and ends at the next new moon, when Eid al Fitr is celebrated. The new moon is often very faint and appears only briefly in the…

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