Ramadan in Morocco will officially begin on Tuesday, May 7th. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs. Morocco is reportedly the most reliable for judging the start of Ramadan. According to the Emirati astronomer Mohammed Shawkat Awda, Morocco has not misjudged the start of Ramadan from 1987 to 2007.
Special committees in Muslim countries like Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, and Egypt determine the start of Ramadan when they view the sighting of a crescent moon; they rely on the naked eye (with a telescope) and astronomical calculations. Prophet Muhammed said, ” fast when you see the crescent and break the fast when you see it; if it is not apparent, then make the month of Sha’ban thirty days.”
Ramadan is a sacred month in Morocco.
Muslims observe fasting from sunrise until sundown for a period of 29 to 30 days. Ramadan is a period of self-reflection, purging from negative thoughts, atoning for past transgressions, and reawakening personal faith. The process of fasting is to remind Muslims to be grateful and compassionate; there are people less fortunate. The Muslim religion requires fasting between the hours of sunrise until sunset. Each day when the sun sets, the fast traditionally breaks with dates and milk, following by L’ftour breakfast.
Daily prayer, assists in fasting. Muslims pray 5 times a day during Ramadan, at specific times, facing Mecca. Each prayer accompanies a set of rituals and the name of the prayer indicates the time of day. Fajr (dawn), Dhuhr (noon), ʿAṣr (afternoon), Maghrib (evening), and ʿIshāʾ (night). Mosques are the preferable place to pray as they create a sense of community, however, Muslims can pray anywhere: offices, fields, the medina.
Travelers who are visiting Morocco during the month of May are encouraged to not drink or eat in the streets as a sign of respect for those fasting, however many establishments in the Imperial Cities will operate according to regular hours. For travelers interested in experiencing a Moroccan L’Ftour breakfast this can be done at a Moroccan home on invitation or at local restaurants that offer Ramadan breakfast for a set price.