It is the month of Ramadan. It is traditionally a big and meaningful festive event for the Malay community in Singapore. Just like other Malay families in Singapore, Sarin’s family also adhere to the teachings and practices during the month as well as getting ready for Hari Raya Adilfitri at the end of the Ramadan.
During the month of Ramadan, after the morning prayer, Sarin’s father goes to work and the siblings go to school as usual but they will refrain from consuming food from dawn to dusk. Going through the day without food and water do make Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah feel hungry and thirsty but they do know that it is meaningful as it means to purify their behavior, foster self-control and reminding them of the suffering of the poor.
The family will then break the fast at the mosque in the evening with other Malays families. After finished their evening prayer, Sarin’s family and others will have their dinner in the mosque. They sit around on the floor in a big hall and enjoy the foods and program prepared by the mosque. The mosque also invites the needy families for dinner and sharing the joys with others during break the fast.
Sarin’s family never forgot to share their blessings with the less fortunate. They pray for the poor and the elders. They go round to greet them for health and safe. The family makes contribution to the mosque and Malay community fund as their thanks giving. Sarin, Hairu and Fatimah emptied their coin banks for the month of saving to make their donation.
Sarin family also starts to prepare for Hari Raya Adilfitri during the Ramadan. Sarin and Fatimah helping their mother to clean up the house, the sofa, the desks, the windows, the flower vase, changing the cushions and curtains; Hairu and his father to help clean up the lightings, the fans and add the Hari Raya decoration in the house. Sarin’s mother bought the three siblings new clothes to wear during the festive season. She also starts baking cakes, Malay Kuehs and traditional festive pastries as well as planning the meals for visitors during celebration of Hari Raya Adilfitri.
The family is looking forward to the festival with a fresh look of their house.
Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar which is a lunar month that time based on the moon to orbit the earth. It commenced on 22nd July and will end when the new moon reappear on the night of 18th Aug. It also signals the beginning of the celebration of Hari Raya Adilfitri. Hari Raya Adilfri is the New Year of the Malay community in Singapore and it is as significant as the Chinese Lunar New Year for the Singapore Chinese.
A lunar month is approximately 29.5 days. Therefore, the month of Ramadan is between 29 or 30 days. Since a lunar month is, on the average, one day shorter than a solar month, a lunar year is 10-12 days shorter than a solar year. The month of Ramadan therefore comes about 11 days earlier each year and it can be landed in any month of the Solar year as time goes by. The Chinese Lunar New Year is also based on lunar month but the different in days is offset by the additional month added in a few cycle of lunar years based on the Chinese Lunar calendar. The Chinese Lunar New Year always falls during the first two months of the solar year.