The month of Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayers and sharing for Muslims, will begin on Thursday March 23 in France, the Grand Mosque of Paris announced on Tuesday.
Its rector Chems-Eddine Hafiz confirmed this date, in a press release published on Twitter, after a meeting called “Night of Doubt”intended to solemnly fix the beginning of this fast, taking into account both the method of scientific calculation and lunar observation.
National Muslim federations gathered at the Great Mosque of Paris for the #NightofDoubt announce, in a joint press release, that the beginning of the blessed month of #Ramadan 2023-1444/H in France is set for Thursday March 23, 2023 Inch’Allah: pic.twitter.com/aTNo4MHQw9
— Great Mosque of Paris (@mosqueedeparis) March 21, 2023
“After consulting scientific calculations, universal astronomical data, and observations of the moon, the commission (religious of the GMP, editor’s note) determined the first day of the blessed month of Ramadan in France (…) to be Thursday March 23”claims the Grand Mosque.
Fourth Pillar of Islam
The French Council of the Muslim Worship (CFCM) – of which the GMP is no longer a part -, a supporter of the method of scientific calculation, had announced the date of Thursday for several weeks.
During Ramadan, the fourth pillar of Islam, believers are asked to abstain from drinking, eating, smoking and having sex from dawn (as soon as it is possible “distinguish a white wire from a black wire” says the Koran) until sunset.
Ramadan is the period when large donations are made to mosques and prayer rooms (about 2,500 in France). Muslims are asked to pay alms for the poor, zakat al-fitr. It was valued this year at seven euros per person, said the CFCM in a previous press release. The latter in particular called on the Muslim faithful to join forces with humanitarian and charitable organizations “operating in our country and all over the world, especially in the regions affected by the latest earthquakes in Turkey and Syria”.
Eid-Al-Fitr is scheduled to take place on April 21
France has between five and six million practicing and non-practicing Muslims, according to several studies on the subject (Pew Research Center, Institut Montaigne, Insee, Ined), which makes Islam the second religion of the country and of French Muslim community the first in Europe.
Fasting is prescribed for pubescent Muslims, but exemptions are provided for travellers, the sick, the elderly, pregnant women or women who have just given birth. Compensation is possible for people prevented or exempted (fasting carried out later, donations to the needy, etc.).
Ramadan will end with Eid-Al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast, which should take place on April 21 according to the calculation’s supporters