2013-07-09     Ramadan 2013

If the new moon was sighted in Hong Kong last night, today is the start of Ramadan. If the moon was not sighted last night, Ramadan will start tomorrow. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It's a sacred month of fasting for Muslims around the world.

Today or tomorrow in Hong Kong, tens of thousands of Muslim domestic helpers will be given a holiday by their employers, so that they can gather in Victoria Park for a time of prayer. The spectacular sight of these women in their blue and white dresses is usually featured in the media at this time.

Muslim men these days will attend special services in Hong Kong's mosques, especially at the main mosque in Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Adult Muslims will fast this month from sunrise to sunset. They have a special calendar for the month, showing the exact time each day for sunrise and sunset. Tomorrow's times are 4.21am and 7.14pm.

Hong Kong is blessed with harmony between Muslims and people of other backgrounds and religions. In many other parts of the world, and even in China (in Xinjiang), the situation of Muslims in the community is a sensitive issue. May Hong Kong continue to be a place where people of different faiths live in harmony. I wish all dear Muslim friends a Happy Ramadan!