Ramadan Crescent Moon. Image: Ibrahim Hersi

There are more than 800,000 Muslims living in New York, and many call the South Bronx home. At least 10 mosques or Islamic cultural centers are located in the area, and help to serve a growing demographic.

Muslims in the South Bronx and around the world are now celebrating Ramadan, a holy and sacred month. Ramadan’s timing is determined by the sighting of a crescent moon from officials in Saudi Arabia. Once the crescent moon is seen, Ramadan starts the following day. This year, Ramadan began on March 11.

The Muslim population in the Bronx as a whole has nearly tripled in recent years, growing to nearly 112,000 in 2020 from roughly 38,000 in 2010, according to the Association of Religion’s Data Archives.

During Ramadan, most Muslims fast during the day, with a few exceptions, and those are often for health reasons. To maintain the fast, Muslims refrain from eating, and must also abstain from drinking, smoking and other habits. During the daytime fasts, those observing Ramadan may get tired or dehydrated, according to experts. Non-Muslims can support those observing the holiday by being aware of the rigors of fasting.

Islam, currently the second-largest religion in the world, according to the World Economic Forum, has about 1.9 billion followers. Christianity, the largest religion, has about 2.3 billion adherents.

In the South Bronx, followers of all faiths can enjoy the traditions and celebrations of Ramadan during the holy month.

Ramadan 2024 Credit: Ibrahim Hersi

What is Ramadan?

  • Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. For 30 days, Muslims can not eat or drink anything between Suhoor, the meal consumed before the dawn prayer, known as the Fajr prayer, until evening. At sunset, Muslims eat Iftar, the meal to break their fast. Ramadan is a time of prayer, study and worship.   

When does Ramadan end?

  • Ramadan began March 11 and will conclude on April 9. It is 30 days long.

Why do Muslims fast in Ramadan?

  • During Ramadan, the fast helps Muslims purify their hearts, renew their faith, seek forgiveness, and increase self-discipline. Muslims typically break their fast with dates followed by dinner.

What comes after Ramadan?

  • Eid al-Fitr which translates to “Festival of breaking the fast” is the celebration which commemorates the end of Ramadan. Muslims worldwide go to their local mosque for  the Eid prayer. It is then followed by three days of special prayers, acts of Zakat, or charity, lots of food and drinks, and more. Some Muslim families decorate their homes and get together with their families.

Where is Ramadan practiced in the South Bronx?

  • There are many Islamic Centers and mosques in the South Bronx observing the religious  holiday and offering to host Jummah Prayers, which happen on Fridays.

South Bronx Islamic Cultural Center Inc:

  • Masjid: Masjid Abass
  • Address: 423 E 142nd St

Aljaned Islamic Center:

  • Masjid: Aljaned Islamic Center
  • Address: 984 Intervale Ave

Masjid Salam:

  • Masjid: Masjid Salam
  • Address: 911 Longwood Ave

Islamic Cultural Center of the Bronx:

  • Masjid:  ICCOB
  • Address: 371 East 166 Street

The Bronx Islamic Society:

  • Masjid: The Bronx Islamic
  • Address: 1726 E 172 St

Masjid Al Wadood:

  • Masjid: Al Wadood
  • Address: 296 E 149th St, Bronx, NY 10451

Fouta Islamic Center, Inc:

  • Masjid: Fouta Islamic Center Inc
  • Address: 3400 3rd Ave

Masjid Quba:

  • Masjid: Masjid Quba
  • Address: 447 Jackson Ave

Darou Salam Islamic Community Inc:

  • Masjid: Darou Salam
  • Address: 435 E 153rd St

Masjid Al-Ridwan Islamic Center:

  • Masjid: Masjid Al-Ridwan
  • Address: 275 E 165th St

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