News Article

Ramadan 2024

Ramadan Mubarak, everyone!

Ramadan Kareem written in white with mosque and crescent moon in background


Ramadan Mubarak, everyone! 


What is Ramadan, I hear you say? This article explains everything you need to know, and will be kept updated with events, prayer space provision and handy information for those observing Ramadan at ARU and within the local community, and those who wish to join. Events are open to everyone!


What is Ramadan?


Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan every year. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, which is based around the lunar cycle. This is why the dates for Ramadan change each year, and also why a new Islamic day begins after sunset. 

This year, Ramadan is expected to begin after sunset on Sunday, 10th March with the first fast day being on Monday, 11th March. This is to be confirmed following the sighting of the new crescent moon. 

Lasting for 29/30 days, Ramadan will end with the celebratory days of Eid al-Fitr starting on the evening of Monday, 8th April (i.e. daytime of Tuesday, 9th) or the evening of Tuesday, 9th April (i.e. daytime of Wednesday, 10th), again dependent on the sighting of the new crescent moon.



Why do people fast during Ramadan?


Ramadan is a month of daily fasting and abstaining from things considered to be impure for the mind and body. Those who observe this holy month will strive to increase in their worship and abstain from bad habits and deeds, amongst other actions. 

Fasting is a key part of Ramadan, and 1 of the 5 pillars of Islam. Those who fast will not eat or drink from just before sunrise (i.e. from the early morning prayer, Fajr) to sunset (the evening prayer, Maghrib), which marks the end of the day's fast. It is traditional to break the fast by eating dates, before Iftar (the evening meal), which is normally eaten with friends and family.  



What can I do to support my friends who are observing Ramadan?


This is an important time for many of our staff and students so we should all consider flexibility around meetings and working times as well as understanding the impact that fasting and extra worship, especially during the night, may have on the individual. 

It’s helpful to know the basics and show your appreciation for a month that is very important to a lot of Muslims! Click here for further ways to help.



Where can I get more information on Ramadan?


Here’s a good starting resource.

ARU have also written an article about observing RamadanA guide to observing Ramadan this year at ARU

This guide is an introduction to understanding Islam as a whole. Also take a look at the ‘Common Misconceptions’ section below!

Sharmeen, Vice President Healthcare Practice, is available and more than happy to answer any questions you may have! She can be contacted on Instagram @_sharmeen_aru or via email:

ARU’s Chaplaincy are available to you and can help with any faith-related queries you may have: ARU Chaplaincy



Common Misconceptions!


Your questions, answered! No such thing as a silly question!

  • Can fasting Muslims drink water during the day? No
  • How long do Muslims fast for? Fasts are daily, starting and ending on the same day, and last for the whole month
  • Does every Muslim fast? This will depend on the individual, please do not assume that every Muslim is fasting because they may have circumstances which excuse them from fasting, such as menstruation and pregnancy, or other circumstances that we are unaware of
  • How do I ‘act’ in front of the fasting person? The same as you would usually do! You can eat and drink in front of fasting individuals and go about your business as usual, just be mindful and respectful of the fasting person as they will most likely be tired and hungry





Salah, or prayer, is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and there are 5 daily prayers that should be observed at their stated times.

These are:

  • Fajr (prayed at Dawn)
  • Zuhr (prayed at midday)
  • Asr (prayed in the afternoon)
  • Maghrib (prayed at sunset)
  • Isha (prayed at night)


During Ramadan, there is an extra, optional, prayer called Taraweeh. This is prayed after Isha. Please see below for prayer space provisions on each ARU campus:



Prayer Space Provision on ARU campuses





The Muslim Prayer room, fitted with ablution facilities, is open 24/7 for the entirety of Ramadan. MAB118, the Chaplaincy office and multifaith room, is also available to use as a prayer space. If any issues arise with access during the stated times, please contact Nick, Head of Security, via email.

NB: The ARU Chelmsford Islamic Society will use this space for regular Taraweeh (night) prayers. For more information, check out their society page!

Chelmsford Central Mosque (Moulsham Street, CM2 0HU) is a 5 minute drive/17 minute walk from campus, and has prayer space provisions for individual, congregational and taraweeh (night) prayer. See here for more information.

Hamptons Centre is a community centre that also has similar provisions, for more information see here.




The current prayer rooms in MUM020, fitted with ablution facilities, are open 24/7, for the entirety of Ramadan.

Cambridge Central Mosque (Mill Rd, CB1 3DF) is a 5 minute drive/20 minute walk from campus, and has prayer space provisions for individual, congregational and taraweeh (night) prayer. This mosque is known for its stunning architecture and eco-friendly design, PLUS it has a cafe and Islamic garden! See here for more information.

Masjid al Ikhlas is another local mosque and is a 3 minute drive/11 minute walk from campus, and has prayer space provisions for individual, congregational and taraweeh (night) prayer as well as providing iftaars. Mr Abdul Arain, ARU’s Muslim associate chaplain for Cambridge, works there!

Abu Bakr Jamia Mosque is yet another local mosque with similar provisions. For more information, see here.





The Muslim prayer room is available to all students, with an ablution unit and prayer mats provided. Dates will be put out for fasting students.

Husaini Islamic Centre (Burton St, PE1 5HD) is a local Shia mosque and is a 2 minute drive/11 minute walk from campus. It has prayer space provisions for individual and congregational prayer, with regular events and iftaar provided. See here for more information.

Faizaan e Madina  and Masjid Khadija are also local mosques with similar provisions. For more information, click on the links.



ARU Chaplaincy


Your chaplains are:

David Walmsley: Manager

  • ARU Chelmsford: Hannah Robinson
  • ARU Cambridge: Alison Kennedy
  • ARU Cambridge Muslim Associate Chaplain: Abdul Arain
  • ARU Peterborough: Stephanie Pedler

For more information about the chaplaincy, please visit this link.



Students’ Union



See below for what the Students' Union has planned for YOU this Ramadan!





The Students’ Union and University are proud to be hosting weekly iftaars at sunset in the ARU Cambridge SU space, and the ARU Chelmsford SU space/Muslim Prayer room, with the first one commencing from Wednesday 13th of March, 2023.


The following iftaars are on:

  • Wednesday 13th March - sunset
  • Wednesday 20th March - sunset
  • Wednesday 27th March - sunset
  • Wednesday 3rd April - sunset


Free Dates and Rooh Afza (syrup)


The SU will also be providing free dates in our Prayer Rooms throughout Ramadan. Medjoul (and sometimes other) dates and rooh afza (rose syrup, a type of concentrated squash) are available to students every evening to break their fasts. Students participating are welcome to help themselves.

More events are lined up, such as henna stalls for Eid, with more details to follow. Keep your eye on the What's On calendar for these!





The Islamic Societies, and Pakistani societies, at both ARU Chelmsford and ARU Cambridge, have activities planned (having been given grants by the SU for Ramadan and Eid).

Everyone and anyone is welcome to partake in their events, which range from congregational prayer to iftaars!

*To find out more about either of these societies and their events etc, visit their society pages, this website's events page, or contact a member of their committee via any of these methods- if you need help with this, contact me (Sharmeen)!



What local events are going on?


Check your local mosque to see what they offer, most will offer prayer space provision and some may also offer free iftaars!

Pizza Gogo in Chelmsford offer a free iftaar (incldues a small pizza, water and a date) if you walk in and order between 5.45-6.15pm. 



Questions? Comments? Anything to add? Let us know!





Written by Sharmeen, Vice President Healthcare Practice (2022-23, and 2023-24)



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