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Your guide to Ramadan in Singapore 


Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, is observed by millions of Muslims around the world, including here in Singapore. This year, Ramadan is expected to begin in March and lasts 30 days. During this time, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk, abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs. It is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, and acts of charity. Singapore celebrates all types of cultures, from Deepavali and Chinese New Year to Ramadan. Ramadan is a time of great significance, with numerous activities and events occurring throughout the month. Your guide to Ramadan in Singapore will cover:

  • What happens during Ramadan in Singapore
  • Muslim traditions
  • Terminology explained
  • What is going on in Singapore during Ramadan
Singapore Expat Living Guide

Ramadan in Singapore

What happens when fasting? 

Muslims fast during Ramadan as it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is a time for spiritual reflection, self-discipline, and community. Fasting is seen as an act of worship and a way to purify the body and mind. It is also a reminder of the suffering of the less fortunate and a way to practice empathy and compassion. During this time, Muslims are encouraged to engage in charitable acts and to strengthen their connection with Allah through prayer and Quran recitation.

Who fasts during Ramadan?

Adult Muslims who can physically and mentally do so must fast during Ramadan. However, there are some exceptions, such as pregnant women, those who are menstruating, and people who are ill or travelling. Those who cannot fast are encouraged to make up for missed days later or to perform alternative acts of worship.

Children are not required to fast during Ramadan until they reach the age of puberty. However, many children begin to practice fasting for a few hours during the day to prepare themselves for when fasting becomes obligatory for them. It is also a good way for children to learn about the importance of Ramadan and build their connection with their faith.

big clouseup shot of muslims Holy book Quran Majid with a Tasbeeh Paternoster Islamic Muslims Book on black background

What is Hari Raya Puasa?

Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Eid al-Fitr, is a major celebration that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It is a time for Muslims to come together with family and friends to celebrate the end of a month of spiritual reflection and self-discipline. The celebration usually involves visiting relatives, exchanging gifts, and enjoying traditional foods. Hari Raya is celebrated enthusiastically in Singapore, and the festivities often last several days.

What is Raya money?

“Raya money” is a term used in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Singapore, to refer to the tradition of giving money to children during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations at the end of Ramadan. The money is often given in green envelopes or packets, symbolising good luck and blessings. The amount of money given varies depending on the family’s financial situation and cultural practices. Still, it is typically a token amount meant to be a gesture of generosity and goodwill.”

Ramadan Singapore

Photo by Scribbling Geek on Unsplash

What happens daily during Ramadan in Singapore?

During Ramadan in Singapore, Muslims wake up early for their pre-dawn meal, known as suhoor. They then start their fast and continue with their daily routine. Muslims in Singapore usually attend their regular work or school schedule, with modifications to accommodate prayer times and the need to break their fast at sunset.

As the sun sets, Muslims break their fast with an Iftar meal. Many Muslims prefer to break their fast with dates, as it is a tradition of Prophet Muhammad. After the Iftar, Muslims usually perform Maghrib prayer in congregations at mosques or community centres.

During Ramadan, mosques in Singapore usually hold Tarawih prayers, special prayers performed after the Isha prayer. Many Muslims attend these prayers to complete the recitation of the entire Quran by the end of Ramadan. Besides religious activities, various events and activities occur across Singapore during Ramadan.

Sultan Mosque

Photo by SR on Unsplash

Things to do in Singapore during Ramadan

1. Visit the Sultan Mosque: The Sultan Mosque, also known as Masjid Sultan, is a beautiful mosque in the Kampong Glam district. During Ramadan, the mosque is lit up and decorated with lights, making it a beautiful place to visit. Ensure that you dress appropriately. Otherwise, you will be given a cloak-like outfit to wear when you enter. Avoid going on Friday afternoon, and check the admittance time before you arrive. There is also a Ramadan Bazaar in Kampong Glam area you might like to visit while you are there.Special note: Above all, before entering a mosque, make enquiries about the appropriate times to visit. Let them know your intention. They will be of help to let you know suitable times etc.

2. Explore the Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar: The Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar is one of the highlights of Ramadan in Singapore. It offers a wide range of food, drinks, and other items and is a great place to experience the festive atmosphere of Ramadan.

3. Attend an Iftar: Muslims have to break fast at sunset with an Iftar meal. Many mosques and community centres in Singapore offer free Iftar meals during Ramadan, and attending one is a great way to experience the community spirit of the month. Again, ensure you are appropriately dressed for the occasion, be respectful and be there at least half an hour before the break of fast. Do take note that there will be prayer afterwards, so leave before it starts (You can also sponsor a table).

4Learn about Islam: Ramadan is a great time to learn more about Islam and Muslim culture. Many mosques in Singapore offer tours and educational programs during Ramadan, and many books and online resources are available.

5. Celebrate Hari Raya Puasa: The end of Ramadan is marked by Hari Raya Puasa, a significant celebration in the Muslim calendar. Join in the festivities by visiting friends and family, enjoying traditional foods, and experiencing the unique cultural traditions of Singapore’s Muslim community.

If you want to hear more, listen to the podcast episode. Where Yati, Urmila and Farrah give you more insight into Ramadan in Singapore.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!

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Your guide to Ramadan in Singapore


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