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WHEREAS, Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, and marks the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad; and
WHEREAS, Ramadan lasts 29 to 30 days based on the timing of the astronomical new moon; and
WHEREAS, Muslims around the world observe the month by fasting each day from sunrise to sunset; and
WHEREAS, the daily breaking of fast, called Iftar, is often celebrated by family and community gatherings, and is followed by the Tarawih evening prayer; and
WHEREAS, Ramadan is regarded as a time for spiritual reflection, increased awareness, and giving to the global poor, sick, and hungry, and a bridging of differences between people over a shared commitment to faith; and
WHEREAS, in 2020 and 2021, COVID-19 made it challenging to celebrate Ramadan without all of the customary gatherings and formalities, however the holy month was still full of reflection, compassion, and unity; and
WHEREAS, the acts of kindness and selflessness shown by the Muslim community continue to bring hope to us all; and
WHEREAS, the end of Ramadan is traditionally commemorated by the Eid al-Fitr festival of breaking the fast, a joyous occasion marked by sharing sweets, gifts, and good tidings with family, friends, and neighbors; and
WHEREAS, one of the Commonwealth’s greatest strengths is its diversity and is proud to be home to a large and thriving Muslim population; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia joins with Muslims around the world celebrating Ramadan and a blessed Eid al-Fitr this year;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 12, 2021, as RAMADAN in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.