RAMADAN, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar, began on Friday, but there remains confusion over the correct greeting to use during the fasting period.
Is Ramadan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem correct?
Ramadan Mubarak is the most common greeting used by Muslims, and translates to “have a blessed Ramadan”.
Ramadan Kareem is another phrase often used, however there is some debate as to whether it is appropriate.
Some say that the phrase, which means “may Ramadan be generous to you”, goes against the teachings of Islam because Ramadan itself cannot be generous.
As Saudi Arabian scholar Sheikh Al-Uthaymeen explained, “it should be said ‘Ramadan Mubarak’, or whatever is similar to it, because it is not Ramadan itself that gives so that it can be kareem (generous), in fact it is Allah who placed the grace in it, and made it a special month, and a time to perform one of the pillars of Islam”.
Others argue that Kareem is acceptable, because the wording reflects the blessings that God gives to his followers during the month.
Jordan’s Iftaa’ Department, which is responsible for religious decrees, last year ruled: “Describing Ramadan to be honourable does not in fact attribute the quality to the month.
“Rather, the word comes from the fact that God gives his worshippers blessings during the month.
“It’s thus acceptable to call the thing by the name of its reason or cause. The ruling could be seen as an example of synecdoche, in which a part of something is taken to stand for its whole, or vice versa.
For those who would rather avoid the debate, Happy Ramadan is a perfectly acceptable alternative.
When does Ramadan end?
The final day of Ramadan this year falls on Saturday June 24.
The following evening marks the start of Eid al-Fitr, the festival of the breaking of the fast.
On this day, Muslims will gather at mosques to pray before holding family gatherings and feasts.
Originally from here