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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims around the world observe a period of fasting, prayer, and reflection. It is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the fundamental practices that form the basis of the Muslim faith.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during daylight hours, from dawn until sunset. This period of fasting is intended to teach self-discipline and self-restraint and to remind Muslims of the suffering of those less fortunate. It is also a time for spiritual reflection, increased prayer and worship, and reading of the Quran.

The fast is broken each day at sunset with a meal called iftar. Many Muslims also wake up early before dawn for a pre-fast meal called suhoor.

Ramadan is a time of community and charity, with many Muslims choosing to give to those in need. It is also a time for increased devotion and strengthening one’s relationship with God.

The exact dates of Ramadan vary each year, as they are determined by the sighting of the new moon, but typically fall around April to May in the Gregorian calendar.

There are some exemptions to fasting for those who are unable to fast due to illness, travel, or other reasons. However, they are expected to make up the missed days at a later time or make a donation to feed a needy person for each missed day.

Eid al-Fitr, often simply referred to as Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of the month-long fasting period of Ramadan. It is a time of celebration, joy, and gratitude, and is considered one of the most important holidays in the Islamic calendar.

After the prayer, Muslims greet each other with hugs and the Arabic phrase “Eid Mubarak,” which means “blessed Eid” or “happy Eid.” It is also common to exchange gifts, particularly among children, and to visit friends and family members.

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