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Ramadan 101

What is Ramadan?

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Ramadan is a Muslim holiday and is observed in the ninth lunar month in the Muslim lunar calendar. It is believed that in this month that the Qu'ran was revealed to the prophet Mohammad.

During Ramadan, Muslims all over the world restrain themselves from:
  • food
  • drink
  • sexual contact and intercourse
  • smoke
The fast is done during daylight hours for 30 days.

What most people don't know is that Ramadan is more than refraining from food and drink, but the follower must not partake in gossip, unlawful activities or thoughts. Worshippers must not look at unlawful things. Of course, those who are ill or small children do not fast.

Ramadan is basically the spiritual cleansing of the soul through self restraint.

The Sudhoor and Iftar

The sudhoor is the light meal eaten prior to daylight. The fast begins after this meal and resumes until sundown.

The iftar is when the fast ends for the day and a halal meal may be eaten. Any type of food may be eaten, however, the most popular are honey, breads, figs, dates, fruits, and olives.

It is popular is some cultures for families to host "iftar meals", in which familes and neighbors will come for the evening meal.

Eid al Fitr

The Eid is a 3 day festival following the end of Ramadan. During this time, Muslims recognize the poor and give to charity and to celebrate the blessings of Ramadan.

When is Ramadan?

Ramadan occurs once a year and the month and day varies from year to year. The sight of the crescent moon marks the start of Ramadan.
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