Ramadan: 10 facts
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The sighting of the cresent moon marked the first day of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims across Britain and the rest of the world on Friday. But for those of you who don’t know what Ramadan is about, here’s the beginners guide to the most important month in the Islamic calendar.
- Followers of Islam refrain from eating, drinking, and sexual relations during daylight hours and can only consume food after sunset. This does not include tasting however, and some scholars agree that cooks can taste food for seasoning and food preparation as long as no food is swallowed.
- Observing the fast during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The five pillars of Islam consist of the foundations of Islamic belief with the other pillars including charity and declaration of faith.
- Muslims believe that in the month of Ramadan, their holy book the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Mohammed.
- Ramadan is considered to be a blessed month since the gates of heaven are open during this time.
- The devil is also believed to be chained up in hell so as not to tempt Muslims during the holy month.
- Good deeds gain more reward during his month.
- The purpose of the fast is redirect the hearts away from material objects and instead invest back into spiritual well being and purity of mind and intention. It is also important to abstain from vices such as gossiping and lying.
- The ill, elderly and pregnant are excused from observing the fast but are expected to feed the poor or give to charity in place of the fast. Travellers are also exempt but are expected to replace any fasts they miss at a later date.
- Many Muslims break their fast with the date as the prophet used to.
- At the end of Ramadan, the festival Eid al Fitr is celebrated to mark the end of the month of fasting, and the beginning of the next Muslim calendar month.