Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month as per the Islamic lunar calendar.

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims throughout the world fast. The fasting continues the whole month, and ends with a huge celebration, called Eid al-Fitr. The fasting usually lasts 29 to 30 days, depending on when the moon is sighted. The first day of Ramadan begins with the actual sighting of the crescent moon, the date of which may differ according to the geographical location and weather.

The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness. The entire month of fasting is part of the Five Pillars of Islam, and hence considered compulsory for all devout Muslims. However, under certain conditions, some people may be exempt from fasting, such as when they are ill, traveling, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.

In all other circumstances, an adult Muslim must fast from dawn until sunset. They are to forgo all food and liquid, even swallowing their own spit. In addition, they can’t smoke, or engage in sexual relations from dawn until sunset. Some believe that they must even refrain from swearing. Food and drinks can only be consumed either before sunrise or after sunset. According to Islam, the rewards of fasting are many, but they are believed to be multiplied during this month. 

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