5 things you didn’t know about Ramadan

THIS weekend marks the beginning of the most important month for Muslims all over the world, Ramadan. Muslims are not permitted to eat or drink as soon as the sun rises until dusk throughout the month. They are also supposed to stay away from worldly pleasures.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It can last between 29 and 30 days.

Here’s a list of 5 things you may not have known about the holy month:

1.Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars of Islam:

There are five pillars of Islam, Salat (prayer), Shahada (an affirmation that there is no deity besides God and his prophet Muhammed), Zakat (charity), Hajj (being part of a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life) and Ramadan.

2. Children, pregnant women, the elderly and the sick are not obligated to fast

It is not compulsory for children to fast until they reach puberty. Pregnant women are also not obligated to fast. The sick and the elderly are encouraged to discontinue their Ramadan fast if it threatens their overall health.

3. The new moon determines when Ramadan starts

The start of Ramadan can vary in different places, with many relying on seeing the new moon with the naked eye. The date and month changes each year based on the lunar calendar. As a result, Ramadan falls earlier and earlier each year.

4. Dates are considered to be the fast-breaking food of choice

A date is traditionally the first thing Muslims eat when they break their fast. The prophet Muhammed would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray.

5. Charity is encouraged even more during Ramadan

While charity is a pillar of Islam, donations to charities see a significant rise during the month of Ramadan. Various mosques and religious organizations offer meals to the poor.


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