Q:

Why do people celebrate Ramadan?

A:

Quick Answer

Muslims celebrate Ramadan to purify their souls, fine-tune their relationship with God and observe self-sacrifice. Ramadan commemorates the night of power during which God revealed the Koran to the prophet Muhammad.

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Why do people celebrate Ramadan?
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Full Answer

Ramadan takes place on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, from one new moon to the next. It is an opportunity to practice self-restraint, one of the five pillars of Islam. During the day, devout Muslims abstain not only from food, but also from any form of drink, sexual behavior and immorality in thought or deed. At sunset, after prayer, Muslims break their fast. Their night-time banquets are festive occasions shared with family, relatives and friends. Typically, the meals begin with fruit and water or sweet milk, and continue with meat, bread and vegetables. Often the fellowship and feasting lasts until the early morning. At the first light of dawn, fasting begins again. As a result, in some Muslim countries and communities, people work less hours during the month of Ramadan.

If some people inadvertently or intentionally break the fast, or are required to eat during the day due to illness or travel, they can make up fasting days after Ramadan. Others substitute charitable work for fasting. Children, old people, and pregnant and nursing women are exempt from fasting.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What times do Muslims eat during Ramadan?

    A:

    During Ramadan, Muslims fast during daylight hours. The fasting begins when the sun rises, and it ends when the sun sets. Many Muslims use time calculators to ensure they begin fasting at the proper time for their time zone.

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  • Q:

    Which countries observe Ramadan?

    A:

    While Muslim communities in any country, including Russia, China and the United States, are likely to observe the fasting and abstinence month of Ramadan, the following countries with an Islamic majority tend to do so more widely: Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, Egypt, Mauritania, Tunisia, Algeria, Somalia, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Since the timing for the commencement of Ramadan is taken from the moon phase and visibility, the dates and length of this month vary, not only from year to year but from region to region as well.

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  • Q:

    What is the approximate fasting timetable for Ramadan each year?

    A:

    The month of Ramadan in the Islamic Calendar, like all other months in this format, starts at the beginning of a new lunar cycle, on the new moon. As months are based on the lunar cycle and not on a consistent number system, this month can begin at any point of the year and can only be calculated relative to the months around it. Fasting lasts the entire month, and it goes from sunrise to sunset each day.

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  • Q:

    What is Eid al-Fitr?

    A:

    Eid al-Fitr, or Eid ul-Fitr, is a Muslim celebration that occurs at the end of Ramadan. The festival was instituted by the Prophet Muhammad after the completion of his journey from Mecca to Madinah.

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