In Islam, Ramadan is known as the month of fasting. Fasting is considered one of the 5 pillars of Islam, or duties, along with faith, prayer, charitable giving, and pilgrimage to Mecca. It occurs on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is considered a holy month. Fasting during this month occurs from dawn to sunset every day. A meal called Iftar is then shared, most often between family members and friends.
Who Doesn’t Have to Fast During Ramadan?
There are exemptions for those required to fast. Pregnant or nursing women, children, the old, and the ill are some examples of individuals who do not need to fast. However, there are other ways Muslims can celebrate this month. Ramadan is also a month dedicated to celebration through charity, generosity, prayer, and various other practices that differ throughout cultures.
What Are Some Practices During Ramadan?
This can look like giving to the poor, abstaining from sexual activity, and/or swearing. An example of a traditional practice during Ramadan can be seen when drummers come out to play their instruments during suhoor (pre-dawn meal) in Turkey. This practice is not common for all Muslims around the world, however, this has become an important tradition for Muslims in that geographical area.
The Overall Meaning of Ramadan
In all, Ramadan is a time when the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims come together to fast. It is also a time of celebration, delight, and where the community can spend time with loved ones.