Millions of Muslims around the world are preparing for Ramadan, a holy month of fasting and religious devotion.
The festival falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, starting in May and marks the start of a month of fasting and religious devotion.
This year Ramadan will start on May 27 and will finish on June 24. Following this, Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr which is often known as just Eid.
Eid will be on June 25, marking the end of the Ramadan fasting and the start of the next month, Shawwal.
Muslims fast from dawn to dusk but are able to enjoy food & drink in the evening.
Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking throughout the entire day, not being allowed to smoke or take a sip of water or it invalids the fast.
Fasting helps bring one closer to God and to remind them of people who are less fortunate.
What will each muslim have to do:
- Intense prayer and religious devotion (encouraged to read namaz)
- Give charity & feed the hungry
- Speak in a normal manor and try to avoid being angry
- Many will recite the Quran just before sunset
- Gossip less
- Swear less
- Fight less
- Married couples refrain from sexual intercourse during the day
Who can opt out of fasting?
- The sick
- The elderly and women who are either pregnant or on their period.
- People traveling long distances.
The date of Eid varies from country to country.
By Maryam Ali