Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It is also the month when the Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h*). This is the month of fasting for all Muslims and observing it is one of the 5 pillars of Islam.
During the month of Ramadan Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, except for the elderly, ill, pregnant/breastfeeding/menstruating women, and the traveler. The first 2 must substitute the fast with feeding the poor and less fortunate while the latters must make up the days missed. Throughout the month Muslims reframe from food and drink each day.
The days are met with prayer, fast, charity and reflection. It is encouraged that each Muslim read the Qur'an in its entirety during Ramadan. We spend time stregnthening our self-control, discipline and sensitivity for those in need. At the break of fast each day family and friends get together to eat and spend time with one another in celebration of the day's accomplishment.
Eid ul-Fitr is the celebration at the end of the month of Ramadan. Muslims get together to pray and celebrate with one another. Eid ul-Fitr is the Festival of Breaking Fast. Fasting is not permitted on this day. It is also the first day of the next month, Shawwal. Muslims are encouraged to fast 6 extra days in Shawwal but it is not mandatory.
Ramadan is a month long meditation of one's life. Muslims continuously repent for past sins and try to maintain spiritual purity. It is hoped that the Muslim does not just give up wrong-doing in this month, but continues it beyond this month.
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