What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a month of fasting and abstaining from things considered to be impure for the mind and body. Those partaking in Ramadan abstain from food, drink and impure thoughts between the hours of sunrise and sunset, allowing them instead to focus on prayer and connecting with Allah.
Why do Muslims Fast?
Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Fasting was ordered in the Qur’an and is expected that all able Muslims (those who are mature and in good health) should fast from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan. During this time, fasting is more than just abstinence; it is a means of worship and for Muslims to feel a closer and deeper connection with Allah (SWT). Fasting allows each individual to understand what it means to go without and to learn patience with oneself and those around them, as well as compassion for those less fortunate.
What do Muslims do during Ramadan?
Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan. It is a time for prayer and good deeds. They will try to spend time with family and friends and help people in need. Many Muslims will attempt to read the whole of the Qur'an at least once during Ramadan. They will also attend special services in Mosques during which the Qur'an is read.
Celebrating the end of Ramadan
The end of Ramadan is marked by a big celebration called 'Eid ul-Fitr' Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking Allah for the strength he gave them throughout the previous month. Mosques hold special services and a special meal is eaten during daytime (the first daytime meal for a month). During Eid ul-Fitr Muslims dress in their finest clothes, give gifts to children and spend time with their friends and family. Muslims will also give money to charity at Eid.