Muslims across the world had their last meal before fasting began as they mark Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan. On the other side of the planet, Ramadan starts this morning (Wednesday July 10) “For others, Ramadan actually began yesterday, which was the start of the lunar month. Hundreds of people arrived here at the mosque for evening prayers”. Hundreds of millions of Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset for 28 to 30 days during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Eating and drinking are not the only things Muslims are expected to abstain from during Ramadan. Daytime arguing, gossiping, cursing, having sex or committing haram (sins) are also prohibited.
But Ramadan is not intended as a month of hardship and deprivation. It’s known as the month of reflection, self- discipline and complete submission to Allah (God). Many Muslims choose to spend the days reciting the Koran and praying. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>>>
Ramadan quick facts:
1. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam after Shahada (declaration of faith and trust), Salat (the five daily prayers), Zakat (alms-giving to the poor) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).
2. Ramadan is also the month Muslims believe the first verses of the holy Quran were revealed to their prophet, Muhammad.
3. During Ramadan Muslims are prohibited from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.
4. Breaking the fast is called “Iftar” – the first food taken is traditionally a fresh or a dry date, following in the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad.
5. Ramadan is a family-bonding time, similar to Christmas, where large dinners and gatherings during the month become the norm.
6. The last 10-days of Ramadan are the holiest where the Holy Quran was presented to Prophet Muhammad on Layalat Al-Qadir (the night of destiny).
7. Eid al-Fitr is the day that follows the last day of Ramadan, where Muslims celebrate the arrival of the new moon by reciting the prayer Salat al-Eid and visiting family and close friends.