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The Sacred Month of Ramadan

Ramadan is the most holy month of this year in Muslim society and is a time of peace and harmony between people. It is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holy month of fasting. It begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. This year Ramadan lasts from Saturday, April 2 to Sunday, May 1 in 2022. As of now there are more than two billion Muslims worldwide, making Islam the second-largest religion in the world. Although many people, especially in the United States, may associate Islam with countries in the Middle East or North Africa, nearly two-thirds (62%) of Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Pew Research Center analysis. The world Muslim population is more widespread than you might think, with all these people celebrating the holy month of Ramadan.

Muslims observe this month of Ramadan, to indicate that God had the opening chapters of the Koran to the Prophet
Mohammad at 610, according to these Times of India. During fasting, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, refrain from pleasures and beg to grow closer to God. Fasting during Ramadan means abstinence from all food or drink, including water, from dawn to sunset. It is recommended that before sunrise, Muslims eat a precast meal known as suhur. This meal often resembles breakfast, but in some cultures, it may include more dinner-like foods. Fasting is important during Ramadan as it allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith and come closer to Allah. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. At sunset, families break the fast with the iftar, traditionally opening the meal by eating dates to commemorate Muhammad’s practice of breaking the fast with three dates. This month also serves as a time for families all over the world to meet and come together. Social gatherings, many times in buffet style, are frequent at iftar. Traditional dishes are often highlighted, including traditional desserts, particularly those made only during Ramadan. Over time, the practice of iftar has evolved into banquets that may accommodate hundreds or even thousands of diners. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the largest mosque in the UAE, feeds up to thirty thousand people every night. Additionally, around twelve thousand people attend iftar at the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad. The end of the Ramadan is marked and celebrated as Eid al-Fitr, the “Feast of Fast-Breaking,” which is one of the two major religious holidays of the Muslim calendar.

This is often celebrated with activities and festivities where children wear new clothes, women dress in white, special pastries are baked, gifts are exchanged, the graves of relatives are visited, and people gather for family meals and to pray in mosques. Similar to other Islamic holidays, it is distinguished by the performance of communal prayer (salat) at daybreak on its first day. It is a time for Muslims to celebrate the accomplishment of their sacred duties during Ramadan.

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