Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim calendar and can fall anywhere between the months of November and February depending on the sighting of the moon. Ramadan is a time of worship, fasting and renewing familial ties. Fasting lasts for the whole month of Ramadan, and Muslims are not allowed to eat during the hours of daylight during this time. The fasting is undertaken in order to demonstrate devotion to God. On the final day of Ramadan, it ends when the moon is again sighted.
Ramadan is observed by over one billion Muslims all over the world. The Islamic belief requires that Muslims should perform five main duties to strengthen their faith. Although Islam has two primary sects – the Shiites and the Sunnis – every Muslim wants to be able to realize those five pillars during their lifetime.
Ramadan reaches its conclusion with a festival lasting three days, which is referred to as either Eid ul-Fitr or just simply Eid. This literally translates as either ‘the feast of the breaking’ or ‘to break the fast’, and the festival brings to a conclusion the month’s struggle to reach a higher spiritual state. The ninth month in the Muslim calendar, Ramadan is also believed to be the month in which the Holy Quran came from heaven in order to provide ‘guidance unto men, a declaration of direction and a means of salvation’. The Muslim calendar is actually based around the lunar cycle and is around 11-13 days shorter than is the case with the Gregorian calendar.
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