Friday, July 13th, 2012
Ramadan: July 20 through August 18
Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year and is one of the largest holidays for Muslims. It begins when the new moon is spotted and falls on August 1st this year; each year it begins approximately 10 to 11 days earlier. It was during Ramadan that Allah (God) first revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammed. Ramadan is a month of spiritual reflection and self-control through fasting. Fasting, including abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and sexual relations, is from sunrise to sunset for the full month. Each night the fast is broken with a celebratory feast, iftar, together with family and friends. Ramadan teaches patience and humility by exposing Muslims to the feeling of being poor through fasting. It also teaches gratefulness, forgiveness and mercy. People who are sick, pregnant, elderly or traveling are not allowed to fast. Children begin fasting when they hit puberty.
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