What non muslims need to know about Ramadan

Ramazan 2018: Holy month of fasting starts in Gulf and far East countries from May 17

Ramazan 2018: Holy month of fasting starts in Gulf and far East countries from May 17

Ramadan, which is also called Ramzan, is observed by Muslims all around the world as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad, as per the Islamic belief.

Ramadan is the ninth of the Islamic calendar and is dependent on a moon-sighting methodology, which requires a physical new moon sighting.

Traditionally, the majority of Muslims have begun fasting on the dates set by Saudi religious authorities, but recently many have used their own astronomical calculations, rather than waiting to see the moon for themselves or for the Saudi declaration.

"The AFP-most especially the Muslims amongst us-is one with the Islamic faith in wishing that this month-long period of penance, prayer and reflection remind each one of us of the value of peace, love and sense of community", Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

Ali Larijani, the Speaker of Iranian Parliament, forwarded a message of congratulations to all his Muslim counterparts across the globe to extend greetings on the advent of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to spend time in contemplation, prayer, reading the Qur'an and charity during the day.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, and though staying away from food and water is the main element, Muslims also have to abstain from drinking, sexual activity, and cursing.

It is also believed that the gates of hell are closed and gates of heaven are open during this month.

Because the celebration will begin late, this will mean Eid Al-Fitr will most likely begin on Friday, June 15 to mark the breaking of the fast. Children, the elderly, those who are sick, women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing, and travelers are excluded from fasting. Before the crack of dawn, Muslims consume Sehri, a meal taken to start the day, and Iftar after the sunset to break the fast.

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