Ramadan, also known as Ramazan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims worldwide observe this holy month and hold a month of fasting so as to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. This month is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. The month can last for 29-30 days depending upon the visual sightings of crescent moon. The word Ramadan actually stands for scorching heat or dryness, Fasting is obligatory and is made an exception for those who have an illness, are pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, menstruating or diabetic. There are fatwas issued that people who live in regions that observe natural phenomenon such as midnight sun or polar night should follow Meccas timetable or of the country closest to them.
Muslims start fasting at dawn and stop by sunset time. During this period, they refrain from consuming food, having liquids, smoking or engaging in sexual relations. They are also directed so as to not indulge in any unacceptable behaviour such as insulting, cursing lying and fighting except when done in self defense. Fast meals that can be had before dawn are called as Suhoor and those had after the sunset time are called as Iftar. It is believed that spiritual awards are multiplied during the month of Ramadan.
By: Neha Maheshwari