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Recently, Muslims around the world began to fast in observance of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a lunar calendar followed by Muslims. This month is considered a holy month which falls under the fourth pillar of the 5 Pillars of Islam, the core beliefs of the religion. Muslims believe the Quran, or holy book, was revealed during this month. In this month, each day Muslims fast from dawn to sunset which includes consuming no food or water and abstaining from committing sins. This time is used to strengthen one’s devotion to the religion and as a time of reflection.

[bf_image id="qfzbgw-948ju0-fjt1pt"] Each day before dawn, a meal called suhoor is eaten before making the intention to and beginning the fast. After this, the first prayer of the day Fajr is prayed. There are five mandatory prayers throughout the day, but during Ramadan, Muslims often try to perform the extra prayer, recitations of the Quran, and good deeds. Those exempt from fasting include, but are not limited to, those with health conditions, those on their period, people traveling, elderly, and young children. At sunset, the fast is broken traditionally with dates with a meal called iftar. Muslims then pray their evening prayer and return to eat dinner. At night, extra prayers or tarawih are often performed, either in a congregation or alone, but are not compulsory.

[bf_image id="7c44hk98scsk2f68fxgp5b8v"] At the end of Ramadan is the festival of Eid al-Fitr. On this day, a special prayer takes place in the morning, and Muslims are not allowed to fast. The celebration takes place over three days and charity to the poor is encouraged during this holiday. Celebration practices often vary by the traditions of different cultures. This is just some basic information about Ramadan and its practices to better understand those taking part in it!

Dana Morshed

UC Riverside '23

Dana is a second-year Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology major. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and volunteering.
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