Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk. Here are 10 facts to help you understand this festival:
1. Ramadan, the ninth month on the Muslim calendar, is celebrated as the month when the first verses of the Quran were said to be revealed to the prophet Muhammad in 610 CE.
2. During Ramadan, observers are expected to abstain from food, drink, and other pleasures from dawn to dusk. Removing these comforts from daily routine is intended to focus the mind on prayer, spirituality, and charity and to purify the body and mind.
3. Several different groups are excused from fasting during Ramadan: pregnant women, people who are mentally or physically ill, and sometimes women who are breastfeeding. Also, kids are not obligated to fast until they hit puberty.
4. While most non-Muslims know of Ramadan for the fasting, charity is also an important part of the month long holiday.
5. The end of Ramadan is marked by Eid ul Fitr, a large festival to celebrate the end of the fast. The celebration begins as soon as the new moon is sighted in the sky. Eid ul Fitr is also considered a time of reverance.