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Ramadan Begins Today for Over 1 Billion Muslims Worldwide

posted on: Sep 1, 2008

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The month of Ramadan is a month of unity, divine blessings, and is a time for the world to unite on the principles of peace and good will.

This month is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar and is one of the most important months of the Islamic year. During Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast for 30 days, eating only when the sun is down. The month is marked with incredible celebration and Muslims rejoice the entire month’s duration.

The month of Ramadan is a month for reflection on oneself, one’s devotion to God, and self-control. Furthermore, fasting is done to honor and respect the world’s poor, who are unable to eat, even if they wish to do so.

Fasting during the month of Ramahan is one of the pillars of Islam, and is mandatory for any Muslim adult who is capable of performing the fast. When fasting Muslims rise right before sunrise to eat a hearty breakfast then perform, Fajr, morning prayers.

The fast lasts until sunset, when the fourth of the daily prayers, Maghrib, is read, at which point Muslims gather to eat the Iftar meal together. Fasting is not just about avoiding food and water, rather Muslims must focus on more than just purifying their bodies, but more importantly their spirituality, thoughts, and actions. Fasting is a way for Muslims to feel closer to God, and to distance themselves from worldly activities.

In most Muslim countries Ramadan marks a change in the lifestyle of its people. Businesses close early each evening to allow people to perform prayers and eat the Iftar meal with their family. Stores will then reopen later in the night and the cities bustle with celebration.

Ramadan is a truly special month for Muslims everywhere.

Source:
Islamic Information Center, Washington, DC

Picture caption:
To congratulate one another on the advent of this Holy Month, Muslims will say “Ramadan Mubarak” (Congratulations on Ramadan).