For Muslims across the world, Ramadan is the holiest month.
It is said to be the month when the Quran (Muslim holy book) was revealed to the Prophet Muhammed.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar.
What happens during Ramadan?
During this month, healthy Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
When fasting, they abstain from drinking water, eating food, immoral acts and anger.
They wake up each morning before sunrise, to have a meal which is known as Suhoor, and after sunset, they have a meal which is known as Iftar.
Iftar usually occurs with families and friends, where the fast is often broken with dates.
Many mosques host large iftars, in particular for the poor and needy. They also have nightly prayers which are called Tarawih and are held in the mosque after Iftar.
It is also a time for Muslims to reflect, pray, do good deeds and spend time with family. It is a time for Muslims to connect with communities and reach out to people who are in need of help.
Why do they fast?
It is important for Muslims to fast during Ramadan because it allows them to be devoted to their faith and to come closer to God.
Also, in the Quran, there is a verse that prescribes Muslims that are healthy and mature enough to fast for the full day.
Fasting is also a means to learn patience and to break bad habits.
Fasting is also one of the five pillars of Islam. These five pillars form the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars include faith, prayer, charity, and making the holy pilgrimage to the city of Mecca.
Do all Muslims fast during Ramadan?
Not all Muslims are expected to fast during Ramadan.
Children, pregnant women, menstruating women, elderly and those that are unwell or travelling are not expected to fast.
Menstruating women or those that maybe have a fever are often expected to make up for their fasts in later the days after Ramadan when they can.
What happens when Ramadan ends?
At the end of the holy month, there is a three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr.
During Eid, Muslims not only celebrate the end of fasting but also give thanks to God for the strength and help that He gave them throughout the month of Ramadan.
Children are often gifted new clothes, presents, and families come together to observe this celebration.