Ramzan Mubarak: All you need to know about holy month of Ramadan

Each day for the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Even a sip of water, coffee or a cigarette can invalidate one's fast.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 6, 2016 3:29 pm
ramadan, ramzan, ramadan 2016, ramadam kareem, ramadan fasting, ramzan fasting, ramadan fasting practice, Eid al-Fitr, ramzan rituals, tariq ramadan, world news, india news, latest news Pakistanis wash the courtyard of the historical Badshahi Mosque in preparation for the upcoming Muslim month of Ramadan in Lahore. Muslims across the world will be observing the holy month of Ramadan by refraining from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk. (Source: AP Photo)

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, charity and performing the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. Ramadan is sacred to Muslims because tradition says the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed during that month.

Muslims follow a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology that can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart.

Palestinians shop in a market ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Khan Younis in the southern of Gaza Strip June 5, 2016. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa Palestinians shop in a market ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Khan Younis in the southern of Gaza Strip. (Source: Reuters)

The faithful spend the month of Ramadan in mosques for evening prayers known as “taraweeh,” while free time during the day is often spent reading the Quran and listening to religious lectures.

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Each day for the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Even a sip of water, coffee or a cigarette can invalidate one’s fast. There are exceptions to fasting for children, the elderly, the sick, women who are pregnant, nursing or menstruating, and people travelling.

Many break their fast as the Prophet Muhammad did around 1,400 years ago, with a sip of water and some dates at sunset followed by prayer. It is common for Muslims to break their fast with family and friends and charities organize free meals for the public at mosques and other public spaces.

The fast is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.

Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan with a three-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr.

(With inputs from AP, AFP)

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