Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان ) is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. It is said God decreed this entire month holy for Muslims so that they can increase their remembrance of life after death. Muslims also abstain from all bad deeds and habits, like smoking, swearing, backbiting, and disrespectfulness. Muslims reflect upon themselves, their religion, and the characteristics of God.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and as such it is obligatory for Muslims. Fasting and abstaining from bad habits teaches Muslims self control, humility, and generosity. Ramadan is a time for charity, family, and good deeds. Muslims fast because they believe it is vital for spiritual health. Unlike the fast of Ashurah, the fasts of Ramadan are declared mandatory by God because like salah (praying towards Mecca), fasting helps Muslims maintain spiritual and physical health.
The month of Ramadan begins when the new moon of Ramadan is sighted and ends when the new moon of Sha'ban is sighted. Muslims also believe that devils are chained up during Ramadan.
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