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 allow Muslims to learn self-control, humility, and generosity. 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 start date of Ramadan is based on a Lunar observance of the a new Moon over Mecca (Saudi Arabia). As such the start of Ramadan may vary by a day from country to country. Date shown is for South Africa. This exact date is open for interpretation and often not confirmed till a few months before.
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