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When Do Muslims Start Fasting

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How Do People Fast

What is Ramadhan and Why Do Muslims Fast?

During Ramadan, the day starts early so that people can eat a pre-fast meal before dawn. This meal, called Suhoor, is important as it will keep them going through the day. During daylight hours, fasting Muslims cannot eat food or drink water or any other drinks. In late spring or early summer, this is particularly difficult as the day can be very long. People who live in polar regions, where daylight can last 22 hours or more, can choose to follow the dawn and sunset times in Mecca or a nearby country where the sky is dark at night.

Q: How Did The Fast During Ramadan Become Obligatory Formuslims

A: O ye who believe!Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed before you, that ye may self-restraintRamadanis the in which was sent down the Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear for guidance andjudgment . So every one of you who is present during that month shouldspend it in fasting

Ramadan: A Guide To The Islamic Holy Month

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is when Muslims fast during daylight and when the Quran is said to have been revealed to the prophet Muhammad

Muslims around the world are preparing for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. From waking up in the early hours for a quick bite and sip of water, to the waiting date in hand for the seconds to tick by until the call to prayer at sunset, why do Muslims fast and what is Ramadan?

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What Can I Do To Be Respectful Of My Muslim Friends During Ramadan

In some Muslim countries, it is a crime to eat and drink in public during the day in the month of Ramadan, even if you’re not Muslim.

Of course, this is not the case in the United States, where we enjoy freedom of religion. And most American Muslims, myself included, don’t expect the non-Muslims around us to radically change their behavior to accommodate our religious fast during Ramadan.

I’ve had friends and coworkers who have chosen to fast along with me out of solidarity , and that was sweet of them, but it’s not something I ever expect people to do.

All that said, there are things you can do, and not do, to make things a little easier for friends or colleagues who happen to be fasting for Ramadan. If you share an office with someone fasting, maybe eat your delicious, juicy cheeseburger in the office break room rather than at your desk, where your poor, suffering Muslim coworkers will have to smell it and salivate .

Try to remember not to offer them a bite or a sip of what you’re eating, because it’s sometimes hard for us to remember that we’re fasting and easy to absentmindedly accept and eat that Lay’s potato chip you just offered us. But if you do, it’s okay. We’re not going to get mad or be offended .

Even something as simple as learning one of those expressions and saying it with a smile to your Muslim friends will go a long way toward making them feel comfortable and welcome.

Why Do Muslims Fast

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Ramadan is a holy month dedicated to prayer and reading the Quran. Generosity and giving to worthy causes and neighbours is encouraged.

It is a period for reflection, self-restraint and warmth intended to bring Muslims closer to Allah, hence the abstention from earthly distractions like food and water, cigarettes and sexual activity during daylight hours.

A modest meal is taken before dawn known as suhoor and after dusk known as iftar but nothing whatsoever is consumed in between, not even water.

Fasting during Ramadan is a requirement for all Muslims from a young age, in some cases beginning as early as 10.

Those who are too ill to fast can be exempted if participating would mean endangering their health, as can the elderly, those suffering from a mental illness, those who are travelling and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating.

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Why Does Fasting Take Place

Ramadan represents a period of practicing self-restraint to keep in line with awm , which is one of the pillars of Islam.

The Muslim Council of Britain says: “A key objective of fasting increase in taqwa , and to engender a sense of gratitude, self-discipline and self-improvement, at both an individual and community level, which Muslims are encouraged to continue throughout the year.

“At an individual level, fasting encourages us to feel an affinity with the poor across the world who have little or no food to eat.”

Families and local communities are also encouraged to share meals with friends and neighbors and reach out to those who may be fasting alone during Ramadan.

“Aside from fasting, Muslims observing Ramadan also increase in spiritual devotional acts such as prayer, giving charity and strengthening family ties,” the council adds.

Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr, a festival that marks the breaking of the fasting period. It begins on May 12 this year and can be celebrated for up to three days.

“It is a time for great feasts, the giving of gifts to children and spending time with those dearest to you,” says Muslim Aid.

What Is Ramadan Actually About

Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims the Prophet Mohammed reportedly said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

Muslims believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, to Mohammed, on a night known as “The Night of Power” .

During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran.

But if that makes it sound super serious and boring, it’s really not. It’s a time of celebration and joy, to be spent with loved ones. At the end of Ramadan theres a big three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr,or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

It’s kind of like the Muslim version of Christmas, in the sense that it’s a religious holiday where everyone comes together for big meals with family and friends, exchanges presents, and generally has a lovely time.

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#saferamadan At Home Top Tips

While restrictions are more relaxed for Ramadan 2021 with some activities allowed in the mosque and outdoors compared to 2020, for many of us we will still largely be observing Ramadan from home. Therefore, it is very important to carefully plan our Ramadan activities from home to ensure we and our families gain maximum benefit from the month. Consider:

  • Online Stream Islamic sermons, taraweeh or other services to your home, either pre-recorded or live.
  • Prayers Organise prayers including taraweeh at home as a family and pray as a congregation in the home.
  • Virtual Iftars Arrange virtual iftars with extended family and the community through the many online video calling facilities available, listen to the maghrib adhan and break your fasts together.
  • Plan food Plan your iftar menus in advance so that you can limit multiple shopping trips to minimise your need to leave home and help minimise the spread of the virus.
  • Drink well Hydrate well for the long work days. Dehydration can lead to tiredness, headaches, lack of focus/concentration.
  • Energy foods Eat high energy, slow burn foods for suhoor that can give you energy gradually throughout the day
  • Breaks Take regular breaks to reflect and take time for yourself.
  • Mental Health Our lives can sometimes already be full and we try to fill it with more worship during Ramadan. Sometimes it is quality over quantity.

Whats It Like In Real Life

How Muslims: Fast

Everything youve read so far probably sounds very heavy. Its all about fasting, praying, and staying away from backbiting and immoral behaviour.

You may well be picturing me as a tired, starving, praying machine. But Ramadan in theory and in practice are two different things.

Yes, it is, of course, sacred to Muslims. But theres also a sense of community and fun. There are memes, there are jokes.

There are memes where its all about eating rather than praying. There are memes showing people eating in the morning, sleeping all day, and waking up a minute before the evening meal.

Ramadan is a month of happiness and peace. It brings Muslims together.

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Ramadan Worship And Prayer

During Ramadan, prayer is an important element for much of the Muslim faithful. Muslims are encouraged to pray and attend a mosque for special services. Nightly prayers called tarawill are common, as is rereading the Quran over the course of the month, often in the form of an epic prayer. At the end of Ramadan, before the final fast is broken, Muslims also recite a prayer called the takbeer, which gives praise to Allah and acknowledges his supremacy.

Are There Differences Between How Sunni Muslims And Shia Muslims Observe Ramadan

For the most part, no. Both Sunni and Shia Muslims fast during Ramadan. But there are some minor differences for instance, Sunnis break their daily fast at sunset, when the sun is no longer visible on the horizon , whereas Shia wait until the redness of the setting sun has completely vanished and the sky is totally dark.

Shia also celebrate an additional holiday within the month of Ramadan that Sunnis do not. For three days the 19th, 20th, and 21st days of Ramadan Shia commemorate the martyrdom of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed who was both the revered fourth caliph of Sunni Islam and the first “legitimate” imam of Shia Islam.

Ali was assassinated in the fierce civil wars that erupted following the death of Mohammed over who should lead the Muslim community in his stead. On the 19th day of the month of Ramadan, while Ali was worshipping at a mosque in Kufa, Iraq, an assassin from a group of rebels who opposed his leadership fatally struck him with a poisoned sword. Ali died two days later.

Ali is a hugely important figure in Shia Islam. His tomb in nearby Najaf, Iraq, is the third-holiest site in Shia Islam, and millions of Shia make a pilgrimage there every year. Although Sunnis revere Ali as one of the four “rightly guided” caliphs who ruled after Mohammed’s death, they do not commemorate his death or make a pilgrimage to his tomb.

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What Are The Rules

Well, there’s the big one don’t eat or drink from dawn to dusk.

Before the sun rises, Muslims usually wake up to eat a big meal so that they won’t be hungry during the day.

Those who don’t want to wake up early have a big dinner before bed.

Of course, not every Muslim will fast this Ramadan, so don’t be too surprised if you see your friend eating during the day

You’re exempt from fasting if you’re:

  • Pregnant
  • Menstruating
  • Travelling long distances

Children are not required to fast but they’re welcome to learn by participating, such as fasting up until lunchtime.

If you miss a fast, you can make up for it by fasting at a later date.

And if you can’t fast because of health reasons, you can donate food or money to the poor instead.

What Is A Typical Day Like During Ramadan

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During Ramadan, Muslims wake up well before dawn to eat the first meal of the day, which has to last until sunset. This means eating lots of high-protein foods and drinking as much water as possible right up until dawn, after which you can’t eat or drink anything.

At dawn, we perform the morning prayer. Since it’s usually still pretty early, many go back to sleep for a bit before waking up again to get ready for the day .

Muslims are not supposed to avoid work or school or any other normal duties during the day just because we are fasting. In many Muslim countries, however, businesses and schools may reduce their hours during the day or close entirely. For the most part, though, Muslims go about their daily business as we normally would, despite not being able to eat or drink anything the whole day.

When the evening call to prayer is finally made , we break the day’s fast with a light meal really more of a snack called an iftar, before performing the evening prayer. Many people also go to the mosque for the evening prayer, followed by a special prayer that is only recited during Ramadan.

This is usually followed by a larger meal a bit later in the evening, which is often shared with family and friends in one another’s homes throughout the month. Then it’s off to bed for a few hours of sleep before it’s time to wake up and start all over again.

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What Is Ramadan And Why Is It Important

Throughout the Ramadan period, adult Muslims of able body and mind will fast for 30 days between dusk and dawn and break their fast with a traditional meal called ‘Iftar‘. This fast includes abstaining from eating or drinking anything, and sexual intimacy until sunset. Many observers also choose to stay away from smoking, taking medicine and chewing gum during this time window. These fasting periods can range from 11-16 hours per day. Before fasting each day, Muslims will begin with a pre-fast meal called ‘suhur‘, and then begin the ‘fajr‘, the first prayer of the day. At dusk, Muslims celebrate with the meal known as the ‘iftar‘, which means “breaking the fast”, often shared with family and friends.

During Ramadan, it is common to give to charity, otherwise known as Zakt which is a fixed percentage of income a believer is required to give to the poor the practice is obligatory as one of the pillars of Islam.

The holy month gives Muslims a period of spiritual reflection as believers will also avoid negative acts like gossiping, lying, or arguing during the month.

On the first day of Ramadan, it is customary to wish someone a ‘Happy Ramadan’ by saying ‘Ramadan Mubarak‘. Alternatively, you can say ‘Ramadan Kareem‘ which translates into ‘Have a generous Ramadan’.

Advice For The Laity And Mosque Committees

No one can claim that one should merely follow the textual evidences since the issue is related to interpretation. It is true that some individuals might not be convinced with a particular conclusion, yet it would be destructive to the deen of Allh to leave it to individual choice. The Muslim is obliged to abandon many of his own conclusions for those agreed upon by the consensus of the scholars which is invariably based upon the Qurn and Sunnah. Indeed, an individual might adopt a particular conclusion himself, but he should not instruct others to abandon the mainstream Islamic opinion for his own personal conclusion. I appeal to committees of mosques not to conclude on any matter which is divergent from those adopted by the overwhelming majority of Muslims. The basis for this is the authority given by the sharah to the consensus of Muslim scholars. The Prophet stated that his Ummah would never agree on an error and thus the minority opinion cannot stand against the vast majority where the overwhelming majority is in fact equivalent to consensus.

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What Are The Ramadan Fasting Rules

The most commonly accepted rule is that you must not eat or drink anything during hours of daylight, and must also abstain from sexual activity. Even water should not be drunk.

You are exempt from fasting if you are:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Very ill
  • Travelling long distances

During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from things like violence, anger, envy, greed and lust, and trying harder to get along with everybody.

Many Muslims will wake up before sunrise each day and eat a large meal, called the Sahoor. They then engage in the days first session of prayer, known as the Fajr.

The fast is broken with the Iftar meal after sunset, which precedes the Maghrib, the fourth prayer of the day.

Devout Muslims always pray five times a day, and these prayers take on added significance during Ramadan.

Tell Me A Little About Its History


The month Ramadan existed well before Islam came to Mecca in the 7th century.

Muslims believe that the Quran, the Islamic holy book, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan, about 1400 years ago.

The Quran itself says: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights the month, let him fast it and whoever is ill or on a journey then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that which He has guided you and perhaps you will be grateful.

Since then, Ramadan has been observed and celebrated by Muslims around the world.

Moonsighting the practice of spotting the new moon on the first night of each Islamic month with the naked eye is a tradition that has endured.

The word Ramadan originates from the Arabic root ar-ramad, which means scorching, intense dryness or heat.

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