By: Yumna Abajebel

I’m sure we’re all wondering what the holiday Ramadan really is about. In the religion of Islam Muslim, Ramadan marks the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

When the crescent moon is sighted in Saudi Arabia, it starts the long awaited month of fasting. Ramadan isn’t only about fasting, it’s a month about giving zakat (charity), making prayers, and forgiveness for the sake of Allah (God).

The real reason why we fast is to be grateful for what we have, and see what it’s like for people who are less fortunate. Usually, we don’t have food or drinks from sunrise to sunset. Before the sun rises we have to have a filling meal. Then towards sunset, you have to start preparing for dinner, which is called Iftar, and is at an exact time. You can eat anything you want, but have to stop right before sunrise.

Fasting is mandatory in Islam once you hit the age of puberty, exceptions being extend for people who are either ill, diabetic, traveling, pregnant, or women in their menstrual period.

Towards the end of the month, Laylat al-Qadr starts; it’s one of five odd-numbered nights which fall during the last 10 days. Those last days are the most spirited days of the month which is spent praying all you can and asking for forgiveness of all your past sins.

Then, on the 30th night, the new crescent moon has to be sighted for the completion of the thirty days of fasting. After the moon is sighted, it marks the beginning of Shawwal, the next lunar month.

Then sparks up the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. Eid is the celebration after Ramadan that lasts for 3 days. It’s spent wearing the best clothes you have, being with family, and eating all the food you can. Muslim people all around the world are the happiest during this time. They spend all year preparing and waiting for this holy month. We don’t have that many holidays in our religion, but Ramadan and Eid will forever make up for that.

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