People at school might be wondering why their friends are fasting. The answer is Ramadan, the ninth month on the Islamic calendar. It is a month where Muslims around the world refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. Fasting is the fifth pillar of Islam which makes it obligatory to all Muslims. It begins and ends with the appearance of a full moon. The month helps Muslims practice self-resistance from behaviors, thoughts and anything which is considered to be impure in the Islamic religion. Ramadan is the month Muslims believe the holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W).
During the month of Ramadan, the healthy Muslims fast while children, the disabled, the pregnant, travelers, and the mentally or physically ill are exempted. After sunset prayer, Maghrib, Muslims gather in their homes or masjid and break their fast with a meal called Iftar. Iftar begins with dates and a cup of water as the custom (Sunnah) of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W). We finish off this month with a three day celebration called Eid- Ul-Fitr.
Around 1.5 billion Muslims will be fasting during this month and most of us like to take it easy. While there are people who are going through really tough circumstances but still keep their fast strong. A really good example is NBA player Enes Kanter, who has been fasting ever since he was a child but this year there’s a twist. This year Kanter will be fasting while playing in the NBA postseason.
Ramadan is more than just fasting, it is cleansing your soul from everything that Allah (God) has forbidden. Muslims should pray their five daily prayers. They also often donate to charities during the month and feed the hungry. Fasting is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.