Each year, Muslims spend the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observing a community-wide fast. The annual fast of Ramadan is considered one of the five "pillars" of Islam. Muslims who are physically able are required to fast each day of the entire month, from sunrise to sunset. The evenings are spent enjoying family and community meals, engaging in prayer and spiritual reflection, and reading from the Quran.
Observing the Fast of RamadanThe fast of Ramadan has both spiritual significance and physical effects. In addition to the basic requirements of the fast, there are additional and recommended practices in order to gain the most benefit from the experience.
Special Populations During Ramadan
The Ramadan fast is vigorous, and there are special rules for those who may find it physically difficult to participate in the fast.
Reading During RamadanThe first verses of the Quran were revealed during the month of Ramadan, and the very first word was: "Read!" During the month of Ramadan, as well as other times during the year, Muslims are encouraged to read and reflect on God's guidance.
Celebrating Eid al-Fitr
At the end of the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world enjoy a 3-day holiday known as "Eid al-Fitr" (Festival of Fast-Breaking).