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This article is about religious observances during the month of Ramadan. For the actual calendar month, see Ramadan (calendar month).
ManamaBahrain: A crescent moon can be seen over palm trees at sunset marking the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramadan in that region
Observed byMuslims
TypeMuslim, cultural
Ends29, or 30 Ramadan
DateVariable (follows the Islamiclunar calendar)
2011 date1–30 August[1]
2012 date20 or 21 July (may vary per region)[2]
CelebrationsCommunal Iftars
Observancessawm (fasting), zakat &sadaqa (alms giving), tarawihprayer, salat (prayer), reading the Quran
Related toEid ul-FitrLaylat al-Qadr
Ramadan (Arabicرمضان‎ RamaḍānIPA: [rɑmɑˈdˤɑːn]variations PersianRamazān‎; UrduRamzānTurkishRamazan) is the ninth month of the lunarIslamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days according to the visual sightings of the crescent moon according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in Hadiths.[3][4][5] It is the Muslim month of fasting, in which Muslims refrain from dawn until sunset from eating, drinking, and sexual relations.[

Chapter 2, Revelation 185 of the Quran states:
The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.
Thus, via the Quran, Muslims are informed that Muhammad, first received revelations in the lunar month of Ramadan. Therefore, the month of Ramadan is considered to be the most sacred month of the months of the lunar Islamic calendar, the recording of which began with the Hijra.

 Hilāl (the crescent) is typically a day (or more) after the astronomical new moon. Since the new moon indicates the beginning of the new month, Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning of Ramadan.[12] However, to many Muslims, this is not in accordance with authenticated Hadiths stating that visual confirmation per region is recommended. Nevertheless, the consistent variations of a day have existed since the time of Muhammad.[13]

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. Sexual intercourse among spouses is allowed after one has ended the daily fast. During fasting, intercourse is prohibited as well as eating and drinking, and resistance of all temptations is encouraged. Purity of both thoughts and actions is important. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. It also teaches Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control,[15] sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity (Zakat).[16]
It becomes compulsory for Muslims to start fasting when they reach puberty, so long as they are healthy, sane and have no disabilities or illnesses. The elderly, the chronically ill, and the mentally ill are exempt from fasting, although the first two groups must endeavor to feed the poor in place of their missed fasting. Also exempt are pregnant women if they believe it would be harmful to them or the unborn baby, women during the period of their menstruation, and women nursing their newborns. A difference of opinion exists among Islamic scholars as to whether this last group must make up the days they miss at a later date, or feed poor people as a recompense for days missed.[17]While fasting is not considered compulsory in childhood, many children endeavour to complete as many fasts as possible as practice for later life. Lastly, those traveling (musaafir) are exempt, but must make up the days they miss.[18] More specifically, Twelver Shī‘ah define those who travel more than 14 mi (23 km) in a day are exempt.[16]


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