What Is Ramadan?

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Ramadan is a Muslim religious happening that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the month in which the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which Muslims (who are able to fast) do not eat or drink anything from dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the person patience, sacrifice and humility. Ramadan is a time to fast for the sake of Allah, and to prayer more than normal. During Ramadan, Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in stopping themselves from doing everyday evils, and to try and purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds. Ramadan is a time of reflecting and worshiping God. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. Sexual thoughts and activities during fasting hours are also forbidden. Purity of both thought and action is important. The fast is intended to be an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God. The act of fasting is said to clean the heart from worries of worldly activities, its purpose being able to clean the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the fast is supposed to induce a comfortable feeling of peace and calm. It also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and sympathy for those who are less fortunate. It is also intended to make Muslims more generous and charitable. A certain level of self-control can be lost by those who suffer from eating disorders. The elderly, the ill and the insane are allowed missing the fasting but instead having to feed at least one poor person each day. Also pregnant women, women during the period of their menstruation, and women nursing their newborns, are allowed to Miss Ramadan; though they all must make up the days they miss at another time. Though children don’t have to fast, many children try to do...
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