In the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, as soon as the moon is sighted, Muslims are required to fast. The fast begins from the break of dawn until sunset, and is compulsory upon every Muslim. This includes abstinence from food, drink and sexual intercourse. One must also be physically and mentally able to fast. Further, travelers are exempt from fasting (those who are sick or are travelling must make up the days that were missed later). Fasting promotes patience, discipline and increases purity of the mind and piety.
The month of the Ramadan, is one of the holiest months in the Islamic Calendar.
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It is the month in which the Quran was revealed and a month in which the gates of Heaven are opened while the gates of Hell are closed. Fasting in this month is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Allah speaks about this month in the Quran, where He states:
“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”
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