Ramadan is the time of year when Muslims across the world fast by not eating during daylight hours. Ramadan is scheduled to happen this year from 18th June to 16th July, but every year the dates change because of the lunar calendar.
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam which all Muslims must do. The other pillars are:
- The declaration of faith
- Praying five times a day
- Giving money to charity
- Going on a pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia.
Muslims participate in Ramadan to teach themselves about self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity to other people. They eat only two meals a day, before sunrise and after sundown. People who cannot take part in Ramadan include young children, travellers and people who are sick who need to eat to get better.
People prepare for Ramadan by sleeping earlier, as well as visiting relatives. At the end of Ramadan there is a big celebration called Eid-ul-Fitr and this is when they break the fast, and celebrate with others. They also give back to the poor by giving them money to get new clothes and food.
I hope that you have learned a lot about Ramadan from this report. If you want to know more about what a Muslim’s experience of Ramadan is like, then read the interview below.
An Interview with Hani Bukhzam, Gym Instructor, Greenbank College
Can you tell us a little bit about Ramadan?
Ramadan is when people fast. That doesn’t mean people stop eating completely. If you are sick or on medication you do not have to fast. Ramadan is about how to control yourself. It is about how to control your eating and how not to do bad things like, for example, swearing.
How does fasting impact on your life?
For me it’s not difficult. I practice it every month because that’s what I want. I don’t have to but I get spiritual rewards from it. I can fast for a couple of days each month. If you start young, say sixteen or seventeen years old, fast for an hour, then two hours, then four, it becomes easier for you and not hard. So it is not difficult when you become an adult.
What happens at the end of Ramadan?
It is a big celebration for the Muslim Community everywhere. You give gifts to the kids to encourage them how to fast and take part in Ramadan.