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The Islamic holy month of Ramadan begins Sunday July 31,211. with Muslims required to fast from dawn to dusk as well as perform good works.Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 to 30 days. Ramadan starts with the sighting of the new moon on the last day of the Islamic month of Shaban.

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Fasting is one of the so-called Five Pillars of Islam, which include affirmation of belief in Allah, praying five times a day facing Mecca, alms giving or zakat, and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) at least once in a lifetime, especially for those with means. This season is for offering prayers for peace, unity in religious diversity and most importantly, for reflections on the importance of self-restraint as a guide to achieve oneness with Allah and with people regardless of religions and races.

The sick, the elderly, lactating mothers, menstruating women, and those traveling to far places, are exempted from fasting.

It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God. Muslims fast for the sake of God and to offer more prayer than usual. Compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving backwards by about eleven days each year depending on the moon; thus, a person will have fasted every day of the calendar year in 34 years’ time. Muslims believe Ramadan to be an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.

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