Important Information About Ramadan--The Islamic Holy Month

Muslims around the world anticipate the arrival of the holiest month of the year. During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims from all continents unite in a period of fasting and spiritual reflection.

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Ramadan Basics

Reading the Quran during Ramadan
A Muslim man reads the Quran during Ramadan, London. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Each year, Muslims spend the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observing a community-wide fast. The annual fast of Ramadan is considered one of the five "pillars" of Islam. Muslims who are physically able are required to fast each day of the entire month, from sunrise to sunset. The evenings are spent enjoying family and community meals, engaging in prayer and spiritual reflection, and reading from the Qur'an.

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Observing the Fast of Ramadan

The fast of Ramadan has both spiritual significance and physical effects. In addition to the basic requirements of the fast, there are additional and recommended practices that allow people to gain the most benefit from the experience.

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Special Needs

The Ramadan fast is vigorous, and there are special rules for those who may find it physically difficult to participate in the fast.

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Reading During Ramadan

The first verses of the Quran were revealed during the month of Ramadan, and the very first word was: "Read!" During the month of Ramadan, as well as other times during the year, Muslims are encouraged to read and reflect on God's guidance.

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Celebrating Eid al-Fitr

At the end of the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world enjoy a three-day holiday known as "Eid al-Fitr" (Festival of Fast-Breaking).