Muslims around the world are preparing for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which starts in the UK today.
1. Ramadan is celebrated on the ninth month on the Muslim calendar, and lasts either 29 or 30 days in a lunar month.
2. Muslims believe that Ramadan is the holiest month of the year, when the Qur’an was first shown to Muhammad.
3. During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to not drink or eat during daylight hours, although pregnant women and young children are usually excused from fasting.
4. Reykkavik, the capital of Iceland, has the longest lasting fast in the world, with the fast starting just after 2am and finishing at midnight. Thats about 22 hours long!
6. In Egypt where Muslims are the majority, the clock is put back an hour during Ramadan so that it feels like the fasting ends earlier.
7. During the month of Ramadan, many Muslims choose to give more to charity than they do at other times of the year, as the rewards of charity are considered greater at this time.
8. Ramadan was based on a pagan “Moon God” festival that lasted from moon rise to moon set. It was later adapted to sunrise to sunset by the prophet Muhammad.
9. Traditionally, the fast is broken with dates, which have essential carbohydrates, lots of potassium, magnesium, and
fibre, all of which are important for the body after a day of deprivation.
10. A worldwide celebration called Eid al Fitr marks the end of the fast. Its festival begins as soon as the new moon comes in to view.