What is Ramadan, and why is it significant?

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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a period of fasting, prayer, reflection, and community.

It commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad and is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam, representing the essential acts of worship.

How do Muslims observe fasting during Ramadan?

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Muslims fast from dawn until sunset during Ramadan, abstaining from food, drink, smoking, and other physical needs.

The fast is not only a test of self-discipline but also a means of spiritual purification, fostering empathy for the less fortunate and strengthening one’s relationship with God.

What are the exceptions to fasting during Ramadan?

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Certain individuals are exempt from fasting, including children, the elderly, pregnant or nursing women, travellers, and those with medical conditions that could be exacerbated by fasting.   However, they are encouraged to make up for missed fasts or provide alternative forms of worship.

How do Muslims break their fast during Ramadan?

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The fast is typically broken with dates and water, following the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad.

Muslims then engage in Maghrib (sunset) prayers before partaking in Iftar, the evening meal, which often includes a variety of nutritious foods shared with family and friends.

What role does charity play during Ramadan?

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Ramadan emphasises the importance of charity and giving back to the community. Muslims are encouraged to engage in acts of kindness, generosity, and philanthropy, including donating to those in need, feeding the hungry, and supporting charitable organisations.

What is Laylat al-Qadr, and why is it significant during Ramadan?

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Laylat al-Qadr, often translated as the Night of Power, is considered the holiest night of the year in Islam.

It commemorates the night when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and is believed to occur during the last ten days of Ramadan.

Muslims engage in intensive worship and prayer during this time, seeking spiritual blessings and forgiveness.

How do Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan?

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Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of Breaking the Fast, marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with communal prayers, feasting, and festivities.

Muslims exchange greetings, give gifts, and engage in acts of charity to spread joy and gratitude for the blessings received during the holy month.

How can non-Muslims show support and understanding during Ramadan?

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Non-Muslims can show respect and support for their Muslim friends, colleagues, and neighbours during Ramadan by being mindful of their fasting and prayer schedules, offering words of encouragement, and participating in interfaith events or charitable activities.

It’s also essential to educate oneself about Ramadan and its significance to foster mutual understanding and inclusivity within diverse communities.

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