Ramadan is the beginning of fasting among Muslims (03/04)

Ramadan (Arabic) or Ramadan (Turkish) is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. This month is the most important and honorable for Muslims. Throughout the month, a strict fast (“uraza”) is observed, which implies the rejection of water, food and intimate relationships during daylight hours.

“O you who believe! Fasting is just as obligatory for you as it was for those who came before you. Perhaps you will be God-fearing [by fulfilling this divine command]” (Holy Quran, 2:183).

Refusal to eat, from the time when “the black thread begins to differ from white” until the full sunset, is not an end in itself. The meaning of abstinence and fasting in general is the strengthening of faith, spiritual growth, rethinking one's lifestyle, priorities. Fasting for Muslims is, first of all, an opportunity to get away from the forbidden, to determine for oneself the true values of life.

Fasting is prescribed for all sexually mature Muslims and is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is especially noted that those who are not able to observe it are exempted from fasting: the elderly or Muslims with chronic diseases. But then a Muslim must feed the poor for each day of fasting or provide assistance to the needy (in the amount of not less than the amount that he spends on food per day). Also, those whom Ramadan found on the way or who under other circumstances do not allow fasting are exempted from fasting. In this case, the missed days of fasting are made up on the days of the next month.

The month of Ramadan and fasting ends with the second most important Muslim holiday, Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan Bayram), which begins at sunset on the last day of Ramadan and continues on the 1st and 2nd of the next month of Shawwal. After the completion of the collective prayer in the mosque on the 1st day of the month of Shawwal, Muslims go to a festive meal, during which it is customary to treat not only relatives and friends, but also neighbors and acquaintances (regardless of their religion). The distribution of alms (sadaqah) is a prerequisite for the celebration. Also on holidays it is customary to visit the graves of relatives.