|When is Ramadan in 2013?|
Ramadan in 2013 will begin on Wednesday, July 10 and will continue for 30 days until the end of Ramadan on Thursday, August 8.
|What is Ramadan?|
Ramadan corresponds with the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Many Muslims fast during the Ramadan's daylight hours, and prayer is common during the month of Ramadan. It is believed that the first verses of the Koran, or Qu'ran, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan. The Islamic religion believes there are rewards for fasting and that during the month of Ramadan these rewards are amplified. These rewards for fasting are refered to as "sawab" in the Islamic tradition.
Internationally, Muslims observe the month of Ramadan as a month of fasting. Msulims typically begin to participate in Ramadan once they have reached puberty. As an adult Muslim, fasting is required unless one is sick, traveling, expecting a child, breastfeeding, of old age, or if a woman is experiencing menstruation. The fast calls for Muslims to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, or sexual activities from sun up to sun down for the entire month that lasts either twenty-nine or thirty days. The daily fast is referred to as "sawn." Some Muslims also feel called to refrain from swearing.
Before the sun rises, Muslims consume a pre-fast meal that is referred to as "subhoor" before starting their day with the first daily prayer called the "Fajr prayer." AFter the sun sets, Muslims then break the daily fast by eating a meal that is called "iftar." It is common for large groups of people to gather for iftar as they consume the meal in a buffet style.
While fasting, Muslims use the month of Ramadan as a time to reflect and improve in a spiritual manner while increasing devotion and worship. Islam believes that the act of fasting results in the heart being redirected by cleansing the soul and realising harmful impurities from within.
Although participation in Ramadan is not required for children, some choose to begin practicing Ramadan before they reach puberty as a way to practice for when they become an adult.