Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.
Muslim faithful worldwide observe this period by doing a certain number of things;
- They abstain from food and drink during daylight hours. To get through a long day without food, they often wake up early to eat a meal called suhur before daybreak,
- They refrain from smoking and engaging in sexual relations,
- They equally refrain from sinful behaviours that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting except in self-defence.
- Instead, they intensify prayers to Allah,
- They fast and break the fasting in gatherings with family and friends,
- They multiply good deeds around them, especially to the needy.
There are exceptions to fasting for children, the elderly, the sick, women who are pregnant, nursing or menstruating, or people traveling during Ramadan.