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  The holy month of Ramadan is here
Updated 06 November 2003, 10.32

Ramadan is a month of fasting during which the Muslims remember when the prophet Muhammed was given the Koran - the sacred book of Islam.

Fatemeh writes about what this religious festivity means, describing what Muslims do during Ramadan

"The holy month of Ramadan is here, and I wanted to explain what it means to me as a Muslim.

What happens during it

The month of Ramadan is when fasting for Muslims is vital. This is when all Muslims do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset.

This is done for 30 days each year, during which you are expected to read the Koran at least once.


At the end of Ramadan, we celebrate a festival called Eid-al-Fitr.

Fasting

Fasting means I must get up early, before sunrise, so I can have something to eat for the day ahead. These times vary as the Islamic calendar is based on the positions of the moon.

Winter is the best season for fasting as there are shorter daylight hours, while it is agonising in summer.

Towards midday, I am very hungry as it is the time I normally have lunch, but as the day progresses I get used to it. It's traditional to break your fast with dates and tea.

A time to look up to

Although it deprives me of doing such things as swimming, I always look forward to Ramadan, and not just because of the festival that follows!

This holy month gives me a lot of time to think about the famine and poverty surrounding us.

So, if you see any of your Muslim friends on 26th November, don't forget to wish them Happy Eid-al-Fitr!"

Fatemeh, 12, Birmingham


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