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7 Common Questions About Fasting and Ramadan

Ramadan mubarak 2 human celebrating ramadan

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the holiest month of the year in the Islamic faith and is the ninth month of the Islamic Hijiri calendar. Muslims all over the globe observe it as a month of fasting which is abstaining from food and drinks, smoking, swearing, and sexual activity from sunrise to sunset for 30 days in a row.

Who is obligated to fast?

All healthy adult Muslims.

Who is exempt from fasting?

Children who have not reached puberty, the elderly, those who are physically or mentally incapable of fasting, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and travellers.

Why do Muslims fast?

As one of the five pillars of Islam, fasting during Ramadan can teach the practice of spiritual and self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, compassion and empathy for those who are less fortunate.

When does Ramadan start in 2022?

The start of Ramadan can change depending on the country. In some countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Turkiye it will start on Saturday, April 2.

Why do different countries start the holy month on different dates?

The starting date can differ due to disagreements on:

  1.  An international moon sighting.
  2. Whether aids such as telescopes can be used to sight the new moon.
  3. Whether definite astronomical calculations should take precedence over sightings by eye.

Why does the starting date change every year?

The month of Ramadan is calculated according to the Hijri calendar. The Hijri calendar follows the lunar cycle, i.e. a new month begins with each new moon. This makes the year 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar.

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