divine revelation recorded in the Qur'an.
The event begins when authorities in Saudi Arabia sight the new moon of the 9th month. This month is the holiest period of the Islamic Year and adults fast from sunrise to sunset. All physically mature and healthy Muslims are required to abstain from all food, drink, gum chewing, any kind of tobacco use, and any kind of sexual contact between dawn and sunset.
From a spiritual point of view they are also expected to refrain from gossiping, lying, slandering and all traits of bad character.
People are also required to avoid all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds, and to focus on purity of thought and action. The fasting is meant to teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity.
During the month of Ramadan Muslims should spend time on spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends.
Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The others are
- Faith (Shahadah)
- Prayer (Salah)
- Charitable giving (Zakah)
- The pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj).
When Ramadan ends, Muslims give a locally prescribed amount of money (to feed one poor person in that region for one day) to charity.
At the beginning of Ramadan, it is appropriate to wish Muslims "Ramadan Mubarak" which means "Blessed Ramadan."
At its conclusion, you may say "Eid Mubarak".