What non muslims need to know about Ramadan

Ramazan 2018: Holy month of fasting starts in Gulf and far East countries from May 17

Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC) has called on Muslims to observe the fasting month of Ramadan by supporting the needy, and tending to displaced citizens.

The thin crescent moon marking the beginning of a new month in the Islamic calendar is called Hilal and is used to predict the start of Ramadan.

The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees. Muslims will begin fasting Thursday at 3:30 AM and break their fast at 9:29 PM.

"The AFP-most especially the Muslims amongst us-is one with the Islamic faith in wishing that this month-long period of penance, prayer and reflection remind each one of us of the value of peace, love and sense of community", Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.

Initially most of the Muslim majority countries followed the dates set for Ramadan by Saudi Arabia Authorities. It is also a chance to kick addictions like caffeine and cigarettes.

Ramazan 2018: Holy month of fasting starts in Gulf and far East countries from May 17

During the entirety of Ramadan, which ends at sunset on the final day, Muslims do not eat, drink, have sex or smoke while the sun is up.

Fasting during Ramadan is mandated among physically and mentally sane Muslims in fulfillment of one of the five pillars of Islam. At night, many fill mosques for evening prayers, known as "taraweeh".

Ramadan is a holy month for the world's almost 1.5 billion Muslims, many of whom practise the ritual of dawn-to-dusk fasting and prayers.

There are some exemptions from fasting: you can eat and drink if you are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating. Observers are allowed to eat a pre-dawn meal, including power foods like dates, yogurt and fava beans, to get them through the day, according to USA Today. It is also believed that the holy book of Quran was written during this month.

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