When is Ramadan 2017 and what are the rules of fasting in Islam’s holy month
MILLIONS of Muslims are preparing for Ramadan, a holy month of fasting and religious devotion
The festival falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, beginning in May – so what is it all about, how does fasting work and why does the start
date vary from year to year
When is Ramadan 2017?
This year Ramadan will start on May 27 and will finish on June 24, both Saturdays.
Following this, Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr which is often known as just Eid.
The Eid celebration, which is to be held on June 25, marks the end of the Ramadan fasting and the start of the next month, Shawwal.
Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk but are able to enjoy feasts in the evening.
Dedicated Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking throughout the entire day, with a single puff of a cigarette or sip of water considered enough to invalidate their efforts.
The period is intended to bring religious followers closer to God and to remind them of people who are less fortunate.How else is Ramadan marked?Ramadan is considered a time for intense prayer and religious devotion, with Muslims encouraged to observe five daily prayers throughout the day.Many will recite the Quran just before sunset and the start of their feasting.Often people will donate money to charity during Ramadan and help to feed the hungry.And Muslims will also take the time to cut down on other vices such as gossiping, swearing and fighting.Married couples refrain from sexual intercourse during the day.
Can Muslims be exempt from fasting during Ramadan?
There are a few groups that don’t have to follow the strict fasting during the month.
These include children, the sick, the elderly and women who are either pregnant or on their period.
There are other special circumstances that can see people let off, such as athletes competing in a tournament or during periods of travel.
Why do the dates of Ramadan change each year?
The Islamic calendar is different from the widely-used Gregorian calendar.
It is based on the moon’s cycle, whereas the Gregorian one is determined by the sun.
As the two don’t align, the Islamic dates move back by 11 days each year.