The blessed month of Ramadan is just around the corner.
Ramadan is integral to Islamic faith and sees Muslims all over the world commemorate the occasion through reflection, contemplation and celebration.
Ramadan is observed by Muslims as a month of fasting and takes place from mid-May to mid-June, although the exact dates depend on the sighting of the moon.
Here’s everything you need to know about Ramadan 2019:
When does Ramadan 2019 start?
As the Islamic calendar is based around the lunar cycle, Ramadan rotates by approximately ten days each year.
This year Ramadan begins on the evening of Sunday 5 May and ends on Tuesday 4 June.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is held during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is a time for spiritual reflection, acts of charity and spending time with loved ones.
It is also a month when Muslims fast. This means they don’t eat or drink between sunrise and sunset, which is important during Ramadan as it allows them to devote themselves further to their faith, ultimately becoming closer to Allah.
The reason why Muslims fast is because it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, the other pillars being faith, prayer, charity and making the pilgrimage to Mecca – the Holy City.
Before sunrise, they will have a meal (suhoor) and another meal (iftar) after sunset. The only people that do not have to fast during Ramadan are children, the elderly, pregnant women and those who are travelling or who are ill.
What happens when Ramadan ends?
Eid al-Fitr is a festival and celebration that marks the end of Ramadan. This year, it will begin at the first sight of the new moon on 4 June.
What is Eid ul Adha? When does it start?
Beginning on 11 August and ending on 15 August, Eid ul Adha is also known as the Greater Eid and is regarded as the second most important festival in the Muslim calendar.
Observed by Muslims around the world, it marks the culmination of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorates Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his son in order to obey God but was stopped by God who provided him with an animal to sacrifice instead.
To commemorate this, Muslims will feast on an animal but will divide it into three parts. They will give one part to the poor and those in need, one part to friends and they will share one part with their family.