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Understanding Ramadan

Ramadan is the month-long fast undertaken by Muslims annually.  It is rigorous (for you Catholics, Lent is a cake-walk compared to Ramadan).  For Muslims in North America, Ramadan starts today (Ramadan is  "moveable" as it depends on the lunar schedule.)  I found this article at Patheos to informative and easy to understand:

(Click on the quote to get the whole article.)

What is important to know about Ramadan?
Ramadan (also written as Ramazan, Ramzan, Ramadhan, Ramdan, Ramadaan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the Muslim patience, modesty and spirituality
Ramadan is a time for Muslims to fast for the sake of Allah and to offer more prayer than usual. During Ramadan, Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds. As compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving backwards about ten days each year as it is a moving holiday depending on the moon. The Islamic calendar follows a lunar cycle. Ramadan was the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were said to be revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

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