Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is observed annually by Muslim faithfuls and is celebrated as the month where the first verses of the Quran are said to be revealed to the Prophet Mohammed in 610 CE. During this time, Muslims abstain from food, drink and other pleasures from dawn to dusk and instead focus on prayer and spirituality for a pure mind and body. During this time, they also involve themselves in charity activities.
Referred to as the Holy Month, this is a time for peace, reflection and fasting and unless you practice Islam, you may not know much about this holiday. Here are a few myths and facts about Ramadan that you should know about.
Myth 1 : Muslims are allowed to take fluids during their daily fasting period
Fact: Any consumption of fluids for nourishment during fasting hours breaks the fast; and this includes water.
Myth 2 : Muslims who are fasting cannot swallow anything including their saliva as it breaks the fast.
Fact: Swallowing your own saliva does not break the fast because saliva is produced by the body in its own natural process. It does not come from outside the body and is not used for the purpose of nourishment.
Myth 3 : Ramadan requires complete fasting for 30 days.
Fact: While the holiday does require Muslims to fast. the fast is also known as Saum, meaning it is only done during daylight hours. Muslims observe Suhur and Iftar, i.e eating before the sun rises and after the sun sets.
Myth 4: All Muslims are required to fast, no mater what
Fact: As much as Islam requires everyone to fast during the holy month, not everybody fasts during this time. Pregnant women, children, those who are unwell and the elderly are exempted from the fast. If possible, a person is expected to compensate lost time later, when they are able to.
Myth 5: Fasting is only about abstaining from food and drink
Fact: For Muslims, fasting is not only about abstaining from food and drink. It is also about cleansing the spirit and most faithfuls also avoid anything that may distract them from their devotion. This may include listening to music, sex, arguments and other factors that may cause distraction. Some even read the entire Quran during this time and aim to become a better person through selfless acts and being closer to God through prayer.
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