According to the sighting of the crescent moon, this year the Muslim holy month of Ramadan will begin on Monday 6 June.
Fasting Muslims do not eat during daylight hours and pray throughout the day and night.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology that can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart.
The fast is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate than themselves.
Muslims often give to charities during the month, and mosques and aid organisations organise free meals for the public every night.
Fasting also is seen as a way to physically and spiritually detoxify through exercising self-restraint.
Sexual intercourse between spouses is off-limits during the day, while Muslims also are encouraged to be mindful of their behavior and to avoid gossiping, cursing and quarreling.
Islamic Relief UK has released the following prayer timetable, via the East London Mosque with timings applicable for London. Local variations in the United Kingdom have also been provided on the website.
‘Fajr’ refers to the first prayers at dawn. Zuhr is the time for noon prayers, Asr for afternoon, Maghrib for evening worship and Isha for nighttime.
The four-week ceremony will draw to a close on the evening of Tuesday, 5 July.
The end of Ramadan is marked by Eid al-Fitr, which culminates in scenes of merriment and thanksgiving, with families and friends gathering to exchange gifts, enjoy food and festively decorate their homes.
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