Ramadan: 6 facts about the holy month for non-muslims

Muslims around the world are counting down the days to prepare for the end of Ramadan.


Every year, most will be familiar with frequently asked questions from non-Muslims who are curious about the opening of Eid.

Look no further, here are six frequently asked questions non-Muslims have about this great holiday.

1. What is actually the month of Ramadan?
Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims – Prophet Muhammed said: “When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of heaven open and the gates of hell close and the devil is chained.”

Muslims believe that during this month God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, to Mohammed, on a night known as the “Night of Power” (or Laylat al- Qadr in Arabic).

2. How does fasting work?
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars or obligations of Islam. People who have:

Testimony of faith
Pilgrimage to Mecca
Fasting in the month of Ramadhan
All Muslims are required to participate every year, except sick people, pregnant women, lactating mothers, menstruating women, tourists, the elderly and young children.

Fasting during the month of Ramadhan is meant to remind you of human weakness and your dependence on God, to show you what it is like to be hungry and thirsty so that you feel compassion for the poor and needy, and to reduce distractions in your life so you can focus more clearly on your relationship with God.

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Veganism isn’t just about food too. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from drinking any liquids, smoking, and engaging in any sexual activity, from dawn to dusk.

3. So do you lose weight during Ramadan?
Are not. Some of you are thinking, “Wow, that sounds like a great way to lose weight!” Oh no. Ramadan is really notorious for often causing weight gain. That’s because eating multiple meals early in the morning and late at night with long periods of inactivity leading to a sluggishness between meals can wreak havoc on your metabolism.

4. Why does the day of Ramadan change every year?
For religious matters, the Muslim lunar calendar — that is, a calendar based on the cycles of the moon — has 12 months that add up to approximately 354 days. That’s 11 days shorter than our Gregorian calendar. As a result, the Islamic lunar year continues to fall back about 11 days per year from the Gregorian calendar.

5. What can I do to respect my Muslim friends during Ramadan?
In some Muslim countries, it is illegal to eat and drink in public during the day of Ramadan, even if you are not Muslim. This is not the case in Uganda and our Muslim brothers do not expect us to change our eating habits to accommodate their religious fasting during Ramadan.

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