You may have heard that Ramadan is approaching, and might be wondering just what it is. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic year, which is much different from the Gregorian calendar of Western cultures. Observed worldwide by Muslims, it's a month of strict daytime fasting and prayer. It commemorates the month in which Allah revealed the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad. It's also the most sacred and holy of months in Muslim culture and widely regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.


1. What Are the Five Pillars of Islam?

Where Christians have the ten commandments, Muslims have five basic rules known as the Five Pillars of Islam. These are rules that all strict Muslims should follow. The Five Pillars include the Shahadah, a declaration of faith; Prayer, Muslims must pray five times a day; Fasting from dawn until dusk, as done during Ramadan; Charity, each Muslim must give money or services to others; and Hajj, the Pilgrimage to Mecca. Every year, millions of Muslims take this pilgrimage to the holiest of cities, following in the footsteps of Muhammad.

young boy ramadan traditional clothes JGalione / Getty Images


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