Muslims’ Holy Month of Ramadan Starts Tonight

Muslims around the world are celebrating Ramadan this month by reading the Quran, praying, fasting and doing good works.

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. This year, Ramadan will begin in the evening of Monday, April 12, and ends in the evening of Wednesday, May 12.

Almost 2 million Muslims observe Ramadan.

Ramadan follows the lunar calendar, based on the phases of the moon. The lunar calendar is about 354 days, about 11 days shorter than the standard 365 day calendar.

So, Ramadan is on a different day each year, and moves back about 11 days each year.

Ramadan is celebrated as the month during which Muhammad received the initial revelations of the Quran, the holy book for Muslims.

Muslims believe the Quran, the holy text of Islam, was given to Muhammad through God 1,400 years ago. Muhammad lived in Saudi Arabia and is considered the founder of Islam.

There are five duties of Islam, and the first is fasting during Ramadan. Children, though, are not required to fast for Ramadan until they reach puberty.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset, meaning they do not eat, drink or even chew gum.

Muslims also try not to think bad thoughts or feel bad feelings, like anger or jealously. They also try not to gossip.

Ramadan is also a celebration and a time to be joyful.

Ramadan ends in Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

Families and friends come together to eat, exchange presents and enjoy each others company, kind of like Christmas.

Wishing your friends a Happy Ramadan

You can wish Muslim friends a happy Ramadan by saying "Happy Ramadan" or "Happy Eid."

You can also use the standard greeting,...

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