Today marks the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
In the Islamic belief, Ramadan is when the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad, their Islamic prophet. The Ramadan season, then, is a commemorative thanksgiving observed worldwide through prayer and fasting from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex. During the month-long celebration, Muslims also come together to pray and recite passages from the Qur’an.
However, this fasting only takes place from sunrise to sunset, meaning that beyond daylight hours, Muslims can eat. Also, if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, elderly, or if you’re on your period, fasting isn’t required.
Muslims who are in observance of the Ramadan will not retreat from their daily routine and are encouraged to do work and go on with their usual activities. And while most Muslim-owned restaurants could be closed during sunlight, expect them to reopen and be packed after sunset.
Here are some guidelines you can follow if you’re a non-Muslim.
The Ramadan ends on Eid’l Fitr, literally “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” which is when the fasting is officially ended. It has been a national holiday in the Philippines since 2002, and this year, it will fall on July 18. On this day, shopping malls and public transportation will run as usual, with the exception of some Muslim businesses closing for a limited time during the day. [The Guardian]