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Ramadan: A Month of Fasting and Faith

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The Muslim holiday of Ramadan is a monthlong observance. It honors the revelation of the Holy Word to Muhammad.

During this month, Muslims fast (or don't eat or drink) for the entire time the Sun is up. At sundown, they have a special meal called the iftar. They then go out and visit family and friends.

It is common during Ramadan for Muslims to pray many times during the day or the night. Prayers are said at least five times a day, and Ramadan prayers (called Taraweeh) are usually much longer than ordinary prayers.

On the 27th day of the month of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the Al-Qadr, or Night of Power. This is the night on which Allah delivered the Quran to Muhammad. And, the Quran says, it is on this night that Allah determines the course of the world for the next year.

After an entire month, Ramadan ends with the feast of Eid-Ul-Fitr. Friends and families get together for large meals and togetherness. Some cities have large celebrations.

In all, Ramadan is usually a quiet time, spent mostly in prayer and inner thoughts. Nightly meals are usually quiet gatherings. The focus is on faith.

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