THE HOLY month of Ramadan is considered a time of spiritual reflection, fasting and prayers.
Muslims across the globe abstain from eating or drinking between dawn and sundown during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.The first meal of the day starts with water and dates after sunsetCredit: Alamy
When does Ramadan 2021 start?
The first day of Ramadan begins on April, 13, 2021.
Fasting will begin at sunrise after suhur and then finish at sunset with iftar.
All Muslims who have reached puberty are expected to fast during Ramadan.
However, there are some exceptions such as women who are menstruating or pregnant and those suffering from illness.
Children are expected to fast only after they have reached puberty, usually by the age of 14.
Ramadan timetable - when to eat Sehri and Iftar
The Ramadan timetable is as follows, available from Islamic Relief.
How long does it last and when will it end?
The fasting during Ramadan lasts for 30 days.
The last day is on May, 12, 2021, when the final iftar should take place.Muslims across the globe celebrate Ramadan
What is Ramadan?
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from eating or drinking during daylight hours.
If a fast is broken, it will need to be compensated for by fasting at a later date.
Alternatively they can pay "fidyah", which is a religious term for donation of food or money.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, so all adult Muslims are expected to fast.
It is believed that abstaining from these activities will lead to greater "taqwa", or consciousness of God.
Muslims eat a pre-dawn meal before the fasting begins, called Sehri.
Sehri is supposed to be a hearty, healthy meal to provide needed energy throughout a day of fasting — it ends when the sun rises and the fajr, or morning prayer, begins.
Iftar and maghrib prayers take place when Muslims break fasting.
The meal at sunset often includes dates and involves sharing in the community.
The month is traditionally viewed as a sacred time for worshipping Allah and it offers an opportunity for devotion, reflection and celebration of the mercy and love of Allah.