Religion Unplugged

☪️ For 2 billion Muslims, fasting month of Ramadan has started 🔌

Adherents of Islam abstain from food and water from dawn to dusk.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

Islam’s holy month: The new crescent moon Thursday marked the start of Ramadan, as the Washington Post’s Morgan Coates and Adela Suliman report:

Almost 2 billion Muslims around the world will observe a month of abstaining from food, drink, smoking, gossip and sexual relations during daylight hours — from dawn to dusk.

Pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating women are exempt from fasting, as are the sick, elderly or those traveling. Children are also not expected to fast.

The Associated Press explains:

For the next 30 days, Muslims will refrain from eating or drinking anything — even the tiniest sip of water — from sunrise to sunset. Many will strictly observe prayers, read the Quran and donate to charity as they seek to draw closer to God. Family and friends will gather for joyful nightly feasts.

An important time: Ramadan began “as parts of the Middle East approached crucial junctures in high-stakes peace negotiations during the holy month, traditionally a time of reconciliation,” AP’s Jack Jeffery notes.

Schools and sports: Across the U.S., Muslim students are pushing to designate Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of Ramadan, as a school holiday, Religion News Service’s Alejandra Molina reports.

Meanwhile, two English sports leagues are helping Muslim athletes observe Ramadan this year, according to the Deseret News’ Kelsey Dallas.

Two more Ramadan reads: CNN’s Saeed Ahmed provides an etiquette guide for non-Muslims. The Deseret News’ Mya Jaradat asks, “Is corporate America ready for Ramadan?”

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

Featured photo via Shutterstock

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