Essay by SharmeenA, February 2004

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A) Describe what happens in the past of Ramadan.

Ramadan is one of the five Pillars of Islam, also referred to as Sawm. Ramadan is very much essential for all Muslims to take part in, in a way Ramadan is very similar to the Christian event called Lent, where Christians fast. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, as for the calendar used in the UK and most other countries, there is no set date or time for Ramadan, it is constantly changing. As the Islamic calendar is mostly controlled by the moon, Ramadan is ever changing each year. Every year, Ramadan changes by going up ten days, so no year date is the same as the Ramadan date for the year just done. This can become a very difficult month for Muslims when the month of Ramadan is in the summer, where the heat is scorching in many Islamic countries.

It then falls down to the strength of a Muslims faith, and their devotion to God. Ramadan lasts for approximately thirty days in total, each day lasts a certain time. As the days get longer and shorter, varying as each day goes past there is no set time which is the same for every day. A Muslim's fast begins from dawn to dusk, lasting many hours. But this is nothing really compared to what others may feel in the real world, Muslims are just getting a small taste of the agonising hunger, which grows and begins to take it's toll over many peoples' lives. The fast usually begin near the time of Fajr, the first prayer of the day; and finished usually before Magrib, the forth prayer. All Muslims are to fast, it is an essential part of being a Muslim. But certain exceptions...