Muslims in Uganda and across the world started their month of Ramadan on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, and many of them have taken on the responsibility to fulfill their religious obligations.
But Why do Muslims Fast?
One major practice of Ramadan is fasting from sunrise to sunset.
Muslim people who have reached puberty are called on to fast, a practice of self-restraint intended to bring people closer to God.
It is for Muslims to remember God, to strengthen their relationship with him through an act of piety and sacrifice because it’s tough. It’s not easy to fast for a full month and also abstains from drinking.
Ramadan is also for Muslims to engage in acts of charity by depriving themselves of food and drink.
They remember what it is to face bodily and material deprivation.
Muslim people fasting during Ramadan do not eat food or drink liquids, but it can also mean abstaining from sexual relationships or for smoking, or for any other kind of pleasurable consumption.
Muslim people break their fasts after an evening prayer with a meal called ifṭār. These meals are often communal events with friends and family. While foods at these meals can vary by community, one common choice dates, a reference to the Prophet Muhammad eating dates to break his fast.
People who are pregnant, nursing, or menstruating are often exempt from fasting, as well as older people, people with illnesses and others.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr commemorates the end of Ramadan. It means the feast of the breaking of the fast.
It is the major annual holiday for Muslims when they are advised to kind of wear their nicest clothes, go out in the morning for congregational prayer.
Children may receive presents after prayers, and communities may come together for celebratory meals and fireworks.