It is that time of year again when thousands of Muslims across the globe join together in the observance of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon. This year’s Ramadan started on the 16th of May and will end on the evening of 14th of June.
Up to 6% of Belgians are Muslims and they will also be engaging in the feast. This means throughout the day, they are not permitted to eat or drink anything, smoking cigarettes or engage in any sexual activity, from dawn to sunset; Even if you take medication, you must swallow a pill dry (some exceptions are made). This is no easy feat, especially since summer has seem to come early this year in Belgium with this really hot weather over the past few weeks. However, when the sun has set and the evening comings, then they are allowed to and drink as they please, with many often feasting after a long day fasting.
Children and the elderly are excused from practising Ramadan as they may be too weak without the sustenance, and the kids will need the attention for their time at school. But for all those participating in this spiritual month, Ramadan Mubarak!