Ramadan to start Saturday in Saudi, UAE and Uganda

While the benefits of intermittent fasting have been well-publicised in recent years, what happens when we fast for extended periods (as with Ramadan) and how does fasting affect those with health problems? The end of Ramadan comes at the beginning of the next lunar month.

The Muslim calendar is based on the cycle of the moon, but the Gregorian calendar is based on the Sun. However, it is always a 30-day-long tradition.

Ramadan begins May 27 this year. This is the longest time, the summer, it has very long days so it is a challenge.

Fasting during the holiday is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with the daily prayer, declaration of faith, charity and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Talking to somebody who has already fasted during previous Ramadan can help as they can guide you on what to expect on your first fast.

Lasting about a month, it marks the time when the Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). "It's really relaxing to be in the mosque around my friends".

Fasting often provides a spiritual perspective for Muslims that allows them to understand the suffering of those who are less fortunate, in poverty, and those in need.

He said what the country needed now was a concerted effort and not divisive tendencies as it concerns the nation's economy.

"It is a command of Allah", Ibrahim said.

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In Muslim-majority countries, offices are required by law to reduce working hours, and many restaurants are closed during daylight hours. For dietary changes, I will just avoid oily food when breaking the fast, especially during the initial days.

"It's like regiments for athletes", Muhammad said.

In Europe, the European Council of Fatwa and Research have also decided that May 27 will be the start of Ramadan.

"In the month of Ramadan, when we fast in summertime, 16 hours, we feel hungry", Rashed said.

Ramadan for Muslims is much more than a time to abstain from eating, drinking or smoking between sunrise and sunset.

Uddin said it was very helpful to his Muslim community when leaders from other religions, including pastors and rabbis, contacted him with messages of support after President Donald Trump was elected in November.

"This focus on spirituality is hopefully bringing us closer to God and to the Quran and the habit of praying more, so that throughout the rest of the year we have the strength and the foundation to live our lives in the most ideal way we can", she explained. "I'd go to the mosque and meet Muslims from Pakistan, Uganda, Iran and many other places".

Q: Is there a certain age demographic of who is fasting?

The Seher will be eaten between 2.30am to 3 am, the evening meal (iftar) is eaten around 9pm-9.30pm. Many students will tell you that they don't care if you eat in front of them, and chances are that might be true.

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