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Ramadan Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 7:28 AM EDT, Thu June 19, 2014
Women pray at a Lahore, Pakistan, mosque during the first day of the <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/09/world/the-simple-pleasures-of-eid/index.html'>Eid al-Fitr holiday</a> on Friday, August 9. Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of <a href='http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/world/ramadan-fast-facts/index.html'>Ramadan</a>. Women pray at a Lahore, Pakistan, mosque during the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday on Friday, August 9. Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
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(CNN) -- Here is some background information about Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. In 2014, Ramadan will take place from June 28 at sundown to July 27 (dates vary slightly by country depending on the sighting of the moon).

Facts:
Ramadan is the Islamic holy month of fasting during which Muslims may not eat or drink during daylight hours.

There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide and 2.5 million in the United States.

Ramadan is celebrated as the month in which the prophet Mohammed received the first of the revelations that make up the Quran.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink (including water), and sexual intercourse from dawn until dusk.

Muslims are encouraged to eat a meal before dawn, and then break the fast immediately after sunset.

The fast is traditionally broken by eating dates and drinking water.

The end of Ramadan, called Id al Fitr, is a day of feasting.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year.

Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon, the exact date often depending on clerics in a particular nation.

The Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars, or basic institutions, of Islam:
Shahadah: Affirmation that there is no deity but God and Mohammed is His messenger.
Salat: Praying five times daily.
Zakat: Giving to charity.
Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Hajj: Making a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.

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