1. This is a holy month based on the day it is believed the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad in 610 CE.
The day is called Laylat al-Qadr.
2. During this time span, Muslims choose to fast.
That means they will abstain from eating and drinking during the daylight hours. They do this to focus on spirituality and prayer and to purify the mind and body.
3. "The practice of fasting serves several spiritual and social purposes: to remind you of your human frailty and your dependence on God for sustenance, to show you what it feels like to be hungry and thirsty so you feel compassion for (and a duty to help) the poor and needy, and to reduce the distractions in life so you can more clearly focus on your relationship with God." - Jennifer Williams
4. Because the start of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Muslim calendar, is based on the lunar calendar using the sighting of a new moon, the date each year changes.
5. Muslims also focus on charity during Ramadan and regularly give to charity during this month, even more than they usually do. This is a time of deep contemplation of one's relationship with God and focused study of the Quran.
6. There are Five Pillars of Islam. They are:
Shahada: belief in one God, "there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah"
Salat: pray 5 times a day facing Mecca
Zakat: give charity
Sawm: fasting during Ramadan
Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your life
7. The morning meal is called suhur and the evening meal is called iftar.
Iftar is a large meal eaten after the evening prayer.
The morning of Eid (the last day of the month) Muslims gather to early in the mosques or in an outdoor location for the Salat al Eid prayer.
9. They give gifts to children and donate to charity this day after gathering money and supplies the whole month. They contact relatives and give well-wishes for the holiday.
10. Celebrations of Eid can typically last 3 days and in many Muslim countries it is a 3-day national holiday.
11. This year Ramadan is from June 6 to July 5, 2016.
Eid al Fitr starts on July 5.
12. The proper way to greet a person who is Muslim during this month to show that you respect and acknowledge their fast is "Ramadan Mubarak."
This means "Have a blessed Ramadan."