Id al-Fitr is preceded by Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. It is the month of fasting. It is said, that during this month, the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Also, during this month, the first battle between the idol worshipers of Mecca and the Muslims of Medina occurred. The Muslims won this Battle of Badr.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan can be at any time in the Christian calendar.
Ramadan, the ninth month, begins with the sighting of the new moon. Muslims
climb to the top of their houses to see the moon. Once it is sighted, they
go back into their houses, pray, and eat their early morning meal called
Suhur. It consists of bread with mutton or pancakes.
All Muslims over the age of 12 are required to fast. Those who are old
or sick are not required to fast, but they are obligated to feed a poor
person instead. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and travelers are not required
to fast either, but must fast at a convenient time later.
Above: Egg paratha; one of the foods eaten at the evening meal during the month of Ramadan.
Above: A mosque-the place of worship for Muslims. Devout Muslims will pray at the mosque five times a day. Muslims visit the mosque prior to starting 'Id celebrations.