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Ramadan: A Month of Fasting, Prayer, and Zakat

 
 
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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and this year it is predicted to start on May 7th and finish on or around June 5th. Ramadan, also known as the ‘Month of the Quran’, is a holy month of fasting, worship, and charitable giving observed by Muslims all over the world to commemorate the revelation of the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. It is followed by a celebration, Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking), a time Muslims enjoy with their families and often exchange gifts.
 
During Ramadan, fasting from sunrise to sunset is obligatory upon Muslims who are able to do so and is representative of a spiritual cleansing, an effort to become closer to God, and an attempt to gain a better understanding of human suffering. The act of fasting calls for Muslims to practice self-discipline and sacrifice, as well as reflect upon and show compassion for the less fortunate. Muslims are also reminded to be generous and increase their charitable activities during this month. One type of charitable giving, which is known as Zakat, is obligatory for those who are financially able. There are two types of Zakat: Zakat al-Mal, which requires Muslims to give at least 2.5% of their assets to the poor and hungry, and another type, smaller in amount but for the same purpose, known as Zakat-al-Fitr which Muslims are required to pay before the commencement of Eid al-Fitr. Zakat is an integral part of the Muslim faith and, like fasting, is one of the five pillars of Islam.
 
In celebration of Ramadan, consider donating to one of these highly-rated charities which have specific Zakat designated funds and strive towards the alleviation of poverty and hunger all over the world. You can even pick a few and add them to our Giving Basket to donate to them all at once.

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