The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is Ramadan. This is a holy time when over one billion Muslims around the world fast and focus their attention on giving to charity, know as Zakat. According to the lunar calendar followed by Muslims, Ramadan in 2011 starts on or around August 1 and will finish on or around August 29.
During Ramadan, both fasting and acts of charity are obligatory upon Muslims who are able to do so. Fasting from sunrise to sunset 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 poor and less fortunate. Muslims are reminded to be generous and increase their charitable activities. As a result, during Ramadan, much charitable giving is done by the community. Donations are usually focused on giving to those stricken by poverty and hunger. In celebration of Ramadan, consider donating to one of these highly rated charities which either work predominantly in countries with large Muslim populations or strive towards the alleviation of hunger.
At the end of Ramadan, Muslims observe a celebration called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking). During Eid al-Fitr, Muslims enjoy time with their families and often exchange gifts. Instead of the usual gift exchange, Muslims may want to further their Ramadan inspired philanthropic activities by giving a Good Card, a gift card for charity where the recipients get to donate to their charity of choice.