to the Koran, Muslims are required to practice special religious
devotion during the ninth month of the Islamic year, the
month during which Muhammad is said to have received the first of the
Koran's revelations (during the night between the 26th and the 27th).
This period is better known as the Ramadan. Literally translated,
the word Ramadan means "the hot month". The
Ramadan is considered the holy month of fasting
and is ordained by the Koran for all adult Muslims .
The beginning of the Ramadan coincides with the first day following the first sighting of the moon. (For example, in North America in the year 2001, the Ramadan moon was first sighted in Tucson, AZ on the evening of Thursday, November 15. Although there were some questions as to the validity of this sighting report, the Islamic Shura Council of North America (who is the authority in the United States) agreed with the report and proclaimed Friday, November 16 to be the first day of Ramadan in North America in 2001.)
During Ramadan, Muslims fast each day from dawn to sunset and recite the Koran at least five times during each given day. The end of Ramadan is followed by great festivities and is celebrated by all Muslims with special prayers.