As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
It is the most sacred month for Muslims, in which they fast daily. They must abstain from eating, drinking, and having sexual relations from dawn to sunset. In some countries, it is obligatory.
The mandatory fasting for millions of Muslims worldwide, has started this Monday, and in some places this Tuesday. For a month, Islamic people must abstain from eating, drinking and having sexual relations from dawn to sunset; to fulfil the Ramadan.
According to the Islamic tradition, Ramadan is the ninth month of their calendar, when the Quran would have been revealed to prophet Mohammed. It is the most sacred month for Muslims, in which they fast daily.
Fasting is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam. The fasting starts with the new moon, after the end of the eighth month of the Islamic calendar (Sha’abán).
PHYSICAL, SPIRITUAL AND MENTAL PURIFICATION
It is a month of physical, spiritual and mental purification for the Muslims. Every healthy adult must fast. According to the Islamic doctrine, fasting is not mandatory for those who are ill, pregnant, on a trip, or under any other extraordinary circumstance that does not allowed them to do it.
Before the dawn, Muslims wake up to eat what they call suhur, and have the first prayer of the day. The fasting must be complete, they must abstain from other things like smoking, fighting or arguing with others.
The daily fasting finishes at sunset, when they meet in families or in the mosques, to eat the iftar, a dinner that breaks the fasting.
MINORITIES IN ISLAMIC COUNTRIES
The Ramadan period is different each year, because it follows the Muslim calendar, which is a lunar calendar. It has 12 months, of which five have 29 days, and the rest have 30 days. That means that each year has 354 days (11-12 days less than the solar Gregorian calendar).
Ramadan can be difficult for faith minorities living in Muslim countries and do not share their faith. Those who do not respect the fasting can be fined or sent to prison countries like Morocco or Saudi Arabia.
Last year, Daesh executed dozens of people who did not fulfil the Ramadan.