Nine Facts about Ramadan

Today marks the first full day of Ramadan, which is observed by followers of Islam with a month of fasting and spiritual reflection.

In honor of this, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the library is highlighting nine facts and resources about Ramadan. As always, you are welcome to consult a librarian if you’d like to delve deeper into this topic. (NOTE: All hyperlinked sources will require you to log in with your Clayton State network username and password)

Nine facts about Ramadan

1. Fasting takes place between dawn and dusk. The fast is broken each evening with a meal called iftar. Iftar practices vary among Muslim communities but it is typically a social affair featuring traditional food dishes. Source: “Ramadan.” Encyclopædia Britannica (2014): Research Starters. Web. 18 June 2015.

©UPI

©UPI

2. In addition to fasting and prayer, Ramadan is observed through the recitation of the Koran, Islam’s holy book, as seen in this image of Iranian men and women at the shrine of Saint Mohammad Helal Ibn Ali. Source: UPI, EBSCO Image Collection. Web. 18 June 2015.

3. The notion of fasting for an entire month may seem daunting. But many Muslims report the absence of hunger after only a few days. Source: Ramadan: A Fast of Faith. Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 1997. Web. 18 June 2015.

4. In a National Geographic article, Jeffrey Smith describes the large meals with “seemingly endless” portions enjoyed at the end of the day and points out that many Muslims may actually gain weight during Ramadan. Source: Smith, Jeffrey. “A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: Enhancing A Sense Of Community During Ramadan.” American Geographical Society’s Focus On Geography 57.4 (2014): 174-175. Business Source Complete. Web. 18 June 2015.

5. The 2012 summer Olympics coincided with the month of Ramadan, and Muslim athletes had tough choices to make. Effects of fasting vary depending upon the type of event and the time of day, with dehydration being a top concern. Some athletes, though, feel that fasting makes them more focused on achieving their goals. Source: Geddes, Linda. “Will Ramadan Fast Slow Olympic Muslims Down?.” New Scientist 211.2825 (2011): 9. Advanced Placement Source. Web. 18 June 2015.

6. The observance of Ramadan in the United States has evolved over the years with greater numbers participating overall and in specific activities beyond fasting and prayer to create a uniquely American observance of the holy month. Source: Siddiqi, Iman. “The Evolution of the Observance of Ramadan in America.(Cover Story).” Islamic Horizons 43.4 (2014): 20-24. Readers’ Guide Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 18 June 2015.

7. Gift giving is also a part of Ramadan. This children’s story describes one boy’s experience of his first time fasting for Ramadan. Source: Ellis, Kim. “Gifts Of Ramadan.” Cricket 42.8 (2015): 13-16. MasterFILE Elite. Web. 18 June 2015.

8. Although the observance of Ramadan is a religious and cultural practice, its effects can be seen in the stock markets of  countries with significant Muslim populations. Source: Barmak, Sarah. “The Ramadan Effect.” Canadian Business 85.14 (2012): 62-63. Business Source Complete. Web. 18 June 2015.

9. Persons with diabetes should be aware of potential complications as a result of fasting. These individuals should consult  a health care provider prior to fasting for a pre-Ramadan assessment. Those whose diabetes is managed through medication or insulin may need to adjust the timing and dosages of these therapies.  Source: Chamsi-Pasha, Hassan, and Khalid S. Aljabri. “The Diabetic Patient In Ramadan.” Avicenna Journal Of Medicine 4.2 (2014): 29-33. Academic Search Complete. Web. 18 June 2015.

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