Fasting (sawm) during that month is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam. In some Muslim-majority countries like UAE, failure to observe the fast in public places is a criminal offense. But in the private sphere, there is no obligation. When women are under menstruation they can neither fast nor pray. Also if people have had nausea and vomiting, that day is not counted as fasting.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from drinking, eating, smoking and practicing sexual activities. As-suḥūr is to take some food in the early morning, always before faŷr, even a little water. The fast runs from midnight to the entrance of the moment of the prayer, before the first light of dawn. Fasting brings peace to the mind. Siwāk is a piece of a branch of a special tree found in the Arabian peninsula that has many benefits. Both for the teeth and for the gums and the mouth, it is used as a brush.
When the fast is broken, people prefer to eat a date. Alternatively, people drink a glass of water. During Iftar, the members of the family and friends gather in a celebration of faith and joy. After this meal, people go out with the family. They visit friends to gather for the prayer.
In addition to fasting, Muslims read the Quran. Some recite, through special prayers called Tarawih. It is performed in the mosques every night, during which a whole part of the text is recited. Therefore, the recitation of the entire book is usually completed by the end of the month.
Since the Islamic calendar is made up of 354 or 355 days, Ramadan falls at a different time of the calendar year. And then gradually falls into a different season. When Ramadan overshadowed the festival of Ashura, in terms of importance, it took certain characteristics of the latter. This commemoration is minor for the Sunnis but is of particular importance for the Shiites.
The celebration takes place on the 10th day of the month of Muharram and mourning continues for 40 days until the Arbaïn. The main pilgrimage takes place in Kerbala, Iraq. The Eid al-Fitr is celebrated the at the end of Ramadan.
The Laylat al-Qadr or Shab-e-Qadr has a double meaning for Shiite Muslims. The night of the 21st day of Ramadan marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of the first Shia Imam, Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Eid al-Fitr, the feast of the end of the fast, occurs when the new moon is sighted in the sky. The month of Shawwal begins, ending the month of Ramadan. The first three days of the month is celebrated as holidays. People distribute food to the poor. Banquets are served and gifts are also exchanged. People dress in new clothes. They offer prayers to God with friends and family. In many Islamic cities, large celebrations are held to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr.