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Ramadan

Jun 06, 2016

In the Muslim calendar, Ramadan is the ninth month. Muslims believe the Qur'an (an Ancient book, much like the Bible) was sent down from heaven in this month. This book is a "a declaration of direction and a means of Salvation." In 2016, Ramadan is observed from June 6th to July 5th.

Ramadan - Observing the Holiday

During this month, Muslims fast, meaning they don't eat anything for the entire month -  that's a slight exaggeration! Traditionally they only eat and drink when it's dark out. According to the Qur'an, you can eat and drink any time during the night until you can tell the difference between a white thread from a black one by the daylight. Then it's back to fasting until night time. Muslims feel that by experiencing hunger they develop sympathy for the less fortunate who go hungry every day.

Ramadan 2014, food is laid out for when observers break their fastRamadan 2014, food is laid out for when observers break their fast
 

What Not to Do During Ramadan

  • Intentionally eat or drink during daylight hours.
  • Make yourself throw up.
  • Have poor intentions - be greedy, tell a lie, etc. (good advice for everyone most of the year!)

So, What Can You Do?

So if Muslims can't eat or drink during this time, how do they spend the day? Many of them spend hours praying and studying the Qur'an. In the evening, it's time to visit family and friends. On the 27th night, Muslims celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr, which means the Night of Prayer. The Quran says that God decides the course of the world for the next year on this day. The fast ends with a three-day holiday called the Feast of Fast-Breaking. In some cities, Muslims have fairs to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

Did You Know?

  • If someone is unable to fast during the month of Ramadan (because they are pregnant, elderly or suffer from a disease like [kwlink]diabetes[/kwlink]) they are supposed to feed one needy person for each day of the month.
  • Children who have yet to hit puberty do not have to fast during Ramadan.
  • The Festival of Fast-Breaking is known as Eid ul Fitr in Arabic.
  • The Islamic calendar is based on the phases of the moon.
Have Your Say

Do you observe Ramadan? Let us know!

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"According to the famous theory in quantum mechanics, 'The universe doesn't exist if we stop looking at it,' which argues that a particle's past behavior changes based on what we see. Last year, scientists performed a new experiment proving this theory to be true on the scale of atoms.   'The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.'   According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the boundary between the 'world out there' and our own subjective consciousness are blurred. When physicists look at atoms or particles of light, what they see depends on how they have set up their experiment. To test this, physicists at the Australian National University recently conducted what is known as the John Wheeler's delayed-choice thought experiment. The experiment involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler's experiment then asks - at which point does the object decide? Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But quantum physics predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior or particle behavior depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. 'It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,' said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott. Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of quantum theory. Quantum theory governs the world of the very small, and has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips. The ĀNU reversed Wheeler's original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used atoms scattered by laser light."
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