SUSRIS | Emily Weinzetl | 7.23.12
Ramadan means more in the lives of Muslims than refraining from eating and drinking during the daylight hours. The ritual fasting during the holy month is among the five pillars of Islam: Shahadah, the declaration of faith; Salat, five daily prayers; Zakat, charitable giving; Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca; and Sawm of Ramadan, the ritual fasting during this holy month. The most prominent Ramadan obligation is the act of ritual fasting for Muslims who have reached puberty and do not have certain medical complications preventing them from doing so. During the daytime, the consumption of food and drink is strictly prohibited to remind Muslims of those who constantly are forced to go without. Some Muslim countries put so much emphasis on fasting during Ramadan that breaking the fast during the day is considered illegal activity.