Most of the approximately 500,000 Muslims in the Greater Los Angeles area and millions around the world will begin fasting Tuesday for Ramadan, the holy month commemorating the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad, which begins with prayer at sundown Monday.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslim adults fast from dawn until dusk, unless they are ill, pregnant, diabetic, breastfeeding or traveling.

Fasting is one of the “five pillars” of Islam, along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity and pilgrimage to Mecca.

“The fast is performed to increase spirituality, discipline, self-restraint and generosity while obeying God’s commandments,” said Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR-LA, Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.

The end of Ramadan will be marked by communal prayers called Eid ul-Fitr, the Feast of the Fast-Breaking, on May 13.

With the capacity of mosques limited because of coronavirus-related restrictions, CAIR-LA and other Southern California Muslim organizations will conduct a series of webinars during Ramadan, Ayloush said.

“As we are seeing more people vaccinated and restrictions on places of worship being able to meet in person eased, I pray for this month to bring with it lots of blessings,” Ayloush said.

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