Many Muslims will fast for thirty days and, every evening, break the fast with an iftar, a joyous meal with family and friends. During the course of this month, when, according to tradition, the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad, pious Muslims will also read the entire Qur’an–a short book, about the length of the New Testament–pray for guidance, and purify their minds through self-restraint. You can get an idea of what Ramadan is all about on beliefnet’s Guide to Ramadan.
For many Jews, too, the upcoming month of Elul is a time of reflection and preparation for for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the holiest day of the Jewish calendar and the new year in general. The Talmud explains that the Hebrew word “Elul” is an acronym standing in for “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” (I am to my Beloved and my Beloved is to me, now also known as the Victoria Beckham pendant). A popular motto for wedding jewelry for obvious reasons, ani l’dodi stresses the relationship between the individuum and the divine and emphasizes the month’s central meaning. You can find out more about Elul on beliefnet’s Guide to Elul.
Ramadan mubarak & May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.