What are the rules for Ramadan fasting and can you drink water during the holy month?

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RAMADAN is used as a time for reflection, increased self-control and devotion to prayer.

Muslims observing the holy month across the world will be expected to fast. Read on to find out how Ramadan is observed.

 Muslims break their fast with iftar during the holy month of Ramadan on May 29, 2017, in DubaiGetty Images – Getty Muslims break their fast with iftar during the holy month of Ramadan on May 29, 2017, in Dubai

Can you drink water during Ramadan?

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, so all adult Muslims are expected to fast.

Adult Muslims are also expected to read and reflect on the entire Koran, the holy book, while abstaining from smoking and sex.

During daylight hours, you are not allowed to drink water.

But the NHS does recommend adults to break their fast if they do become very hydrated.

The NHS said: "Poor hydration can be made worse by weather conditions and even everyday activities like walking to work or housework.

"If you produce very little or no urine, feel disoriented and confused or faint as a result of dehydration, you must stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid."

If a fast is broken, it will need to be compensated for by fasting at a later date. Or they can pay "fidyah", a religious term for donation of food or money.

 People participate in a torch parade to welcome the holy month of Ramadan in MedanAFP or licensors People participate in a torch parade to welcome the holy month of Ramadan in Medan

Are children expected to fast?

Muslim children are expected to begin fasting once they have reached puberty, usually by the age of 14.

There is no national law that prevents young children or teens from fasting.

The NHS does advise against children as young as seven or eight fasting.

Advice from the national health body read: "It's a good idea to make children aware of what fasting involves and to practice fasting for a few hours at a time."

What are the fasting hours?

Ramadan shifts according to the movement of the moon.

Muslims will be expected to abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset for 30 days.

Usually adults will have a meal just before dawn, and another after sunset.

At the end of the fast, when the sun has gone down, family and friends will get together for iftar to break their fast.

When is Ramadan 2018, when does it start and end

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