Considerations for clinicians treating Muslim patients with psychiatric disorders during Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is a period of spiritual significance for Muslims. Fasting during Ramadan is considered obligatory for those who can do so. Muslims who fast abstain from food, water, and sexual activity from dawn to sunset. As Ramadan is observed according to the lunar calendar, the first day of Ramadan moves forward by 11 days of the Gregorian calendar each year; therefore, depending on the season and location, fasting can last between 10 h and 20 h daily. Generally, each fast is initiated by a meal before dawn ( suhoor) and ended with a meal at sunset ( iftaar). Qualitative studies indicate that for many Muslims, the act of fasting during Ramadan is deeply valued and cherished.