Muslims across the world are preparing for Ramadan – the moment the Koran was unveiled to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief.

The fasting month starts when the new crescent moon is sited.

Muslims gathered in Randburg to usher in the holy month.  It is a time for spiritual reflection, increased devotion and worship as Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

The evening meal becomes the focus. Many break their fast with dates and savouries.

“Dates are suggested by our prophet as a dish when we break our fast, the sweetness and minerals go straight into your blood stream, it gives you instant energy to pull through during the night prayers as well,” says Madina Date Farm’s Sumaiya Hassen.

Roshnie Naidoo, from Gorimas Culinary Fusion Durban explains the significance of the spices, “it’s more about the authenticity in it, the flavour, the taste, the aroma. And when they break the fast they use our sources to have it as dips.”

After the prayer, the main meal is served, followed by something sweet. “We have this almost as a celebration, on Eid which is holiday after Ramadan, that’s when we celebrate everything that’s happened for Ramadan,” says Ice Cream I Love You’s Omar Ally.

The Halal industry is estimated to be worth billions but what is consumed is closely monitored. “The stuff that goes into our body determines and is the outcome of the good actions we do. So when we eat Halaal food, it gives you inclination to do good things, because your inside is pure and what will come out is pure,” says SA Halaal Authority’s Moulana Anees.

Eid Shopping Festival’s Moulana Anees Kara says; “It’s all about getting everything you need right here right now, that’s the most special part of it is that we bring all the vendors to Johannesburg and we can do our Ramadan and shopping here.”

They also reach out to the less fortunate. “We give them clothes, food, shoes, blankets and they also have the opportunity to celebrate,” says The Good Foundation’s Candice Robbertze.

The worshipers are ready for the sacred month. “I think with Ramadan you can never be prepared enough,” says one of worshippers. The faithful begin the fasting either on Monday or Tuesday for 30 days.