Below, we take down some popular misconceptions.
With Ramadan just around the corner, its time to stop believing the following three myths:
1. Fasting is compulsory for ALL Muslims
A lot of people think that fasting during the Holy Month is obligatory for all Muslims. While this may be true, this does not apply to everyone.
Young children, the physically or mentally ill, elderly, menstruating women, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and travelers are exempted from fasting.
However, Shabbir Hassan, a Hafidh (someone who has memorized the entire Quran), tells BBC that there are still ways for these exempted groups to get the same spiritual benefits as others.
He says, "If it is a short-term illness that they know they'll recover from?-?they would be able to make up their fasts on other days. If it is a long-term condition and they can't make up the fast, then they can perform fidyah?-?a small donation that you pay per day?-?which you give to feed a poor family. The sum for the UK is between £4 and £5."
2. You can not brush your teeth while fasting
For some reason, there is a misconception that brushing one's teeth while fasting breaks the fast. According to several scholars, this is not the case.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, explains: "It is absolutely fine to brush one's teeth in the morning with toothpaste while fasting so long as one takes care not to swallow the paste.
"It is reported in the traditions that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was seen brushing his teeth quite a number of times during the day while he was fasting. Toothpaste is not intended for consumption. Fast is only broken when it goes directly into our system."
3. Breaking your fast with a lot of food is allowed
At the end of the day, Muslims break their day-long fast with an evening meal called if??r, which means 'break fast.' Unlike the popular opinion that this is a large meal, Muslims are advised to eat moderately since this is followed by the evening prayer and a special prayer that is only recited during Ramadan.