FACTBOX: Some Ramadan questions for radio imams

(Reuters) - Pious Muslims respect strict fasting rules in the holy month of Ramadan but ignorance of their letter and spirit can lead to confusion.

Many listeners calling into a special Ramadan program at Beur FM radio in Paris ask for practical advice on what they can do during the dawn-to-dusk fast. The main prohibitions concern consuming food or drink, smoking or engaging in sexual intercourse during daylight hours.

Here are some of the typical questions -- and answers given by imams and Islam experts invited on his show:

Q: Can women wear perfume or men wear hair gel during Ramadan?

A: Yes, since they are not consumed into the body.

Q: Can a person trying to kick the smoking habit wear an anti-nicotine patch?

A: Yes, it is a medication that is exempt from the fast.

Q: Will my fasting not be valid if I curse?

A: cursing should be avoided but does not negate a fast.

Q: Should a man who works in a casino quit during Ramadan because gambling is prohibited?

A: It is not good to work in a casino, Ramadan or not, but he can work there if he does not participate in the gambling.

Q: Is Ramadan fasting invalid if a person does not also perform the additional “tarawih” evening prayers?

A: No, tarawih prayers are not obligatory.

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Source: Beur FM editor-in-chief Ahmed el Keiy