What is Ramadan?

What is Ramadan

Ramadan is a very special time for Muslims all over the world. Observing Ramadan is one of the five ‘pillars’ of Islam. During Ramadan, all Muslims over the age of about 12, with some exceptions, are expected to fast between dawn and sunset.

When does it take place?

crescent moon

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which follows the phases of the moon. This means the dates of Ramadan change each year. The month starts when the new crescent moon is first visible in the night sky. Fasting ends with the arrival of the next lunar month, which starts with the first glimpse of the new crescent moon.

How do people fast?

How do people fast

During Ramadan, the day starts early so that people can eat a pre-fast meal before dawn. This meal, called Suhoor, is important as it will keep them going through the day. During daylight hours, fasting Muslims cannot eat food or drink water or any other drinks. In late spring or early summer, this is particularly difficult as the day can be very long. People who live in polar regions, where daylight can last 22 hours or more, can choose to follow the dawn and sunset times in Mecca or a nearby country where the sky is dark at night.

Are all Muslims expected to fast?

Not all Muslims are expected to fast. Children under the age of 12, people who are travelling, elderly people, pregnant women and others where it may affect their health are exempt.
Those who can’t fast for any reason can offer to feed poor people for each day they miss during Ramadan.

What happens at sunset?

People can eat and drink again once the sun has set. The traditional way to break the fast is by eating dates and drinking a glass of water. Then, the evening meal, Iftar, is a social event that can go on for hours. It is common for people to eat together in large groups of family and friends. Special foods are prepared and shared, and desserts are particularly popular.
 Muslims often include charity in Iftar as well, sharing Iftar with members of the community who cannot buy or make their own food. Across the Muslim world, mosques and aid organisations set up tents and tables for the public in poorer communities to eat free Iftar meals every night of Ramadan.

Why do people fast?

Muslims fast during Ramadan to bring them closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of people who are less fortunate than themselves. Fasting is an exercise in self-control. As well as not eating, drinking or smoking, Muslims try to avoid bad actions, like talking about people behind their backs or using bad language. Ramadan is a time for people to work on being more patient, more tolerant and more mindful of the people around them. It is a moment to reflect and work on being better people.

Many Muslims also donate money to charities during the month, and a lot of Islamic charities organise food packs for people in poorer countries or refugee camps. Giving donations to charity, known as Zakat, is particularly important during the holy month, and so is prayer, meditation and reading the Qur’an.

The Fasting of Ramadan: A Time for Thought, Action, and Change

"Fasting in Ramadan develops in a person the real spirit of social belonging, of unity and brotherhood, and of equality before God. This spirit is the natural product of the fact that when people fast they feel that they are joining the whole Muslim society (which makes up more than one fifth of world's population) in observing the same duty, in the same manner, at the same time, for the same motives, and for the same end. 

No sociologist or professor can say that there has been at any period of history anything comparable to this powerful institution of Islam: Fasting in the month of Ramadan. 

People have been crying throughout the ages for adequate 'belonging', for unity, for brotherhood, for equality, but how echoless their voices have been, and how very little success they have met..." says Hammudah Abdalati, in Islam in Focus.

What is fasting?

How does the fasting of Muslims in Ramadan differ from the fasting of other faiths? "Why should one 'misery' one's body in the first place?" "What do you really gain from fasting in the end?"...These are a few questions that a number of non-Muslim friends and colleagues often ask us, usually out of allure with this spiritually-uplifting practice of Islamic faith, and at times out of pity and sympathy for us, thinking, why should anyone endure from hunger and thirst like Muslims? I wouldn't be surprised if many of us shared the same negative approach of Fasting.

It is important to note that Fasting in Arabic is called, "Sawm", which literally means 'to be at rest'. Fasting in the month of Ramadan (the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar) is one of the Five Pillars upon which the "house" of Islam is built. During this month, every able-bodied Muslim, is required to fast, every day from dawn until dusk

12 Reasons To Fast!

  •  Develop Character                                                                 
  •  Self Reflection
  •   Develop Compassion                                                              
  •    Develop Adaptability
  •    Develop Adaptability                                                              
  •     Elevates the Spirit
  •     Develops Clarity of Mind                                                          
  •     Develops a Healthy Lifestyle
  •    Moral Training                                                                              
  •      Consciousness of Life & Death
  •     Connection to the Quran                                                              
  •    A time to Celebrate


How is the end of Ramadan celebrated?

How is the end of Ramadan celebrated

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the month of fasting. There are many Eid traditions, mainly centred around family, food, generosity and festivities. On Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims wake up early and dress in their finest clothes to attend the Eid prayers. After prayers, they wish each other a happy Eid (‘Eid Mubarak’ in Arabic) before spending the rest of the day with their extended families, enjoying good food and sharing gifts with children and loved ones.

People Also Ask Question About Ramadan

What is the purpose of Ramadan?

Muslims observe the month of Ramadan, to mark that Allah, or God, gave the first chapters of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad in 610, according to the Times of India. During Ramadan, Muslims fast, abstain from pleasures and pray to become closer to God. It is also a time for families to gather and celebrate.

What are the rules of Ramadan?

Muslims are expected to abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset for 30 days, which means Ramadan ends TODAY. 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.

Can you drink water during Ramadan?

Are you allowed to drink water during Ramadan? No, during the fasting daylight hours, practicing Muslims are not permitted to consume water. Instead, it's recommended that anyone fasting drink as much water as possible in the early morning to ward off thirst during the day.

Can we kiss during Ramadan?

Some scholars say that hugging and kissing is in no way acceptable during Ramadan while fasting. Other scholars give the ruling that it is permissible if it doesn't sexually "move" a person. ... Kissing your kids, parents, friends (greeting) always okay even during Ramadan. Kissing your spouse.
What are 3 reasons why Ramadan is important?
Muslims believe that Ramadan teaches them to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity (zakat). Exemptions to fasting include travel, menstruation, severe illness, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.

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