Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, consuming no food or water during daylight. It’s estimated that 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide observe the holy month. Children are not expected to fast until they reach puberty.

What is the History of Ramadan?

Origin of Ramadan

Ramadan is the month of remembrance and celebration of when the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book) was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel in A.D. 610. Muslims believe that The Prophet Muhammad is the last Prophet, who received the teachings of Allah and who spread the Islamic faith after the Qur’an (believed to be the direct word of Allah) was revealed to him. It is during the same month of this revelation that Muslims celebrate Ramadan.

Part of the ancient Arabs’ calendars, Ramadan is the Arabic word for ‘scorching heat’ or ‘dryness.’

Since its origin in the 7th century, Ramadan has been a time for growing the bond with Allah. During Ramadan, Muslims do this through fasting, reciting the Qur’an, and doing selfless good deeds. By fasting, Muslims can devote themselves to their faith and demonstrate their dedication to Allah.

To celebrate Ramadan, communities will use colorful decorations and Fanoos (lanterns) to decorate and illuminate buildings and their homes.

When is Ramadan?

Being the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the exact dates of Ramadan are different every year. The dates are other, as the Islamic calendar is based on the cycles of the Moon. In 2022, Ramadan begins on the 2nd of April and ends on the 1st of May.

How is Ramadan Celebrated/Observed?

Throughout the history of Ramadan, fasting between sunrise and sunset serves the purpose of demonstrating one’s devotion to Allah and belief in the Prophet Muhammad. In addition, Ramadan is a time for fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection, and community.

As Ramadan provides a period of reflection and self-improvement, many Muslims attempts to give up poor habits and will read the whole of the Qur’an. Alongside this, Ramadan is a time for family and community, and people will spend time with loved ones and help those in need.

The self-discipline of fasting also reminds those taking part in Ramadan of the suffering of the poor and less fortunate. Throughout Ramadan, it has been common practice to give to the less fortunate and donate to charity (Zakat) – one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan with a celebration, the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast. Mosques hold special services to keep a lot of the fasting, and families and friends come together to eat food, share gifts, and give to charity.

What are the Rules for Fasting During Ramadan?

When learning about the history of Ramadan, it’s important to know the Five Pillars of Islam. As one of the Five Pillars of Islam (Sawm), fasting is the most important part of observing Ramadan in the Islamic faith. Throughout Ramadan, Muslims have been expected to and remain to obtain food and drink from dusk till dawn for 30 days. All those fasting abstain from the following:

  • Food
  • Drink, including water
  • Chewing gum

Everyone observing Ramadan is expected to fast. However, certain Muslims are exempt from fasting because of the physical dangers of fasting for long periods. This includes:

  • Children under the age of 14
  • Pregnant women
  • Elderly people
  • People suffering from illness

As fasting takes place from sunrise to sunset, it is common for Muslims to have a meal before sunrise (Suhoor) and a dinner the following evening (Iftar).

What do you say During Ramadan?

To wish someone a “Happy Ramadan,” you would say “Ramadan Mubarak”; most Muslims use this Arabic translation.

Where is Ramadan Celebrated?

Muslims celebrate Ramadan all around the world. Different countries have different cultural traditions, but all nations are united in taking part in fasting. As Ramadan occurs based on the lunar calendar, it occurs in other countries at slightly different times.

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