What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim, Islamic calendar, and is a time pray, give charity and also fasting during daylight hours.
When does Ramadan Begin?
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. The Islamic lunar calendar year is 10 to 11 days shorter than the solar year and Ramadan is different from year to year. Many Muslims insist on physically seeing the moon from where they are to mark the beginning of Ramadan. Others use the calculated time of the new moon or the Saudi Arabian declaration to start the month.
Since the new moon is not in the same state at the same time all over the world, the beginning and ending dates of Ramadan depend on what lunar sightings are received in each country.
Ramadan from 2016 to 2021
Here are some dates based on the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia
First day Last day
6 June 2016 5 July 2016
27 May 2017 24 June 2017
16 May 2018 14 June 2018
6 May 2019 3 June 2019
24 April 2020 23 May 2020
13 April 2021 12 May 2021
During the month of Ramadan, adult Muslims fast from dusk until dawn, unless they are ill, pregnant, diabetic, breastfeeding, or traveling. The meal before the beginning of the fast is called suhoor, and the meal after sunset is called iftar.
Children are not obliged to fast during Ramadan, not until they are close to their teens, but some practice in order to prepare for adult participation. Fasting is one of the 5 Pillars of Islam.
The Five Pillars of Islam
Sawm: Fasting during Ramadan
Hajj: A pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life
Zakat: Giving to the poor and needy
Salat: Five daily prayers, facing Mecca
Shalada: The declaration of belief in one true God
Ramadan is also used for:
Prayer – The first prayer of the day is called Fajr
Charity – During Ramadan Muslims are obliged to give to charity through Sadaqa (voluntary giving), or Zakat (mandatory giving)
Spirituality and Purifying the mind and body.
What Happens at the End of Ramadan?
At the end of Ramadan there is a large festival called Eid ul Fitr to celebrate the end of the fast. Eid ul Fitr is celebrated by wearing one’s best clothes, giving gifts, having a large meal, and spending time with one’s family. Muslims also use this time to ask for forgiveness for sins and to praise Allah (God).
How to wish your Muslim friends a Happy Ramadan?
If a non-Muslim meets a Muslim during the month of Ramadan, the appropriate greeting for good wishes is “Ramadan Mubarak” which means “Have a blessed Ramadan.”