Ramadan (in Arabic) or Ramadan (from Turkic) is the name of the holy month in the Muslim calendar, in which Muslims observe the obligatory fasting or saum (in Arabic) or uraza (from Turkic). Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the five essential pillars of Islam.
Muslims value the month of Ramadan as the holy month is a chance to gain more rewards and boost Iman(faith).
- The most important aspects
- Timing of Ramadan
- Purpose of the fast
- How to start fasting
- Phases of Muslim fasting
- What Breaks Ramadan Fasting
- What actions do not break the fast
- Who is exempt from fasting?
- Violation of the fast
- Doing good deeds during Ramadan
- The last ten days of the month of Ramadan
- Night al Qadr or the Night of Predestination
- Eid al-Fitr : The Feast of Breaking the Fast
- Quran on Ramadan
- How do Muslims congratulate each other on Ramadan?
- Frequently asked questions about Ramadan
- What date does Ramadan start in 2021
- When Ramadan ends in 2021
- Is a dream determined as a worship in the month of Ramadan?
- Is the hadith that says “Fast and you will be healthy!” reliable?
- How to fast on polar day or polar night?
- Is Congratulations on the Coming of Ramadan a Worship?
- When to start fasting Ramadan in those countries where it does not coincide with the fast in Arabic countries?
- How to determine the arrival of the month of Ramadan?
- What is the beginning of the day?
- Video — Why is Ramadan important for Muslims?
The most important aspects
Throughout the month of Ramadan, devout Muslims are ordered to abstain from food during the daytime. It is also forbidden to drink, smoke and refrain from having sexual intercourse.
The month of Ramadan lasts twenty-nine or thirty days, depending on the lunar calendar of the year.
The Muslim fast begins at the moment after the morning adhan, Fajir prayer which is dawn appears and ends at the moment when the sun sets and the evening adhan, Magreb prayer is called in mosques.
The one who is fasting, should finish the morning meal (suhoor) before the signs of dawn appear in the sky, and fast till the evening meal of Iftar that should be started only after it is time to break the fast. After the evening adhan, it is allowed to eat, drink or even smoke. It is also allowed to have sexual interscourse after the breaking the fast. Firstly, it’s recomended to eat dates and drink still water.
Every day after the isha prayer is performed, Muslims should pray the Taraweeh collectively, a voluntary prayer — this prayer consists of eight rak’ahs or twenty rak’ahs.
The last ten days of the month of Ramadan is the period in which the night of al-Qadr or the Night of Power, the Night of Destiny, occurs.
The Feast of Ramadan (Iid al-Fitr from Arabic) or the Feast of Breaking the fast (Uraza Bayram from the Turkic) is held on the first day of the month of Shawal, and it marks the end of Ramadan. The Feast of Ramadan begins with the celebration of the holiday prayer in the mosque, and before prayer, Muslims must pay alms which is called zakat al-fitr.
Timing of Ramadan
In the Islamic lunar calendar, each new month begins on the day after the new moon is born. The lunar calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar — the difference is about eleven days. This is the reason that each date of the beginning and the end of Ramadan is shifted back by eleven days relative to the Gregorian calendar.
The first day of Ramadan is calculated differently in different Muslim countries: a number of countries calculate its beginning using astronomical calculations, while other countries observe the moon to establish the date.The method of announcing the date by people who can be trusted in the Muslim ummah is also used.
Thus, in different countries, the start dates of the Ramadan holiday are not the same, and they may also be differ due to the weather conditions.
Purpose of the fast
During the great Muslim fast in the month of Ramadan, Muslims completely abandon their human needs, the main point is that with the help of such a refusal, faithful Muslims demonstrate to the Almighty Allah the spiritual steadfastness and perseverance of their faith. Spiritual and bodily fasting in the month of Ramadan has a positive effect on the soul and the body.
Maintaining a fast during Ramadan is meant to restrain a person’s instincts, passions and nafs(desires). Every year during the month of Ramadan, a person maintains external purity, as well as internal spiritual purity, trying to free himself from all those actions, intentions and thoughts that contaminate a person. If a Muslim commits acts that are displeasing to Allah Almighty during fasting, then the fast of such a person may not be valid or may even not be counted. Allah Almighty does not need a person to abstain from drinking and eating, if he or she does not abandon their wicked deeds and words.
Every year during the month of Ramadan, Muslims are more responsible in performing prayers than at any other time of the year, they try to read the Quran more often, they strive to do good deeds, distribute sadaqa or voluntary alms, as well as zakat or obligatory alms.
If in other months of the year, any of the Muslims stopped performing the main prayers, in the month of Ramadan they seek to resume the performance of daily obligatory prayers according to Islam, therefore the onset of the month of Ramadan is a great opportunity for a sinner to repent of his sins to the Allah Almighty and could be a great blessing for the believer.
How to start fasting
The first thing a Muslim should do when starting to fast in Ramadan is to make an intention. One of the prerequisites for observing a Muslim fast is niyat, which is the fundamental principle of fasting. A Muslim must make his intention to fast. A Muslim must affirm his intention or niyat with his heart every day after the night prayer and before the morning prayer.
Most madhhabs (school of thoughts) believe that the intention should be made every day while fasting, but a number of theologians believe that if a Muslim approves the intention only at the beginning of the month, then this will be enough.
In the intention, it is very important to indicate what is the category of the fast that the Muslim is going to keep: it should be indicated that this is exactly the obligatory fast of Ramadan. Traditionally, the intention is pronounced in the following text: «I intend to perform the obligatory fast from dawn to dusk sincerely for the sake of Allah Almighty.»
Phases of Muslim fasting
The entire day of the month of Ramadan can be conditionally divided into phases:
- the daytime period, which is a period of abstinence: during this time it is forbidden to consume food and drink and to have sexual intercourse. The daytime period begins as soon as dawn comes.
- the period of the night, in which it is allowed to consume liquids and food, as well as engage in sexual intercourse. The night period begins when the sun sets, and the beginning of it marks the performance of the maghrib — evening prayer.
For Muslims, it is important to determine when the fasting time begins and ends, since you cannot start fasting later than dawn appears, and you cannot break the fast, eating or drinking before sunset.
What Breaks Ramadan Fasting
Violation of the fast is caused by the following actions committed during daylight hours:
- if the Muslim has not made the intention (niyat) to observe the fast before starting the fast;
- if a person deliberately eats or drinks;
- if a person smokes, sniffs tobacco, inhales fumes or smoke that gives pleasure;
- if a person engages into sexual intercourse with ejaculation or not, if a person masturbates or causes ejaculation by caress;
- taking medicines rectally or vaginally;
- provoking vomiting in oneself, which fills in the oral cavity.
What actions do not break the fast
The following actions, performed during daylight hours, do not break the fast:
- if a person takes food or drink unintentionally;
- if a person takes a medicine using injections, except of vitamins;
- if a person gives blood for a blood test or produces bloodletting or hijama;
- if a person bathes, but water does not reach his mouth;
- if a person has a kiss, but he does not swallow his partner’s saliva;
- if a person had caresses that did not lead to ejaculation;
- if a person swallows his saliva;
- if a person swallows phlegm, but it does not reach the oral cavity;
- if a person brushes his teeth, but toothpaste does not reach his throat;
- if a person brushes his teeth with a siwak. On this issue, there are different opinions of scholarly theologians of Islam: some of them believe that brushing your teeth in the afternoon is undesirable, citing as evidence a hadith in which it is said that there is no better incense for the Almighty than the breath of someone who is fasting.
- if a person has involuntary unprovoked vomiting.
Who is exempt from fasting?
Certain categories of people are exempt from fasting during Ramadan. These people include:
- Minor children;
- Adult Muslims, mentally ill, with diseases and mental disorders, incapacitated;
- Sick and old people who for health reasons due to illness cannot withstand fasting and there is no hope that their state of health will change for the better within a year. Such people, in order to atone for their incontinence of fasting, should help those who are in need;
- Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, if there is a fear that due to the fact that they will fast, their body and the health of the child will be harmed. Once the reason women skip fasting expires — the woman’s pregnancy or breastfeeding period ends — they will have to make up for the fast. But a woman should not stop breastfeeding her baby in order to start fasting;
- Musafirs (travelers) who are on the road and the distance from their home is more than eighty kilometers. The traveler can break his fast on the road with any difficulty of the journey and with any state of health;
- Women during the menstrual period or during the period when postpartum cleansing occurs. After the end of these periods, a Muslim woman needs to make up for the missed days of fasting as soon as she has such an opportunity.
- If a person belongs to the category of people who are exempt from the fasting of Ramadan, then he or she should not eat demonstratively in public or smoke during the day.
In a number of Muslim countries, there is a prohibition in public places during Ramadan to turn on loud music, chewing gum and smoking, as well as drinking and eating during the fasting period. In the Muslim cities of Israel, there is also an unspoken ban on this — this applies to those cities where Muslims make up the majority of the population, as well as those cities where Jews and Arabs live together. In the city of Nazareth, Jews and Christians treat fasting Muslims with understanding, so every year during the period of fasting they try to avoid such actions so as not to irritate the Muslim population of the city.
Violation of the fast
If a person breaks fasting during the month of Ramadan without a valid reason, then this is a sin that must be atoned.
The form and amount of redemption are considered on the basis of the following gradation:
- if a person broke the fast unintentionally, and he or she has a reason for that, which may be hyde (menstruation), a serious illness, then it should be made up for the missed fast: it may be one day of fasting, or the payment of a certain amount to someone in need, which will be equal to one saa of wheat, or it can be groceries that will be bought for such an amount, and this can be done on any other day of the year;
- if a Muslim misses fasting and has a valid reason, he can fast on another day of the year before the next month of Ramadan;
- if a person had sexual intercourse when it was still daylight, he must compensate for this violation of the fast, and the reimbursement of this one day will be equal to sixty days of fasting throughout the year continuously.
Doing good deeds during Ramadan
As stated in the Holy Quran, as well as in the authentic hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, it is especially important to do good deeds during the Ramadan fast. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that doing a good deed exactly during the fast of Ramadan increases the significance of each of the good deeds done seven hundred times.
Also, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said that in the month of Ramadan, the shaitan is chained, and it is easier for Muslims to do good deeds, because the shaitan does not oppose them.
Throughout the month of Ramadan, fasting Muslims try to devote as much time as possible to reading the Holy Book of the Quran, to perform more additional prayers, to give alms to those in need, and also to perform other good deeds.
An early morning meal during the month of Ramadan is called suhoor. An important condition: eating should be started before the onset of the Fajr prayer, that is, before the onset of dawn. Like iftar (evening fasting), suhoor is the only meal for Muslims throughout the month of Ramadan instead of the traditional three meals a day with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Suhoor must be completed before the first signs of dawn appear closer to its beginning and the reward (sawab) that the one who fasts will receive from Allah Almighty will then be greater. The fasting person must necessarily eat before dawn, and if he does not do this, then a certain part of his reward will be lost, since suhoor is an action that refers to the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
The Holy Quran says:
«Eat and drink until you can distinguish the white thread of dawn from the black one, and then fast until night» (Surah 2: 187).
A Muslim should treat suhoor as the grace and mercy of Allah Almighty: wake up in time to eat slowly. After this, it is required to proceed to morning prayer.
The evening meal or fasting during the Ramadan fast is called iftar. Muslims perform Iftar after the evening maghrib prayer. The time after the sun sets can be considered the beginning of iftar. It is undesirable for the fasting person to postpone the Iftar meal later. It is mentioned to start breaking the fast with dates, and then with water, according to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:
«When one of you breaks his fast, let him break his fast with dates, and if he does not find dates, let him break his fast with water, for truly it cleans.»
Instead of dates, other food can be used that can quickly saturate the blood with glucose: pastries or, better, some dried fruit.
After the fasting person has taken the evening meal, he should say the following dua (supplication):
— “O Lord, I fasted for You and, using Your benefits, I broke my fast… «
— «The thirst is gone, and the veins are filled with moisture, and the reward is already awaiting, if Allah wills.»
Islamic Society hosts free Iftar meal for students.
The term «taraweeh» in translation from Arabic means «respite», «rest» or «break». This term is called voluntary prayer, which a Muslim can voluntarily perform after the isha prayer, which is the nightly obligatory prayer.
Taraweeh can be done individually, or a collective taraweeh prayer can be performed. The prayer got its name due to the fact that the praying Muslims, after completing each of its four rak’ahs, can sit and rest, listening to the edifications that the Imam gives them, and praising Allah Almighty.
During the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the taraweeh could include from eight to twenty rak’ahs, but the caliph Umar finally approved the taraweeh of twenty rak’ahs when the Sahaba gave their consent to this.
Four Sunni madhhabs agree that the taraweeh should consist of twenty rak’ahs, that is, ten prayers of two rak’ahs.
Taraweeh should be performed daily throughout the month of Ramadan after the obligatory night prayer isha has been performed.
The last ten days of the month of Ramadan
Of all the days of the month of Ramadan, the last ten days are special. On these days, Muslims should show special zeal in various types of worship, and it is best to stay in the mosque on these days, as the Prophet Muhammad did.
Night al Qadr or the Night of Predestination
The Night of Destiny or the Night of al-Qadr, also called the Night of Power, is one of the main nights in Islam. It was on this night that the first surah of the Holy Book of the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ by Allah Almighty. This event took place in 610 in the Khira cave, which is located in the Jabal al-Nur mountain.
The night of predestination comes in the last ten days of Ramadan. It is most likely that it is among the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan, when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, when he was praying, and ordered him to read, saying the word «Read!» (surah Blood clot).
The night of predestination is a kind of end to Ramadan. On this night, Muslims ask for forgiveness from Allah Almighty for all the sins they have committed. Also Muslims read the Holy Book of the Quran more and repeatedly remember the Merciful and Forgiving Allah in an effort to get their sins forgiven.
For the last ten days and nights,religious Muslims, if possible, move away from their families in the mosque, for more full-fledged worship and a great reward for worship performed in the mosque, whether it be a collective prayer, recitation of theQuran or the remembrance of Allah.
For a full-fledged Itikaaf, a Muslim must take the intention and spend all 10 days in the mosque, leaving it only at extreme need, to take a complete ablution or to eat, if such an opportunity is not provided in the mosque and Itikaaf is done at home, in Itikaaf he must not engage in an intimate relationship with his wife.
Eid al-Fitr : The Feast of Breaking the Fast
The Feast of Breaking the Fast is celebrated on the first day of the lunar month of Shawal, and this feast marks the end of the fast of Ramadan. The holiday of breaking the fast is called Eid al-Fitr in the Arabic version. On the Feast of Breaking the Fast, Muslims should perform Eid Namaz or Eid Prayer, and also be sure to pay Zakat al-Fitr, which is compulsory alms.
Zakat al-Fitr literally means «alms of breaking the fast» in Arabic — this is alms that a Muslim should pay to those in need before the holiday of Eid al-Fitr is a strict condition and Sunnah. Paying zakat al-fitr for a Muslim is a compulsory act or wajib. According to Islam, the head of the household, before Eid al-Adha begins, must pay alms for all members of his family and those who are in care of him. There is no need to pay zakat al-fitr for a child born on the last day of the month of Ramadan after sunset.
Zakat al-fitr is paid to a person who is authorized to receive zakat and can be paid to the mosque who will distribute it amongst the poor. If possible it is better to pay it directly to those in need, if those in need are known to you and meet the requirements of receiving zakat al-fitr. You can also transfer zakat al-fitr to a person who knows people in need and is ready to give them zakat al-fitr in time.
Islam determines the size of such alms: it should be equal to one saa of the bulk products that are common in the region where the Muslim lives (wheat — for Europe, rice — for Asia, dates — for the Middle East). Saa is a measure of weight that the Hanafi madhhab equates to three and a half kilograms, and the rest of the Sunni madhhab equates to 2.176 g.
It is better to pay zakat al-fitr by groceries, because this was done during the time of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. But the Hanafi madhhab allows the payment of zakat al-fitr in cash.
Muslims are ordered to pay zakat al-fitr in order to atone for mistakes they may have made during the fast of Ramadan, or omissions that may have occurred. Also, the payment of zakat al fitra is made in order to enable those who are poor and in need of funds to also celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, like the rest of the Muslim community.
On the first day of Shavval, Muslims perform a collective holiday prayer — Eid Namaz, which usually attracts tens and hundreds of thousands of believers in large cities of Russia,Europe and Muslim countries. Then a festive sermon is read, after which Muslims rush to their families, relatives and friends with congratulations on the end of Ramadan.
Quran on Ramadan
The Holy month of Ramadan is mentioned only once in the Book of Allah, the Qur’an, when it says that Muslims should fast «… a certain number of days …» (Surah 2: 184), and it specified that someone who is sick during fasting or is on the way travelling, should not fast and each of the days of fast missed should be made up at another time. It is also indicated that people who find it difficult to fast can feed the needy as compensation for missing any fasts.
The Holy Book of the Quran itself, which is a guide for people, was revealed precisely in the month of Ramadan. Also in the 97th chapter of the Quran «Predestination» contains a mention of the Night of al-Qadr and its great significance.
How do Muslims congratulate each other on Ramadan?
Since the month of fasting Ramadan is a joyful event for Muslims, this month Muslims congratulate each other, saying the words «Ramadan Kareem!», Which means «We wish you a generous Ramadan!» You can also greet each other with the words «Ramadan Mubarak!» Which means, translated from Arabic, «Blessed Ramadan!» Also, Muslims traditionally greet each other with the words «May Allah please your eyes in Ramadan with sweet evenings and the friendship of the elect, the grace of the All-Forgiving and the paradise of the pious!»
Already in the last days of the month Muslims say to each other the words «Havatim Mubarak» — these words are translated from Arabic into English as the wish of «Blessed last days of Ramadan!» Believers wish each other that Allah Almighty would accept their fast if they fast properly.
Frequently asked questions about Ramadan
Among the most frequently asked questions are those related to the timing of fasting and how to perfom best, as well as regarding the history of Ramadan.
A number of questions concern hadiths about the merits of fasting, and there are often hadiths that are not credible.
What date does Ramadan start in 2021
The time of the beginning of the Muslim fast of Ramadan depends on the appearance of a young crescent on the night of the 29th to the 30th of the previous month (that is, the month of Shaaban). The new moon must be seen in the sky with the naked eye. If Muslims witness a new crescent, then the month of Ramadan begins on the next day and this is the beginning of the first day of fasting.
According to astronomical calculations, the beginning of the fast of the month of Ramadan in 2021 begins on April 13, on Tuesday 2021.
When Ramadan ends in 2021
The end time of the month of Ramadan is determined in the same way as the start time; Muslims are guided by the appearance of a new moon in the month of Shawwal (which comes after Ramadan). According to astronomical calculations, the month of Ramadan will end on Wednesday 12 May 2021.
Is a dream determined as a worship in the month of Ramadan?
Hadiths are cited in which it is said that sleeping in the month of Ramadan is also a worship. On this issue, only one hadith can be cited, which literally says: «The dream of a fasting person is a worship,» and it is given in the book «Al-Jami ‘al-sagir», where its author Al-Suyuti refers to Al-Bayhaky, but mentions that this hadith is weak.
Is the hadith that says “Fast and you will be healthy!” reliable?
They also cite a hadith in which the words «Fast and be healthy» are said, but these words are also mentioned in a weak hadith cited in the books of At-Tabarani from Abu Huraira, as well as Ibn Adiyah, in whom this hadith was transmitted from Ibn Abbas, but in the chain of transmitters also has a weak link.
How to fast on polar day or polar night?
In certain regions on the planet, sunrise and sunset may be completely absent — in such places, a day or night can last for several months. In such regions, Muslims should calculate the fasting time according to a certain scheme: the jamaat can take as a basis the fasting schedule of the region closest to this inhabited locality, where it is possible to observe the change of periods.
Is Congratulations on the Coming of Ramadan a Worship?
Questions are often asked about whether the congratulations on Ramadan is classed as worship or should it be attributed to tradition? Also, how exactly should Muslims be congratulated on the day of Ramadan?Should Muslims shake hands or is it allowed to embrace each other? Which all comes from good intentions.
Muslim theologians are of the opinion that there is nothing negative in the fact that Muslims congratulate each other on the onset of the month of Ramadan, since the Prophet Muhammad himself ﷺ at the onset of the month of Ramadan announced this to his loved ones with joyful words: “Here has come a great and blessed month”, and also the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ reminded his companions of the virtues of the month of Ramadan and urged them to use this blessed month with benefit.
When to start fasting Ramadan in those countries where it does not coincide with the fast in Arabic countries?
A number of problems and questions arise among Muslims in different countries in connection with the ways in which the date of the beginning and end of the month of Ramadan in a particular state is determined. Muslims in India are forced to fast in the month of Ramadan later than believers in other Muslim countries, because in India, Eid al-fitr, like the onset of Ramadan, is determined by an adopted calendar used by the country’s parliament at the beginning of the year.
Many Muslims are gui bded by the beginning of fasting with their relatives living in Arabic countries, but scholarly theologians urge Muslims to fast with Muslims of that Islamic country or area in which they live, since fasting in the month of Ramadan shouldn’t became the reason for the emergence of disagreements between Muslims within one state. In connection with this decision, the words of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ from the hadith are quoted, when he ﷺ said that fasting occurs “when you fast”, and the breaking of the fast occurs “when you all break your fast”, and the sacrifice occurs “when you all offer a sacrifice. »
How to determine the arrival of the month of Ramadan?
Shariah prescribes to mark the day of the coming of the month, relying on visual fixation: when the month can be seen with the naked eye or with the help of optical technology. If the month cannot be seen, then when determining the date of the beginning of Ramadan and the date when it ends, follow the words of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ: “Fast when you see it (a new month) and stop when you see it again, if it is hidden from you, then count thirty days. »
What is the beginning of the day?
One of the most frequently asked questions about observing fasting in Ramadan is the question of when is the beginning of the day and how exactly to mark the beginning of the day for Muslims, because astronomers claim that the day should begin after midnight, and Muslims are guided by the appearance of dawn, deciding, when the day should start.
Based on information from the Holy Book of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, we can say that Muslims should consider the beginning of the day when dawn appears, since it is said in the surah of the Quran «Cow»: «Eat and drink until you can distinguish white the thread of dawn from black, and then fast until night … ”(Surah 2: 187).
Also, on this issue, the words of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ are quoted, who said: «… eat and drink until Ibn Umm Maktum calls out to prayer.»
InshaAllah it’s going to be my first Ramadan 🥰🥰🥰🤲🏼