Ramadan (/ˌræməˈdɑːn/; Arabic: رمضانRamaḍān, IPA: [ramaˈdˤaːn];[note 1] also known as Ramazan, romanized as Ramzan, Ramadhan, or Ramathan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar,[3] and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm) to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.[4][5] This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.[6] The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.[7][8]

The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness.[9] Fasting is fard (obligatory) for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating.[10] Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory (wājib) during the month of Sha'ban, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina. Fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with a natural phenomenon such as the midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca,[11] but the more commonly accepted opinion is that Muslims in those areas should follow the timetable of the closest country to them in which night can be distinguished from day.[12][13][14]

While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting except in self-defense.[15][16] Pre-fast meals before dawn are referred to as Suhoor, while the post-fast breaking feasts after sunset are called Iftar.[17][18] Spiritual rewards (thawab) for fasting are also believed to be multiplied within the month of Ramadan.[19] Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers), recitation of the Quran[20][21] and an increase of doing good deeds and charity.

Welcome Ramadhan
A crescent moon can be seen over palm trees at Manama, marking the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramadan in Bahrain
Observed byMuslims
CelebrationsCommunity iftars and Community prayers
Begins1 Ramadan
Ends29 or 30 Ramadan
DateVariable (follows the Islamic lunar calendar)
2018 date17 May – 14 June[1]
2019 date6 May – 3 June[1]
Frequencyevery year (lunar calendar)
Related toEid al-Fitr, Laylat al-Qadr


002185 Al-Baqarah UsmaniScript
Chapter 2, Verse 185 in Arabic.

Chapter 2, Verse 185, of the Quran states:

The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.[Quran 2:185]

It is believed that the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan which has been referred to as the "best of times". The first revelation was sent down on Laylat al-Qadr (The night of Power) which is one of the five odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.[22] According to hadith, all holy scriptures were sent down during Ramadan. It is further believed that the tablets of Ibrahim, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and the Quran were sent down on 1st, 6th, 12th, 13th[note 2] and 24th Ramadan, respectively.[23]

According to the Quran, fasting was also obligatory for prior nations, and is a way to attain taqwa, fear of God.[24][Quran 2:183] God proclaimed to Muhammad that fasting for His sake was not a new innovation in monotheism, but rather an obligation practiced by those truly devoted to the oneness of God.[25] The pagans of Mecca also fasted, but only on tenth day of Muharram to expiate sins and avoid droughts.[26]

The ruling to observe fasting during Ramadan was sent down 18 months after Hijra, during the month of Sha'ban in the second year of Hijra in 624 CE.[23]

Abu Zanad, an Arabic writer from Iraq who lived after the founding of Islam, in around 747 CE, wrote that at least one Mandaean community located in al-Jazira (modern northern Iraq) observed Ramadan before converting to Islam.[27]

According to historian Philip Jenkins, Ramadan comes "from the strict Lenten discipline of the Syrian Churches", a postulation corroborated by other scholars, such as the theologian Paul-Gordon Chandler.[28][29] This suggestion is based on the idea that the Quran itself has Syriac Christian origins, a claim to which some Muslim academics such as M. Al-Azami, object.[30] With professional athletes sharing their experiences of fasting during this religious period, Ramadan is more in the public eye than ever before - and while tradition, culture and religion remain at the forefront, more and more Muslims are finding ways to fit their lifestyle around their faith.[31]

Important dates

The beginning and end of Ramadan are determined by the lunar Islamic calendar.


Ramadan beginning dates between Gregorian years 1938 and 2038.

Hilāl (the crescent) is typically a day (or more) after the astronomical new moon. Since the new moon marks the beginning of the new month, Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning of Ramadan.[32] However, to many Muslims, this is not in accordance with authenticated Hadiths stating that visual confirmation per region is recommended. The consistent variations of a day have existed since the time of Muhammad.[33]

Night of Power

The Arabic Laylat al-Qadr, translated to English is "the night of power" or "the night of decree", is considered the holiest night of the year.[34][35] This is the night in which Muslims believe the first revelation of the Quran was sent down to Muhammad stating that this night was "better than one thousand months [of proper worship]", as stated in Chapter 97:3 of the Quran.

Also, generally, Laylat al-Qadr is believed to have occurred on an odd-numbered night during the last ten days of Ramadan, i.e., the night of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th. The Dawoodi Bohra Community believe that the 23rd night is Laylat al-Qadr.[36][37]


The holiday of Eid al-Fitr (Arabic:عيد الفطر) marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the next lunar month, Shawwal. This first day of the following month is declared after another crescent new moon has been sighted or the completion of 30 days of fasting if no visual sighting is possible due to weather conditions. This first day of Shawwal is called Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr may also be a reference towards the festive nature of having endured the month of fasting successfully and returning to the more natural disposition (fitra) of being able to eat, drink and resume intimacy with spouses during the day.[38]

Religious practices

Ramazan with the poor
Azim Azimzade. Ramadan of the poor people. 1938

The common practice during Ramadan is fasting from dawn to sunset. The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhur, while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast is the iftar.

Muslims also engage in increased prayer and charity during Ramadan. Ramadan is also a month where Muslims try to practice increased self-discipline. This is motivated by the Hadith, especially in Al-Bukhari[39][40] that "When Ramadan arrives, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of hell are locked up and devils are put in chains."[41]


Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. The fast (sawm) begins at dawn and ends at sunset. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, Muslims also increase restraint, such as abstaining from sexual relations[2] and generally sinful speech and behaviour. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, self-control,[42] sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity (zakat).[43]

It becomes compulsory for Muslims to start fasting when they reach puberty, so long as they are healthy and sane, and have no disabilities or illnesses. Many children endeavour to complete as many fasts as possible as practice for later life.

Exemptions to fasting are travel, menstruation, severe illness, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. However, many Muslims with medical conditions insist on fasting to satisfy their spiritual needs, although it is not recommended by the hadith. Professionals should closely monitor such individuals who decide to persist with fasting.[44] Those who were unable to fast still must make up the days missed later.[45] Muslims do not have to complete this if they are unable to, in the Quran it says that if somebody has difficulty participation in fasting then they do not have to. An example of a time when you are unable to is: being homeless or poor, being malnourished, pregnant, being a new born baby or having any illness preventing this from happening.


Each day, before dawn, Muslims observe a pre-fast meal called the suhoor. After stopping a short time before dawn, Muslims begin the first prayer of the day, Fajr.[46][47]


At sunset, families hasten for the fast-breaking meal known as iftar. Dates are usually the first food to break the fast; according to tradition, Muhammad broke fast with three dates. Following that, Muslims generally adjourn for the Maghrib prayer, the fourth of the five daily prayers, after which the main meal is served.[48]

Social gatherings, many times in a buffet style, are frequent at iftar. Traditional dishes are often highlighted, including traditional desserts, and particularly those made only during Ramadan. Water is usually the beverage of choice, but juice and milk are also often available, as are soft drinks and caffeinated beverages.[44]

In the Middle East, the iftar meal consists of water, juices, dates, salads and appetizers, one or more main dishes, and various kinds of desserts. Usually, the dessert is the most important part during iftar. Typical main dishes are lamb stewed with wheat berries, lamb kebabs with grilled vegetables, or roast chicken served with chickpea-studded rice pilaf. A rich dessert, such as luqaimat, baklava or kunafeh (a buttery, syrup-sweetened kadaifi noodle pastry filled with cheese), concludes the meal.[49]

Over time, iftar has grown into banquet festivals. This is a time of fellowship with families, friends and surrounding communities, but may also occupy larger spaces at masjid or banquet halls for 100 or more diners.[50]


Men praying in Afghanistan
Men praying during Ramadan at the Shrine of Ali or "Blue Mosque" in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan

Charity is very important in Islam, and even more so during Ramadan. Zakāt, often translated as "the poor-rate", is obligatory as one of the pillars of Islam; a fixed percentage of the person's savings is required to be given to the poor. Sadaqah is voluntary charity in giving above and beyond what is required from the obligation of zakāt. In Islam, all good deeds are more handsomely rewarded during Ramadan than in any other month of the year. Consequently, many will choose this time to give a larger portion, if not all, of the zakāt that they are obligated to give. In addition, many will also use this time to give a larger portion of sadaqah in order to maximize the reward that will await them at the Last Judgment.

Nightly prayers

Tarawih (Arabic: تراويح‎) refers to extra prayers performed by Muslims at night in the Islamic month of Ramadan. Contrary to popular belief, they are not compulsory.[51] However, many Muslims pray these prayers in the evening during Ramadan. Some scholars maintain that Tarawih is neither fard or a Sunnah, but is the preponed Tahajjud (night prayer) prayer shifted to post-Isha' for the ease of believers. But a majority of Sunni scholars regard the Tarawih prayers as Sunnat al-Mu'akkadah, a salaat that was performed by the Islamic prophet Muhammad very consistently.

Recitation of the Quran

In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran. Some Muslims perform the recitation of the entire Quran by means of special prayers, called Tarawih. These voluntary prayers are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Quran (juz', which is 1/30 of the Quran) is recited. Therefore, the entire Quran would be completed at the end of the month. Although it is not required to read the whole Quran in the Tarawih prayers, it is common.

Cultural practices

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Oproep tot het gebed op vrijdag via de trom bij de moskee Tulehu TMnr 20018271
Striking the bedug in Indonesia
Lanterns from below
Fanous Ramadan decorations in Cairo, Egypt
هلال رمضان
Crescent is colourfully decorated and beautifully illuminated during Ramadan in Jordan
Ramadan jerusalem kmhad
Ramadan in the Old City of Jerusalem

In some Muslim countries today, lights are strung up in public squares, and across city streets, to add to the festivities of the month. Lanterns have become symbolic decorations welcoming the month of Ramadan. In a growing number of countries, they are hung on city streets.[52][53][54] The tradition of lanterns as a decoration becoming associated with Ramadan is believed to have originated during the Fatimid Caliphate primarily centered in Egypt, where Caliph al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah was greeted by people holding lanterns to celebrate his ruling. From that time, lanterns were used to light mosques and houses throughout the capital city of Cairo. Shopping malls, places of business, and people's homes can be seen with stars and crescents and various lighting effects, as well.

As the nation with the world's largest Muslim population, Indonesia has diverse Ramadan traditions. On the island of Java, many Javanese Indonesians bathe in holy springs to prepare for fasting, a ritual known as Padusan. The city of Semarang marks the beginning of Ramadan with the Dugderan carnival, which involves parading the Warak ngendog, a horse-dragon hybrid creature allegedly inspired by the Buraq. In the Chinese-influenced capital city of Jakarta, fire crackers were traditionally used to wake people up for morning prayer, until the 19th century. Towards the end of Ramadan, most employees receive a one-month bonus known as Tunjangan Hari Raya. Certain kinds of food are especially popular during Ramadan, such as beef in Aceh, and snails in Central Java. The iftar meal is announced every evening by striking the bedug, a giant drum, in the mosque.

Common greetings during Ramadan are "Ramadan Mubarak" or "Ramadan Kareem", which wish the recipient a blessed or generous Ramadan.[55]

Observance rates

According to a 2012 Pew Research Centre study of 39 countries and territories, there is widespread Ramadan observance, with a median of 93%.[56] Regions with high percentages of fasting among Muslims include Southeast Asia, South Asia, MENA and most of Sub-Saharan Africa.[56] Percentages are lower in Central Asia and Southeast Europe.[56]


In some Muslim countries, failing to fast during Ramadan is considered a crime and is prosecuted as such. For instance, in Algeria, in October 2008 the court of Biskra condemned six people to four years in prison and heavy fines.[57]

In Kuwait, according to law number 44 of 1968, the penalty is a fine of no more than 100 Kuwaiti dinars, (about US$330, GB£260 in May 2017) or jail for no more than one month, or both penalties, for those seen eating, drinking or smoking during Ramadan daytime.[58][59] In some places in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), eating or drinking in public during the daytime of Ramadan is considered a minor offence and would be punished by up to 150 hours of community service.[60] In neighbouring Saudi Arabia, described by The Economist as taking Ramadan "more seriously than anywhere else",[61] there are harsher punishments, including flogging, imprisonment and, for foreigners, deportation.[62][63]

In Malaysia, Muslims who break the fast during daytime are simply arrested by the religious police. People who sell food, drinks, or tobacco to Muslims for immediate consumption can be fined for up to RM1,000 and imprisoned for up to six months, and repeated offenders will have their penalty doubled.[64]

Some countries have laws that amend work schedules during Ramadan. Under UAE labor law, the maximum working hours are to be six hours per day and 36 hours per week. Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait have similar laws.[65]

In Egypt, alcohol sales are banned during Ramadan.[66]


Ramadan fasting is safe for healthy people, but those with medical conditions should seek medical advice if they were to encounter health problems before or during fasting.[67] The fasting period is usually associated with modest weight loss, but weight can return afterwards.[68]

The education departments of Berlin and the United Kingdom have tried to discourage students from fasting during Ramadan, as they claim that not eating or drinking can lead to concentration problems and bad grades, according to their own research.[69][70]

A review of the literature by an Iranian group suggested fasting during Ramadan might produce renal injury in patients with moderate (GFR <60 ml/min) or worse kidney disease, but was not injurious to renal transplant patients with good function or most stone-forming patients.[71]

Crime rates

The correlation of Ramadan with crime rates is mixed: some statistics show that crime rates drop during Ramadan, while others show that it rises. Decreases in crime rates have been reported by the police in some cities in Turkey (Istanbul[72] and Konya[73]) and the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia.[74] A 2005 study found that there was a decrease in assault, robbery and alcohol-related crimes during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, but only the decrease in alcohol-related crimes was statistically significant.[75] Increases in crime rates during Ramadan have been reported in Turkey,[76] Jakarta,[77][78][79] parts of Algeria,[80] Yemen[81] and Egypt.[82]

Various mechanisms have been proposed for the effect of Ramadan on crime:

  • An Iranian cleric argues that fasting during Ramadan makes people less likely to commit crimes due to spiritual reasons.[83] Gamal al-Banna argues that fasting can stress people out, which can make them more likely to commit crimes. He criticized Muslims who commit crimes while fasting during Ramadan as "fake and superficial".[82]
  • Police in Saudi Arabia attributed a drop in crime rates to the "spiritual mood prevalent in the country".[74]
  • In Jakarta, Indonesia, police say that the traffic due to 7 million people leaving the city to celebrate Eid al-Fitr results in an increase in street crime. As a result, police deploy an additional 7,500 personnel.[79]
  • During Ramadan, millions of pilgrims enter Saudi Arabia to visit Mecca. According to the Yemen Times, such pilgrims are usually charitable, and consequently smugglers traffic children in from Yemen to beg on the streets of Saudi Arabia.[81]

Ramadan in polar regions

Netanyahu and Mubarak checking their watches
During 2010 Middle East negotiations in the United States, Hosni Mubarak and Benjamin Netanyahu check their watches to see if the sun has set.

The length of the dawn to sunset time varies in different parts of the world according to summer or winter solstices of the sun. Most Muslims fast for 11–16 hours during Ramadan. However, in polar regions, the period between dawn and sunset may exceed 22 hours in summers. For example, in 2014, Muslims in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Trondheim, Norway, fasted almost 22 hours, while Muslims in Sydney, Australia, fasted for only about 11 hours. Muslims in areas where continuous night or day is observed during Ramadan follow the fasting hours in the nearest city where fasting is observed at dawn and sunset. Alternatively, Muslims may follow Mecca time.[12][13][14]

Employment during Ramadan

Muslims will continue to work during Ramadan. The prophet Muhammad said that it is important to keep a balance between worship and work. In some Muslim countries, such as Oman, however, working hours are shortened during Ramadan.[84][85] It is often recommended that working Muslims inform their employers if they are fasting, given the potential for the observance to impact performance at work.[86] The extent to which Ramadan observers are protected by religious accommodation varies by country. Policies putting them at a disadvantage compared to other employees have been met with discrimination claims in the United Kingdom and the United States.[87][88][89]

See also


  1. ^ In Arabic phonology, it can be [rɑmɑˈdˤɑːn, ramadˤɑːn, ræmæˈdˤɑːn], depending on the region.
  2. ^ The hadith of Jabir ibn Abdullah mentions that the Gospel was sent down on the 18th of Ramadan. Aliyev, Rafig Y. (June 2013). Loud Thoughts on Religion: A Version of the System Study of Religion. Useful Lessons for Everybody. Trafford Publishing. ISBN 9781490705217.


  1. ^ a b c "The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia". Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Ramadan to start May 27 or May 28". aljazeera.com/. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ BBCReligions Retrieved 25 July 2012
  4. ^ "Muslims worldwide start to observe Ramadan". The Global Times Online. 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
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  8. ^ Muslim-Ibn-Habaj, Abul-Hussain. "Sahih Muslim – Book 006 (The Book of Fasting), Hadith 2378". hadithcollection.com. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
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  10. ^ Fasting (Al Siyam) – الصيام – Page 18, el Bahay el Kholi, 1998
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  12. ^ a b See article "How Long Muslims Fast For Ramadan Around The World" -Huffingtonpost.co /31 July 2014 and article "Fasting Hours of Ramadan 2014" -Onislam.net / 29 June 2014 and article "The true spirit of Ramadan" -Gulfnews.com /31 July 2014
  13. ^ a b See article by Imam Mohamad Jebara "The fasting of Ramadan is not meant to punish" https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/jebara-the-fasting-of-ramadan-is-not-meant-to-punish
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  18. ^ Dubai – Page 189, Andrea Schulte-Peevers – 2010
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  23. ^ a b Aliyev, Rafig Y. (June 2013). Loud Thoughts on Religion: A Version of the System Study of Religion. Useful Lessons for Everybody. Trafford Publishing. p. 129. ISBN 9781490705217.
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External links

26 June 2015 Islamist attacks

On 26 June 2015, attacks occurred in France, Kuwait, Syria, Somalia, and Tunisia, one day following a deadly massacre in Syria. The day of attacks has been dubbed "Bloody Friday" by international media and "Black Friday" (French: Vendredi Noir) among Francophone media in Europe and North Africa.One attack at a Tunisian beach resort killed 39; a bombing at a Shia mosque in Kuwait City killed 27 and injured several; while in Kobanî a large-scale massacre by ISIL resulted in more than 223 civilians murdered, in line with over 79 assailants (including 13 suicide bombers) and 23 Kurdish militiamen, dubbed the second largest massacre by ISIL since summer 2014; a suicide bombing by ISIL in Al-Hasakeh, also in Syria, resulted in 20 fatalities; Al-Shabaab militants killed 70 African Union soldiers from Burundi in Leego, Somalia; finally, one man was decapitated, while several were injured during the Saint-Quentin-Fallavier attack in France.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant senior leader Abu Mohammad al-Adnani had released an audio message three days earlier encouraging militants everywhere to attack during the month of Ramadan. ISIL also claimed responsibility for the attacks in Tunisia, Syria and Kuwait.According to The Guardian, there is no evidence that the attacks were coordinated among the perpetrators, but their timing on a single day received significant coverage. One security analyst said the attacks added up to "an unprecedented day for terrorism." In total, more than 403 people died and 336 were injured, not including any attackers involved.

Chaand Raat

Chaand Raat (Bengali: চাঁদ রাত, Urdu: چاند رات‎, Hindi: चाँद रात; literally Night of the moon) is a Bengali, Urdu and Hindi locution used in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India for the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr; it can also mean a night with a new moon for the new Islamic month shawwal. Chaand Raat is a time of celebration when families and friends gather in open areas at the end of the last day of Ramadan to spot the new moon, which signals the arrival of the Islamic month of Shawwal and the day of Eid. Once the moon is sighted, people wish each other Chaand Raat Mubarak ("Have a blessed night of the new moon") or Eid Mubarak ("Blessings of the Eid day"). Women and girls decorate their hands with mehndi (henna), and people prepare desserts for the next day of Eid and do last rounds of shopping. City streets have a festive look, and brightly decorated malls and markets remain open late into the night. Chaand Raat is celebrated festively and passionately by Muslims (and occasionally non-Muslims as well) all over South Asia, and in socio-cultural significance, is comparable to Christmas Eve.

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr ( eed; Arabic: عيد الفطر‎ ʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr]) is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (ṣawm). This religious Eid (Muslim religious festival) is the first and only day in the month of Shawwal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on when the new moon is sighted by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two rakats (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may be performed only in congregation (jamāʿat) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying "Allāhu ʾAkbar" which means "God is the greatest"), three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before rukūʿ in the second raka'ah in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. Other Sunni schools usually have twelve Takbirs, seven in the first, and five at the beginning of the second raka'ah. According to Shia Islam, it has 6 Takbirs in the first Rakat at the end of qira'a, before rukūʿ, and 5 in the second. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, farḍ فرض (obligatory), mustaḥabb مستحب (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandūb مندوب (preferable).

Muslims believe that they are commanded by God, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat al-Fitr before offering the Eid prayers.

Fasting during Ramadan

This is a sub-article to Fasting in Islam and RamadanDuring the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims are obligated to fast (Arabic: صوم‎, sawm), every day from dawn to sunset (or from dawn to night according to some scholars). Fasting requires the abstinence from food and drink. Fasting the month of Ramadān was made obligatory (wājib) during the month of Sha‘bān, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Makkah to Madīnah. Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Fasting in Islam

Fasting in Islam, (known as Sawm (صَوْم) Arabic pronunciation: [sˤɑwm] or Siyām (صِيَام) Arabic pronunciation: [sˤijæːm], also commonly known as Rūzeh or Rōzah (Persian: روزه‎)), is the practice of abstaining, usually from food, drink, smoking and sexual activity. The observance of Sawm during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, begins at dawn the next morning up to the sun sets; when the evening adhan is sounded.


Iftar (or Fatoor) (Arabic: إفطار‎ ʾifṭār 'break fast') is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Muslims break their fast at the time of the call to prayer for the evening prayer. This is their second meal of the day; the daily fast during Ramadan begins immediately after the pre-dawn meal of Suhur and continues during the daylight hours, ending with sunset with the evening meal of Iftar.

Islamic holidays

There are two official holidays in Islam: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan (a month of fasting during daylight hours), and Muslims may invoke zakat (charity) on the occasion which begins after the new moon sighting for the beginning of Shawal. The Eid al-Fitr celebration begins with prayers the morning of the 1st of Shawal, and is followed by breakfast, and often celebratory meals throughout the day.

Eid Al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah when Hajj (pilgrimage) takes place, and lasts for four days. Muslims may invoke an act of zakat and friendship by the slaughter of a sheep and distribute its meat in 3 parts: among family, friends, and the poor. Muslims are also encouraged to be especially friendly and reach out to one another during this period.

Both of the holidays occur in the lunar based Islamic calendar which is different from the solar based Gregorian calendar. The Islamic calendar is based on the synodic period of the Moon's revolution around the Earth, approximately 29​1⁄2 days. The Islamic calendar alternates months of 29 and 30 days (which begin with the new moon). Twelve of these months make up an Islamic year, which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year. The Gregorian calendar is based on the orbital period of the Earth's revolution around the Sun, approximately days.

Laylat al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr (from Arabic: لیلة القدر‎), variously rendered in English as the Night of Decree, Night of Power, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures, is an Islamic belief the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is one of the nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. Muslims believe that on this night the blessings and mercy of God are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who also descend to earth, specially the Angel Gabriel, referred to as "the Spirit", to perform every and any errand decreed by God. Islam holds that God Almighty alone answers our supplications and that He alone receives them and forgives humanity and gives them what they ask for and that on this particular night Muslims should actively seek God's forgiveness and engage in various acts of worship.

Ramadan (calendar month)

Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان) or Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Quran was revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. According to Islam, the Quran was sent down to the lowest heaven during this month, thus being prepared for gradual revelation by Jibreel (Gabriel) to Muhammad. Therefore, Muhammad told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be open for the entire month and the gates of Hell (Jahannam) would be closed. The first day of the next month, Shawwal, is spent in celebration and is observed as the "Festival of Breaking Fast" or Eid al-Fitr.

Ramadan Offensive (2003)

The Ramadan Offensive was a series of insurgent attacks against Coalition and Iraqi military targets from the end of October and during much of November 2003.

The attacks are called the Ramadan Offensive because they were conducted during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The number of insurgent attacks increased during this period mainly because of the belief among the insurgent forces that fighting a foreign occupation force during Islam's holy month puts a believer especially close to God.

Ramadan Offensive (2006)

The Ramadan Offensive refers to the attacks mounted by insurgents in Iraq during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in 2006, three years after the original Ramadan Offensive.Among the targets were U.S., Iraqi and other Coalition military targets, but also a large number of civilians were also killed by death squads. Most of the civilian killings was conducted by the Mahdi Army who were seeking to purge the Sunni population of Baghdad. The offensive coincided with a Coalition operation called Together Forward which was to significantly reduce the violence in Baghdad which had seen a sharp uprise since the mid-February 2006 bombing of the Askariya Mosque, a major Shia Muslim shrine, in Samarra. However, the operation failed. Moreover, the insurgents managed take control of more than 80 percent of Baghdad. Also insurgents made huge gains in the western Al Anbar and southern Babil province, forcing Coalition and Iraqi security forces from a large number of towns and cities. This period also saw the battle of Amarah, during which rouge Mahdi Army fighters fought with the police, who were members of the Badr Organisation, for control of the southern city of Amarah.

Ramadan Revolution

The Ramadan Revolution, also referred to as the 8 February Revolution and the February 1963 coup d'état in Iraq, was a military coup by the Ba'ath Party's Iraqi-wing which overthrew the Prime Minister of Iraq, Abd al-Karim Qasim in 1963. It took place between 8 and 10 February 1963. Qasim's former deputy, Abdul Salam Arif, who was not a Ba'athist, was given the largely ceremonial title of President, while prominent Ba'athist general Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr was named Prime Minister. The most powerful leader of the new government was the secretary general of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, Ali Salih al-Sa'di, who controlled the National Guard militia and organized a massacre of hundreds—if not thousands—of suspected communists and other dissidents following the coup.

Ramadan Shalah

Ramadan Shalah (born February 1, 1958) is the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).

Ramadan Sobhi

Ramadan Sobhi Ahmed (Egyptian Arabic: رمضان صبحي‎, translit. Ramaḍān Subḥī; born 23 January 1997) is an Egyptian professional footballer who plays as a winger for Al Ahly on loan from Huddersfield Town and the Egypt national team.

Sobhi began his career with leading Egyptian club Al Ahly, making his professional debut in February 2014. He established himself in the first team at the Cairo International Stadium and helped Al Ahly to win the Egyptian Premier League title in the 2013–14 and 2015–16 campaigns. His performances attracted the attentions of European clubs and in July 2016 he joined English side Stoke City for a fee of £5 million. He spent two seasons with Stoke before joining Huddersfield Town in June 2018. On 28 December 2018, it was announced that Ramadan Sobhi returned to Al Ahly on loan from Huddersfield for 6 months for a fee of £800,000 after failing to make appearances for The Terriers, with just 3 appearances out of the bench.

Ramadan T20 Cup

The Ramadan T20 Cup (also known as Advance Telecom Ramadan T20 Cup) was a one-off a professional Twenty20 cricket league held in holy month of Ramadan, in Pakistan 2013. The cup is contested between different departments as opposed to geographical regions competing in Faysal Bank T20 Cup.


Sha'ban (Arabic: شَعْبَان‎, translit. sha‘bān) is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar.

This is the month of "separation", so called because the pagan Arabs used to disperse in search of water.

The fifteenth night of this month is known as the "Night of Records" (Laylat al-Bara'at). However, observance of this day is disputed.Sha'ban is the last lunar month before Ramadan, and so Muslims determine in it when the first day of Ramadan fasting will be.

Siege of Hama (2011)

The Siege of Hama (2011) was among the nationwide crackdowns by the Syrian Government during the early stage of the Syrian Civil War. Anti-government protests had been ongoing in the Syrian city of Hama since 15 March 2011, when large protests were first reported in the city, similar to the protests elsewhere in Syria as part of the wider Syrian Civil War. The events beginning in July 2011, were described by anti-government activists in the city as a "siege" or "blockade".On 1 July, with more than 400,000 protestors, Hama witnessed the largest demonstration against Bashar al-Assad. Two days later, Syrian tanks deployed at Hama, in an operation that led to more than 16 civilian deaths at the hands of Syrian security forces.On 31 July, the Government of Syria sent the Syrian Army into Hama to control protests on the eve of Ramadan, as part of a nationwide crackdown, nicknamed the "Ramadan Massacre." At least 142 people across Syria died on that day, including over 100 in Hama alone, and 29 in Deir ez-Zor. Hundreds more have been wounded. By 4 August, more than 200 civilians had been killed in Hama.

Taha Yassin Ramadan

Taha Yasin Ramadan al-Jizrawi (Arabic: طه ياسين رمضان الجزراوي‎; 1938 – 20 March 2007) was an Iraqi Kurd, who served as one of the three Vice Presidents of Iraq from March 1991 to the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003.

Following the fall of Saddam's government, Taha Yasin Ramadan was placed on the U.S. list of most-wanted Iraqis and depicted as the Ten of Diamonds in the most-wanted Iraqi playing cards. He was captured on August 19, 2003, in Mosul, by fighters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and handed over to US forces.He was one of the defendants in the Iraq Special Tribunal's Al-Dujail trial. On November 5, 2006, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. On December 26, 2006, the appeals court sent the case file back to the Tribunal, saying the sentence was too lenient and demanding a death sentence.

On February 12, 2007, he was sentenced to death by hanging. His sentence was carried out on the fourth anniversary of Iraq's US invasion, before dawn on March 20, 2007.

Tariq Ramadan

Tariq Ramadan (Arabic: طارق رمضان‎; born 26 August 1962) is a Swiss Muslim academic, philosopher, and writer. He is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St Antony's College, Oxford and the Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Oxford, but as of 2018 is taking an agreed leave of absence. He is a visiting professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar, and the Université Mundiapolis in Morocco. He is also a senior research fellow at Doshisha University in Japan. He is the director of the Research Centre of Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), based in Doha. He is a member of the UK Foreign Office Advisory Group on Freedom of Religion or Belief. He was elected by Time magazine in 2000 as one of the seven religious innovators of the 21st century and in 2004 as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and by Foreign Policy readers (2005, 2006, 2008-2010, 2012-2015) as one of the top 100 most influential thinkers in the world and Global Thinkers. Ramadan describes himself as a "Salafi reformist".In November 2017, Tariq Ramadan took agreed leave of absence from Oxford University to contest allegations of rape and sexual misconduct. The university's statement noted that an "agreed leave of absence implies no acceptance or presumption of guilt". In February 2018 he was formally charged with raping two women. He denies wrongdoing and is suing one of his accusers for slander. He is currently in jail awaiting trial.

Prayers and observances
Ramadan culture
Islamic holidays and observances
The two Eids
Other holidays and observances
Varies (year round)
National holidays
State holidays
(differ by states)
United States Holidays, observances, and celebrations in the United States
American Heart Month
Black History Month
Irish-American Heritage Month
National Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Women's History Month
Confederate History Month
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Pride Month
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Hispanic Heritage Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Disability Employment Awareness Month
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Varies (year round)

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