Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the Holy Month of fasting and this year it will run from March 23 to April 22. Allah laid out the five pillars of Islam as follows: Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj. Swam (fasting) is the pillar practiced in Ramadan. The name stems from the Arabic root ‘ar-ramad,’ which means scorching heat. The start and end dates of Ramadan vary annually because the timing is based on the appearance of the crescent moon. This also means that different countries may have different start and end dates. The Islamic year is shorter than the Gregorian year, which means Ramadan begins 10 –12 days earlier each year, allowing it to fall in every season throughout a 33-year cycle.
History of Ramadan Begins
Ramadan was already a known month of the calendar even before Prophet Muhammad’s mission. Naturally, fasting the Month had not yet been made obligatory then. It only happened in year 2 A.H, after 15 years of the Prophet’s mission. However, Ramadan actually marks the beginning of the Prophet’s mission. On a very special blessed night, Angel Jibreel revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad for the first time. That is Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Decree).
This blessed night lies in the final ten nights of Ramadan. The specific night among the ten changes every Ramadan. Allah took away the Prophet’s knowledge of that night as people quarreled as he was about to inform them. Additionally, this Night is better than a thousand months. This means the good deeds on this night exceed those of 83 years. As Allah, may He be exalted, says: “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” Chapter (97) sūrat l-qadr (The Night of Decree): 3.
This Month is a time of fasting, prayer in the mosque, and reciting the Quran. During Ramadan, Allah forgives sins and, frees people from the Hellfire every night. Muslims will gather in their homes or mosques with their friends and extended family after the sunset prayer to break their fast. This meal is called Iftar. The meal that precedes dawn before the start of fasting is called Suhoor. So, fasting extends from Suhoor to Iftar. After Ramadan comes Eid al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast-Breaking), which signals the end of fasting. It lasts for three days during which Muslims show delight. They gather to enjoy each other’s company, check on their relatives, and exchange happiness. There is also the special prayer of Eid on the first day.
Ramadan Begins timeline
Prophet Muhammad is born.
The Quran is first revealed to Prophet Muhammad by angel Jibreel.
The lunar Islamic calendar begins.
Prophet Muhammad completes his Hijra (Migration) from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution.
Allah makes fasting during Ramadan obligatory.
Ramadan Begins FAQs
How does Ramadan start?
Ramadan begins when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted.
What are the fasting rules for Ramadan?
The rule for fasting during Ramadan is to abstain from all food or drink, including water, from dawn to sunset.
What are the three parts of Ramadan?
The three stages are the first ten days or the Mercy of Allah, the second ten days or the Forgiveness of Allah, and the final ten days or the Freedom from Hellfire.
How to Observe Ramadan Begins
Join in the fasting
Fast from sunrise to sunset. You can be exempt if you are ill, traveling, or menstruating.
Pay Zakat al-fitr (Fitrana)
Donate money to a charity or give to those who are less fortunate. This is at the heart of Ramadan.
Research on Ramadan
There’s still a lot to know about this beautiful month. Research it as much as you can. Make sure to use trustworthy sources.
5 Facts About Ramadan
Children don't fast
Children don’t need to fast until they come of age (Buloogh).
Niyyah is needed
Muslims must have niyyah (intention) in their hearts to fast Ramadan; unless the fast is interrupted for a day or more due to a permissible reason, resolving once at the beginning of the Month is enough.
Make up on missed days
If you cannot fast, you can make up for missed days later in the year. If you are ill with no hope of recovery and can’t make up, provide a meal to a needy person for each missed day.
Track prayer times
Some apps help you know the exact time for prayers as well as Suhoor and Iftar in case you are traveling.
Businesses close early
During Ramadan, many offices and schools in Muslim-majority countries close early.
Why Ramadan Begins is Important
It is a blessed month
Ramadan is a time for reflection and connecting with Allah. It is a time for mercy, the forgiveness of sins, and freedom from hellfire.
Generosity and giving
People give Zakat to the poor. This encourages a culture of giving and generosity. One such example is Mawa'ed Al-Rahman (charity Iftar tables).
Fasting in Ramadan teaches us self-restraint. This is a skill everyone needs to become a better person.
Ramadan Begins dates