Ramadan is the ninth holy month of the Islamic calendar. It is considered to be special as it marked the beginning of revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The duration of this fasting month may vary from 29 to 30 days as it depends on the shifting of the moon’s angle. Quran says:
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When Does Ramadan Month Start and End
The month of Ramadan starts with the visibility of crescent moon on the evening of 29th or 30th of Shaban. Shaban is the eight month of Islamic calendar. If on 29th of Shaban evening, new moon doesnt appear than the 1st day of the Ramadan month will begin without any condition of crescent visibility after completion of 30 days of Shaban month. Similarly, Ramadan will last 29 days long if Shawwal crescent appears on the 29th day evening otherwise, Ramadan will have its last day on its 30th day.
Quick links: Country wise Ramadan Mubarak Start/End dates with beautiful calendars, sehr-o-iftar timetable, images and wishes, along days until counters.
What is Ramadan Month?
Observing Ramadan (also known as Ramzan or Ramadhan or Month of Qur’an) is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a month where the Holy Quran was first sent down to the Prophet Mohammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa’Sallam). During Ramadan month Muslims all around the world must fast. While fasting, a person do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. And it is obligatory on all Muslims if they physically and mentally sound and fit. Except for the traveller, elderly, pregnant, menstruating, or chronologically ill. Whoever can not fast, it is their duty to feed the poor, if they have the financial ability. It is not only abstinence from food and drink but, this holy month is also a test of patience in refraining from evil actions, evil thoughts, and bad words.
Ramadan is a test to demonstrate submission to ALLAH (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), the only God. Sawm is a way to keep the mind and body focused on good deeds and attaining self discipline.
Including night, Muslims perform extra prayers in addition to the five daily prescribed prayers. It is also recommended that Muslims give charity to the poor during and also by the end of Ramadan. The rewards for good actions are multiplied in this holy month. And this is why it is encouraged to reassess our actions to make beneficial use of our time. Do extra prayers, read the Quran, and ask for forgiveness so that we may attain paradise through ALLAH’s mercy, Insha-ALLAH.
As Ramadan is the name of ninth month of Islamic / Hijrah calendar, which is actually lunar based. So, to answer exactly when does Ramadan start becomes difficult. Indeed, because of lunar calendar, the start and end dates vary with geolocation. Changes in time occur roughly because of the same reason that is behind the variation in time of sunset and sunrise. Usually, a couple days before the end of Shaban (the 8th month of Islamic Calendar), in each country the moon sighting Committee astronomically decide when will be the first day of Ramadan in USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Morocco, Egypt, India, etc. And they repeat the same practice to astronomically predict the last date of fasting month or alternatively when is Eid al-Fitr. Normally, the Islamic / Hijri calendar is found to be 10-12 days shorter than Gregorian calendar because of lunar cycles.
Ashrah’s – Three Portions of Ramadan
This month of mercy is divided into three parts, more generally referred to as “Ashrah”. This word hails from Arabic and its literal meaning is ten. With almost 30 days in hand, the total numbers of Ashrah that are made are ten. There are separate supplications for each ten days of theses three different Ashrah. Although the month is saturated with forgiveness and mercy but these three Ashrah has signified their importance. The first Ashrah reflects mercy, second is of forgiveness while the third one is about seeking protection from the hell fire.
Fasting and Ramadan
Fasting is the third pillar of Islam and it is mainly observed for a whole month in Ramadan. Although there are also voluntary fasts which Muslims keep for various reasons through different months of the year. The reasons might vary for instance the other fast may be kept in order to please and gain Allah’s pleasure, or simply to keep up with the missed fast in the ninth month. Fasting was made obligatory in the 2nd year of the hijra by Quranic injunction,
So as illustrated by the above verse from the holy Quran. Sawm, literally means to abstain or practice self-restraint. In Islamic terminology, it means to spend the day without food, drink, sex and smoking. Fasting has been made obligatory in order to purify us from all sort of ills, be it physical, emotional or social ones. We are enjoined by Quran to take fasting as a medium to demonstrate individual submissiveness and commitment to Allah by leaving all the temptations and difficulties that come on the way. Fasting teaches patience, obedience, and endurance. Furthermore, it puts into perspective the plight of those who are not able to afford three times meal and consequently makes individual a staunch believer.
The process of Fasting
The fast is observed from the beginning of the day (just before Fajr, before the break of dawn) till sunset (dusk, when the call of Maghrib Prayer is made). The time for the beginning of the fast has been stated in the Quran.
Muslim gets up early in the morning before dawn and takes their meal, which is called “Suhoor/Sehri”. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said
While taking Sehri or when one is done taking it the intention (Niyat) o fasting is made. Although it is not incumbent on Muslims to speak the niyat aloud as in reality, one must be conscious of it in the heart, which does not necessarily involve the use of the tongue. Niyat can be simply made by the following supplication
During the process Muslims are obliged to obey all the commandments laid down by Allah, they eat, drink, smoke or indulge in any sexual intercourse. They are supposed to avoid hearing, seeing or doing evil. Extraordinary care is taken while doing five daily prayers and abstaining from shameful deeds. Special instructions were given out on how one should behave and react during the fast as described by the following Hadis of Prophet (saw)
“If one of you is fasting, he should avoid sexual relation with his wife and quarreling and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say “I am fasting”. (Agreed)
Then after observing the fast whole day comes the time of breaking of fast which is called “iftar”. It is recommended breaking the fast immediately after the sunset this is because
It is the Sunnah to break the iftar with dates although one can open with anything he desires with.
Best Productivity Tips For Ramadan
1. Its is the month of worship, not sleep!
2. The key to productivity is consistency! Stay consistent during month!
3. Energize during your fast with wudhu, salah and Qur’an!
4. It is a month of sharing, not the month of hoarding!!
5. Make the most of the last 10 days with worship, not shopping!
6. It is the month of mercy, not wrestling matches!
Laylat al-Qadr: The Power Night of Ramadan
Laylat al-Qadar is also known as the ‘Night of Power’, this was the night when Prophet (PBUH) started receiving the revelation, it is generally believed to be on 27th of Ramadan, however, nobody is sure about this fact. Holy Quran has dedicated a whole chapter on the description of this night and this signifies its importance. Allah has declared this night to be better than a thousand months of worship; therefore this is the reason why Muslims stay up all night offering Nafl, reciting Quran, making supplications and doing zikr. During this night angels of mercy led by angel Jibrael descends to this world by Allah’ command. Holy prophet (PBUH) has said
Recitation of the Quran and Tarawih
Muslims are encouraged to go through whole Quran during Ramadan. This is because the rewarded for good deeds multiplies manifold and Muslims perform as many additional acts as possible, such as offering Nafl Salah and distributing charity. Other than this tarawih prayers are offered in this month of Ramadan. It can be performed in congregations or on the individual basis. Arrangements are normally made in mosques or in nay other open space where the whole Quran is recited and it is usually completed by the twenty-seventh of the Ramadan. The numbers of rakaah are twenty but eight can also be prayed and normally one juzz (part) is recited in the twenty rakaah. After tarawih, the witr and remaining two Nafl are completed.
Happy Ramadan Mubarak 🙂