Ramadan is one of the most important fixtures in the Muslim calendar – and people all over the world who worship in the Islamic faith regard it as highly important for growth and self-reflection.
1. How long does Ramadan last?
Ramadan generally lasts up to 30 days each year – so the space of a month, and it normally comes around during Islam’s ninth month. The exact date of Ramadan changes each year – in 2021 for example, it ran from April 14th to May 11th.
2. Ramadan requires fasting.
Fasting is a huge part of life during Ramadan. It normally takes place between sunrise and sunset, meaning that Muslims must eat meals before and after these times, respectively.
3. Fasting holds a lot of importance.
Muslims choose to fast during Ramadan as it is an act of self-discipline. It’s also seen as a time where people can reflect on their own gratitude. This is a period where the needs of the poor come into focus.
4. It’s the period during which the Prophet Muhammad received the Quran.
On Qadr Night, Muslims celebrate the arrival of the Quran on Earth. It is at this time that Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad received the holy book from the heavens above. This is seen as a pivotal event of the whole festival.
5. It’s an important period for Muslims to reach out to God.
Ramadan is seen as an important occasion whereby Muslims feel closer connections to God. It’s also seen as a time for celebrating family and loved ones, and is therefore an often very social affair!
6. The celebration brings communities together.
Ramadan is also seen as a community celebration in many ways. That’s because people tend to come together in their local communities to pray and celebrate at local mosques. In majority Muslim countries, these communities are even larger – and the celebrations are, too!
7. School and work end early for Ramadan in some regions.
Ramadan will also see many businesses and schools shut down early, depending on the country. This will normally occur in regions and countries where Islam is the majority religion.
8. How do you greet people during Ramadan?
There are a number of useful phrases you can share during Ramadan to wish people a happy and peaceful celebration. Ramadan Mubarak means ‘Happy Ramadan’, while many people use Ramadan Kareem, which means to wish people a generous time.
9. It’s an important week in Islamic history.
Ramadan is celebrated as the period during which the Prophet Muhammad started receiving revelations from above.
10. It’s a highly charitable time.
This period is a time of great giving for Muslims, too. During Ramadan, Muslims will normally undertake charitable efforts to ensure that the poor and needy are catered for. There are two types of giving during this period – Zakat, which is mandatory, and Sadaqa, which is optional.
11. Makes sense to us!
Egypt tends to shorten the days during Ramadan to account for less fasting hours – they do this by moving the clocks around. That means they can still honor the sacred period of Ramadan, but they won’t have to fast for as long – it’s a fairly smart move!
12. The end is highly celebrated, too.
The end of Ramadan is celebrated with Eid ul Fitr, a huge festival that seals the end of the fasting period. This is also a time where people will seek forgiveness in the eyes of Allah.
FAQs about Ramadan
Can you drink water during Ramadan?
No - you aren’t allowed to drink water during the daylight hours of Ramadan, i.e. between the hours of sunrise and sunset. The fast applies to food and drink in equal measure.
Can you brush your teeth during Ramadan?
Technically, you can - but you won’t be allowed to swallow any toothpaste or mouthwash by accident, so it pays to be very careful.
Can you kiss during Ramadan?
Yes - kissing, hugging and close contact are all allowed during Ramadan - don’t worry!
Do you know any fun or interesting facts about Ramadan? Share them in the comments below!