Muslims undergo a period of daily fasting during the month of Ramadan; it is one of the biggest acts of religious observance of its kind.
The annual event represents a time to fast and devote a particular focus to prayer, purification and charitable acts for the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims including Britain’s 3.1 million Muslims.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The month is observed by Muslims globally as a month of fasting as it was prescribed in the holy Qur’an to the noble Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam. The observance of this month of fasting is regarded as one of the 5 pillars of Islam. According to a number of biographical accounts compiled in the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet ﷺ Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam); based on the visual sighting of the crescent moon, the month lasts for 29 to 30 days.
The word Ramadan is derived from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, meaning scorching heat or dryness. To fast in the month of Ramadan is obligatory for adult Muslims, except the ones suffering from an illness, chronically ill, menstruating, diabetic, breastfeeding, pregnant, elderly, as well as travelling.
It was made obligatory to fast the month of Ramadan in the 2nd year following the migration of Muslims from Mecca to Medina.
Muslims refrain from the consumption of food or drinks while fasting from dawn to dusk, as well as refraining from all acts of sexual relations and smoking. It is instructed for Muslims to refrain from sinful behaviors that may negate the reward they should get from fasting. Fighting, except in self-defense and false speech (backbiting, lying, cursing, insulting etc.) is strictly prohibited especially while fasting.
When is Ramadan 2018?
Ramadan which is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar will this year commence around Tuesday 15th May and will conclude sometime around the evening of Thursday 14th June, 2018
As the Islamic calendar is lunar, the dates for the beginning of each month moves each year; Ramadan began on Friday 26th May in 2017, and concluded in the evening of Saturday 24th June, 2017.
Each month begins upon the sighting of the first crescent of a new moon. The Islamic calendar is 10 to 11 days shorter than the solar year and has no leap days, weeks or months, which is why the Ramadan moves.
In the Islamic calendar, also known as the Muslim, or Hijri calendar, this year is 1439 AH. It runs from approximately 21st September, 2017, to 10th September, 2018 in the Gregorian calendar.