The Month of Ramadan

The Month of Ramadan:A Guide to the Sacred Month

In the Islamic calendar, The Month of Ramadan holds immense significance for Muslims worldwide. This sacred period involves fasting from dawn till sunset, abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs. Let’s delve deeper into this spiritual journey and its profound meaning.

Muslims worldwide observe Ramadan as the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, fasting throughout its duration.It lasts either 29 or 30 days, depending on the sighting of the crescent moon. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations during daylight hours. Some interpretations also require refraining from swearing or engaging in other forms of negative behavior.

What’s meaning of Ramadan?

The word “Ramadan” derives from the Arabic root “ramida” or “ar-ramad,” signifying scorching heat or dryness.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, holds immense significance for Muslims globally. They revere it as one of the holiest periods, observing fasting, engaging in reflection, prayer, and intensifying their devotion to spiritual practices.

While the fundamental practice of fasting from dawn to sunset is a common thread, the observance of Ramadan can vary greatly based on cultural and regional traditions. Despite these differences, the underlying essence of spiritual growth, self-discipline, and devotion remains central to the Ramadan experience for Muslims worldwide.

What is Ramadan in Islam?

Ramadan holds a significant place in Islam as the blessed month of fasting, representing the fourth pillar of the Muslim faith. Fasting during Ramadan is not merely abstaining from food and drink but is a means of attaining piety and God-consciousness.

The Quranic concept of taqwa, or God-consciousness, often links with Ramadan, emphasizing the importance of fulfilling Allah’s commands and avoiding what He has forbidden. Fasting during this sacred month serves as one of the greatest means of adhering to the teachings of Islam and strengthening one’s faith.

Through fasting, Muslims learn the virtue of restraint, gaining the ability to control worldly desires and focus on prayer and meditation. The Quranic verses regarding Ramadan elucidate these requirements and characteristics, guiding believers to embody the spirit of self-discipline, devotion, and obedience during this noble month.

Why do Muslims Fast?

Muslims fast as an act of obedience to Allah (SWT) and to attain righteousness, as stated in the Quran: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (Al-Baqarah 2:183). This verse emphasizes the obligation of fasting for all capable Muslims, highlighting its role in fostering piety and spiritual growth.

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ١٨٣

Additionally, the Quran asserts, “…But to fast is best for you, if you only knew” (Al-Baqarah 2:184). This underscores the benefits and virtues of fasting, indicating that it is a means to attain goodness and spiritual purification. By abstaining from food, drink, and other worldly desires during daylight hours, Muslims demonstrate their commitment to self-discipline, gratitude, and obedience to Allah.

أَيَّامًۭا مَّعْدُودَٰتٍۢ ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍۢ فَعِدَّةٌۭ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۚ وَعَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُۥ فِدْيَةٌۭ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍۢ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًۭا فَهُوَ خَيْرٌۭ لَّهُۥ ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُوا۟ خَيْرٌۭ لَّكُمْ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ١٨٤

What is the meaning of ‘siyam’ in the Quran?

In the Quran, the term “siyam” is often translated as fasting, but it encompasses the broader concept of abstention. This abstention can apply to various aspects, not limited to refraining from food and drink during specified times.

Allah SWT in the Quran says: You may eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinguishable to you from the dark thread, then maintain the Siyaam (fast) until the night.(Al-Baqarah 2:187)

O you who believe, Siyaam (fasting) is decreed upon you as it was decreed upon those before you so that you may be reverent. 2:183

The Quranic fasting is an abstention from eating and drinking during the fasting hours, as well as abstention from all sexual contact. Prior to the revelation of the Quran, sexual intercourse was prohibited throughout the fasting period. This has been modified with the revelation of the Quran to apply to the fasting hours only:

It has been made lawful for you to have sexual intercourse with your wives during the nights of the fast. (Al-Baqarah 2:187)

أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ ٱلصِّيَامِ ٱلرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَآئِكُمْ ۚ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌۭ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌۭ لَّهُنَّ ۗ عَلِمَ ٱللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ ۖ فَٱلْـَٔـٰنَ بَـٰشِرُوهُنَّ وَٱبْتَغُوا۟ مَا كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۚ وَكُلُوا۟ وَٱشْرَبُوا۟ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ ٱلْخَيْطُ ٱلْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ ٱلْخَيْطِ ٱلْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ ٱلْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا۟ ٱلصِّيَامَ إِلَى ٱلَّيْلِ ۚ وَلَا تُبَـٰشِرُوهُنَّ وَأَنتُمْ عَـٰكِفُونَ فِى ٱلْمَسَـٰجِدِ ۗ تِلْكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ ٱللَّهُ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ ١٨٧ 

Who is obligated to observe fasting, and who is granted exemption?

However, individuals who are sick or traveling on long or arduous journeys receive an exemption from fasting. Instead, they must make up for the missed days by fasting at a later time when they are no longer sick or traveling.

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًۭى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍۢ فَعِدَّةٌۭ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا۟ ٱلْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ١٨٥

 The importance and benefits of fasting

The Quran gives great importance to fasting and the month of Ramadan.

It emphasizes the importance and benefits of fasting, especially during the month of Ramadan.

The Quran (2:184) highlights the significance of fasting, stating, “If you fast, it is better for you if you only knew.” This verse underscores the spiritual benefits and rewards associated with fasting, encouraging believers to engage in this act of worship.

Ramadan holds a special significance as Muslims believe it is the month when Allah revealed the Quran.It serves as a period for introspection, spiritual growth, and devotion to God. During Ramadan, Muslims engage in acts of worship, reflection, and charitable deeds, seeking to purify their souls and strengthen their connection with the divine.

Fasting is not only a form of worship but also a means of exercising self-control and developing willpower. By abstaining from physical comforts and pleasures during fasting hours, individuals can achieve spiritual elevation and draw closer to God. This period serves as an opportunity for self-improvement, enabling individuals to cultivate positive habits, purify their behavior, and perform acts of kindness.

Moreover, fasting fosters empathy and compassion for the less fortunate, as individuals experience hunger firsthand. This experience encourages generosity and gratitude towards God’s blessings while instilling a sense of social responsibility to help those in need.

Additionally, fasting has health benefits, providing a break from unhealthy eating habits and promoting overall well-being. It allows individuals to detoxify their bodies and practice moderation in consumption, leading to physical and mental rejuvenation.

Overall, fasting during Ramadan offers a multitude of benefits, encompassing spiritual, moral, and physical dimensions. It serves as a transformative experience, enabling individuals to strengthen their faith, cultivate virtues, and lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.

The Holy Quran was revealed during Ramadan

The Quran profoundly emphasizes the significance of Ramadan, particularly in Surah Al-Baqarah (2:185), where it states:

“The month of Ramadhan is when Allah revealed the Qur’an, providing guidance for humanity and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.So, whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”

This verse emphasizes the special status of Ramadan as the month when Allah revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).The Quran serves as a comprehensive guide for humanity, providing clear instructions on how to lead a righteous life and navigate through challenges with wisdom and guidance from Allah.

Furthermore, the verse emphasizes the importance of fasting during Ramadan, while also providing concessions for those who are ill or traveling. It emphasizes Allah’s intention for ease and not hardship upon His believers, encouraging gratitude for His guidance and blessings.

Additionally, the Quran (16:128) reminds believers that Allah is with those who exercise self-restraint, indicating the spiritual significance of fasting and self-discipline during Ramadan. This verse underscores the importance of adhering to the principles of Islam and striving for self-improvement with the support and guidance of Allah.

Hadith About Ramadan

There are numerous hadiths from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that emphasize the significance of Ramadan:

1. “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari (38) and Muslim (759)]

This hadith underscores the immense spiritual rewards and blessings associated with fasting during Ramadan. It serves as a means of seeking forgiveness for past sins and drawing closer to Allah through sincere faith and devotion.

2. “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.” [Nasai, 2106; Ahmad, 8769]

It emphasizes the importance of fasting during this sacred month, highlighting it as a time when the gates of heaven open, the gates of Hell close, and the influence of evil forces weakens.Furthermore, it highlights the significance of Laylat al-Qadr, the Night of Decree, describing it as better than a thousand months in terms of its spiritual value and rewards.

Taraweeh Prayers

Muslims perform Taraweeh prayers as special nightly prayers during the month of Ramadan. They consider these prayers highly virtuous and perform them after the obligatory Isha (night) prayer.

The word “Taraweeh” derives from the Arabic word for “rest” or “relaxation,” indicating the breaks taken between sets of prayers. Typically, believers perform these prayers in congregation at mosques, with an Imam leading, involving the recitation of long portions of the Quran.

Taraweeh prayers offer believers an opportunity to engage in additional acts of worship and spiritual reflection during Ramadan. Many Muslims cherish these prayers as a means of seeking forgiveness, drawing closer to Allah, and strengthening their connection to the Quran.Believers deeply ingrain the practice of performing Taraweeh prayers in Islamic tradition, considering it significantly important during the blessed month of Ramadan.

Blessing of Laylat-al-Qadr

Allah (SWT) has bestowed special significance upon the month of Ramadan by designating Laylat-al-Qadr, the Night of Decree, within it.

The Quran states: “Indeed, it is We Who sent this Quran down on the Night of Qadr. And what will make you realise what the Night of Qadr is? The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees, there is peace until the appearance of dawn.” [Al-Qadr 97:1-5]

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ ٱلْقَدْرِ ١ وَمَآ أَدْرَىٰكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ ٢ لَيْلَةُ ٱلْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌۭ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍۢ ٣ تَنَزَّلُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍۢ ٤ سَلَـٰمٌ هِىَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ ٱلْفَجْرِ ٥

Furthermore, in another chapter of the Quran, it states: “We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship].” [al-Dukhan 44:3]

إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ فِى لَيْلَةٍۢ مُّبَـٰرَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ ٣

Muslims revere Laylat-al-Qadr as the most esteemed night of Ramadan, surpassing in blessings the value of a thousand months.Muslims dedicate this night to prayer, meditation, and supplication, seeking forgiveness for past sins and striving for spiritual elevation.

Believers hold that Laylat-al-Qadr offers the opportunity for salvation, allowing them a chance to purify themselves and emerge as righteous Muslims. Muslims fervently worship and seek closeness to Allah on this auspicious night, recognizing its profound significance and blessings.

Recommended Course: Islamic studies Course

Common Ramadan Practices

  1. Fasting (Sawm): Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking, and intimate relations from dawn (Fajr) until sunset (Maghrib) every day throughout the month. This fasting is obligatory for all adult Muslims, with some exceptions (e.g., illness, pregnancy, travel).
  2. Suhoor and Iftar: Muslims consume the pre-dawn meal (Suhoor) before Fajr prayer, and they break their fast with the evening meal (Iftar) at sunset. These meals are often communal, and families and communities gather to break their fast together.
  3. Increased Acts of Worship: Muslims engage in additional prayers, recitation of the Quran, and other acts of worship during Ramadan. Many aim to complete the entire Quran during this month.
  4. Taraweeh Prayers: These are extra night prayers held at mosques during Ramadan. They are performed in congregation and are considered a highly recommended (Sunnah) practice.
  5. Charitable Acts (Sadaqah): Giving to the less fortunate and performing acts of charity are highly emphasized during Ramadan. Many Muslims increase their donations to various charitable causes and organizations.
  6. Spiritual Reflection and Repentance: Muslims use this month for reflection, seeking forgiveness, and renewing commitment to righteous living.
  7. Community Activities: Many communities organize special events, lectures, and religious classes to enhance spiritual growth and knowledge.
  8. Fasting Etiquette: Muslims encourage themselves to exhibit more patience, kindness, and mindfulness in their behavior. This includes refraining from negative speech and actions.
  9. Family and Social Gatherings: Families and communities often come together to share meals and engage in religious activities. It’s a time for strengthening bonds and promoting unity.
  10. Eid Preparations: Towards the end of Ramadan, preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the festival that marks the end of fasting, begin. This may involve shopping for new clothes and gifts.
  11. Night of Decree (Laylat al-Qadr): This night in Ramadan’s last ten days is crucial, believed to mark the Quran’s first revelation. Many Muslims engage in intense prayer and worship during this night.

Dos and Don’ts of Ramadan:


  1. Abstain from eating or drinking while fasting.
  2. Lower your gaze to avoid sinful behavior.
  3. Control anger and avoid arguments and fights.
  4. Make efforts to quit smoking permanently.
  5. Utilize time effectively and avoid wasting it on futile activities.
  6. Refrain from swearing, lying, and backbiting.
  7. Perform all five daily prayers punctually.
  8. Engage in studying and acquiring Islamic knowledge.
  9. Recite and learn the Holy Quran regularly.
  10. Engage in frequent remembrance of Allah (Dhikr).
  11. Make numerous supplications (Dua) to Allah.
  12. Give charity and assist the poor and needy, including paying Zakat.


  1. Do not eat or drink anything while fasting.
  2. Avoid sinful behavior and maintain modesty in conduct.
  3. Refrain from engaging in arguments, fights, or disputes.
  4. Do not smoke and strive to quit the habit entirely.
  5. Avoid wasting time on unproductive activities.
  6. Refrain from swearing, lying, or gossiping.
  7. Do not neglect or delay performing the obligatory prayers.
  8. Avoid neglecting the study and understanding of Islamic teachings.
  9. Do not neglect the recitation and learning of the Quran.
  10. Avoid forgetting to engage in remembrance of Allah.
  11. Do not hesitate to make sincere supplications and requests to Allah.
  12. Avoid withholding charity and assistance to those in need, including fulfilling Zakat obligations.

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