Muslim faithfuls around the world are today kicking off into the Holy month of Ramadhan lasting 30 days and ending at sundown on Sunday, May 1. During this special holy month of Ramadan Muslims fast from before sunrise until sundown for a month.
In simple terms, Ramadhan or Ramathan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community.
For the first time in three years, Ramadhan sets in with relaxed covid-19 restrictions around the world.
Traditionally, Ramadan begins with the sighting of the crescent moon, which usually appears one night after the new moon, meaning the start date cannot be precisely predicted.
There is some debate as to whether this should refer to you physically witnessing the moon in your region, which could be hampered by factors such as weather conditions. As a consequence of this, many worshippers instead defer to sightings in Saudi Arabia or other regions.
Ramadan, which literally means “scorching heat” in Arabic, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and marks the time when the Quran is said to have been revealed to Prophet Muhammad by God with a month-long fast.
Muslims are required to spend a period of 30 days abstaining from food and drink, including water, during daylight hours, as a means of celebrating and reflecting on their faith.
Fasting at Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam – the fundamental rules that all Muslims follow – along with the Shahadah (declaration of faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity) and the Hajj pilgrimage.
During Ramadan, there is an increased offering of the Salat, with Muslims giving thanks to Allah, while the fasting ritual allows them to understand the suffering of others.
Those observing the fast are encouraged to read the Quran and the holy text is recited at the Tarawih, special nightly prayers that are held throughout the month.