Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon and lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on whether the moon is sighted at all. Most years Ramadan will be observed in early April in the Islamic calendar. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, almsgiving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca for those who are able to do so. Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset during this month and are also expected to refrain from smoking and sex during that time as well.
1. Understanding Ramadan
It’s easy to think of Ramadan as a time for Muslims to give up food and water. But it’s so much more than that. On a spiritual level, Muslims are meant to use fasting as an opportunity to cleanse their souls and draw closer to God through prayer, charity, and reflection. For Muslims, fasting is meant to be hard—to push them outside of their comfort zones. The idea is that when you feel hunger pangs or thirst, you remember those who are less fortunate than you.
And while many people associate Ramadan with abstaining from food and drink entirely, Islam doesn’t require participants to fast during daylight hours; rather, they can eat and drink whenever they choose. It’s important to note that even though Ramadan is considered one of the five pillars of Islam, participation in it isn’t required. People are free to practice other pillars if they aren’t able to participate in all five. If someone chooses not to observe Ramadan, he or she may make up missed days at another point in time.
2. Night of Destiny
The Night of Destiny—or Laylat al-Qadr—is often referred to as one of Islam’s most sacred nights. On it, Muslims believe God first sent down chapters from the Qur’an, as well as various verses from earlier prophets, including Adam and Moses. While no two Muslims will agree on when exactly Laylat al-Qadr falls in a given year, all agree that it is a blessed night for prayer and reflection.
For many Muslims, Laylat al-Qadr marks the end of Ramadan. Others see it as coming before Eid ul Fitr, or at least overlapping with Eid. Regardless, it is considered one of Islam’s holiest days. In fact, some Muslims go so far as to stay up all night long praying during Laylat al-Qadr. They also try to recite as much of the Qur’an as possible. It is believed that those who do so are rewarded greatly by Allah. To learn more about what Muslims believe happens on Laylat al-Qadr, check out our brief description below:
3. Acts of Worship in Ramadan
The 5 Pillars of Iman [faith]:
1.Shahadat (testimony of faith),
- The first pillar is that a person must believe in all of Allah’s messengers and revelations.
- The second pillar is to pray regularly five times a day, making sure you are facing Mecca at all times.
- The third pillar is to give charity from your wealth.
- The fourth pillar is to fast from sunrise until sunset for every day in Ramadan.
- The fifth and final pillar is to make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in your lifetime if you have the means.
These acts of worship were established by God in order to bring man closer to Him. They also help us realize how fortunate we are and how much we take our lives for granted. By fasting, praying more often, giving more charity and working harder to meet our basic needs, we can show gratitude for what God has given us. This helps keep us humble and grateful throughout our lives.
As Muslims, we don’t simply read these instructions as something on paper but rather strive to put them into practice as best as possible in our daily lives. The month of Ramadan brings with it an opportunity for each Muslim to improve themselves spiritually through increased prayer, worship and reflection. This isn’t just a month for Muslims; it’s a chance for everyone around them to see Islam in action! We ask Allah (SWT) to accept our good deeds during Ramadan and grant us forgiveness, health and well-being throughout the year. May He guide us along His path so that we may be among those who receive His mercy on judgment day!
4. Zakat al-Fitr
To give thanks to Allah for providing sustenance during Ramadan, Muslims are expected to pay charity before Eid ul-Fitr. Called Zakat al-Fitr, which means Sadaqah Fitrah in Arabic, it is an obligatory charity set at 2.5% of one’s excess wealth accumulated since breaking fast. It can be paid in cash or through purchasing food and distributing it to those who are less fortunate than you. If a person cannot afford to pay Zakat al-Fitr, they must fast for three days after Eid ul-Fitr instead. This is called fidya (meaning compensation).
The fasting is meant to compensate for both missing out on fasting during Ramadan as well as paying zakat. In some cases, if a person is unable to perform either of these acts, they will feed poor people instead. Feeding poor people is also referred to as sadaqah. However, there are exceptions: People with disabilities that prevent them from performing these acts do not have to follow any alternative action. Children under age 10 do not have to perform any alternative action either, but children between ages 10 and 15 only need complete one day of fasting or feed/clothe ten needy people instead. Anyone over age 60 does not have to follow any alternative action.
5. Fasting, Tarawih, Duha and Iftar
Fasting during Ramadan is one of many important pillars of Islam. It comes after belief in Allah and acceptance of Muhammad as his prophet. Muslims follow a lunar calendar, so they complete their annual cycle and begin again at different times each year. They observe Ramadan by fasting from dawn to sunset every day for 29 or 30 days. Iftar is usually observed with family and friends, who gather to share a meal after sunset, ending their day of fasting together in prayer. Tarawih is an optional night-time prayer service that takes place throughout Ramadan.
Duha refers to extra prayers offered before sunrise. In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read and reflect on Quranic verses during Ramadan. This reading can take place during any time of day but is often done early in the morning before work or school. During Ramadan, it’s common for Muslim families to host iftars—or meals served after sunset—for neighbors and family members who may not be able to afford food while observing their fasts.
The month of Ramadan also has special significance outside of religion. Because there are no major holidays in July, many people use it as a chance to travel. Hotels and airlines often offer discounted rates during these months because demand is lower than usual. Many companies also encourage employees to volunteer more frequently, which is easier when most businesses close down for two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s Day.
6. Dhikr during the Month of Ramadan
During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to recite certain phrases of remembrance and thanksgiving known as dhikr. Dhikr can be recited out loud in a group or individual by oneself. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. And glorify His Praises morning and afternoon [the early hours of dawn and mid-afternoon]. [Quran 33:41]
It is recommended that one should recite these phrases at least 100 times daily during Ramadan. If possible, more is better. One may also listen to recorded dhikr on their phone or MP3 player if they do not have time to read it themselves. In addition, many Islamic scholars recommend reading/reciting Surat Al-Ikhlas (The Fidelity/Purity Chapter) once a day throughout Ramadan. This chapter contains 99 words that begin with Laam which is an important part of dhikr.
7. Prayer during Ramadan
According to Islam, every adult Muslim is expected to fast every day of Ramadan. However, they are also required to be in a state of ritual purity before beginning and during prayer. Men and women must bathe; remove all body hair (including eyebrows and eyelashes); trim nails; and clean their ears. They must also abstain from sexual relations, consumption of any food or drink besides water, smoking, or gum chewing.
Women are also encouraged not to wear any perfume during prayer as it could stimulate sexual desires. During these times, Muslims should focus on reciting prayers and reading passages from the Qur’an. It’s common for Muslims to attend special prayers at mosques throughout Ramadan and to give zakat alms (don’t confuse with charity). Zakat alms are donations that are given specifically for charity—to help those who can’t afford basic necessities like food or clothing. To learn more about what happens during Ramadan, check out our guide here .
8. Reciting the Holy Qur’an in Tarawih prayers
In Islam, Tarawih (or Tarweeh) refers to extra prayers performed by Sunni Muslims during Ramadan. It may be performed in congregation at night after Isha’ or at home alone. There are two versions of tarawih prayers: one where a single person recite all of it and another where a group of people do it in unison (tartil). In Tartil, people join in a single line to recite together. The Imam leads them in prayer, reciting one juz’ at a time.
The Imam is followed by those who are praying behind him. At times when there is no Imam present, an individual will lead others in prayer as best as he can following along with his own copy of Qur’an. Tarawih prayers are not obligatory but highly recommended. They were first performed by Umar ibn al-Khattab when he was sick during Ramadan and could not fast. He later did it on a regular basis for many years until he became Caliph. According to some hadiths, Muhammad used to pray these optional Tarawih prayers in congregation during Ramadan until his death.
Also read:- Ramadan accordining to quran https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan