Every year Muslims in the UK and around the world celebrate Ramadan.
The holy period marks the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar and is a time for worship, fasting, prayer, charity, community spirit, and spiritual development.
During the month, observant Muslims will refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.
They will have a pre-fast breakfast before sunrise and a post-fast dinner in the evening.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the religious month.
Every year Muslims in the UK and around the world celebrate Ramadan. In the photo: a boy reading the Holy Quran during Eid 2022 in India
When is Ramadan 2023?
Ramadan 2023 is expected to begin on March 23, with the first fast beginning at 5:55 a.m. and ending at 6:20 p.m. The start date is determined by new moon sightings.
He islamic rest The website states that the last day of Ramadan will take place on April 21, with sunrise at 5:51 a.m. and sunset at 8:09 p.m.
What is ramadan?
There are 12 lunar months superimposed on 12 solar months in the Islamic calendar, which means that the Ramada start date changes every year by about 11 days per solar year.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, and includes refraining from eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse while trying harder to maintain righteous moral character.
Fasting is meant to strengthen “taqwa”, which can be translated as God consciousness. In addition to promoting spiritual discipline, abstaining from eating and drinking reminds the fasting to be grateful for God’s goodness.
Muslims begin their fast at the exact time the sun should rise each day and break their fast after the sun has set.
There is a pre-fast meal before the sun rises, called Suhur. At sunset, the fast is broken, usually with water and dates, as was the practice of the Prophet Muhammad.
This is usually followed by the sunset prayer before a larger communal meal known as Iftar, shared with family and friends.
Who is expected to fast?
Children are not expected to participate in the fast before reaching puberty or the age of 14.
People who are ill, traveling, menstruating, experiencing postpartum bleeding, or have a medical condition may not fast.
They may fast at a later date to make up for it or feed those in need as an act of charity.
What else happens during Ramadan?
Palestinians shopping for Ramadan decorations before Ramadan in the Old City of East Jerusalem on March 17, 2023
Since Ramadan is the month of spiritual growth, observant Muslims leave plenty of time for prayer.
In addition to the five obligatory daily prayers, Muslims also participate in a special Ramadan prayer at night, called the Tarawih (night prayer).
On the night of the 27th of the month, Muslims observe a special night, called Layat al-Qadr, or Night of Power. It is believed to mark the night the Qur’an was first received by the Prophet Muhammad and is considered the holiest night of Ramadan.
Muslims also try to help the underprivileged during Ramadan with charities like Rumi’s kitchen in London and Who is Hussain London designed to feed the homeless.
What is Eid?
After Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which translates as “the feast of breaking the fast,” also commonly called Eid.
Muslims put on new clothes to attend the Mosque, where they will recite a short period called takbeer and eat something sweet.
People are also expected to make a donation to a charity called Zakat al-Fitr before participating in Eid prayers and celebrations.
It is also common for the elderly to give gifts and money to children and young relatives during the celebrations. People who wish to wish their friends and family a happy Eid will use the phrase: ‘Eid Mubarak’.