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This article is about religious observances during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_0

For the actual calendar month, see Ramadan (calendar month). Ramadan_sentence_1

For other uses, see Ramadan (disambiguation). Ramadan_sentence_2




Also calledRamadan_header_cell_0_1_0 Ramadan_cell_0_1_1
Observed byRamadan_header_cell_0_2_0 MuslimsRamadan_cell_0_2_1
TypeRamadan_header_cell_0_3_0 ReligiousRamadan_cell_0_3_1
CelebrationsRamadan_header_cell_0_4_0 Community iftars and Community prayersRamadan_cell_0_4_1
ObservancesRamadan_header_cell_0_5_0 Ramadan_cell_0_5_1
BeginsRamadan_header_cell_0_6_0 At the last night of the month of Sha'banRamadan_cell_0_6_1
EndsRamadan_header_cell_0_7_0 At the last night of the month of RamadanRamadan_cell_0_7_1
DateRamadan_header_cell_0_8_0 Variable (follows the Islamic lunar calendar)Ramadan_cell_0_8_1
2019 dateRamadan_header_cell_0_9_0 6 May – 3 JuneRamadan_cell_0_9_1
2020 dateRamadan_header_cell_0_10_0 evening of 23 April (22 April for Mali; 24 April for Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, India, Iran, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka) – 23 May (expected)Ramadan_cell_0_10_1
FrequencyRamadan_header_cell_0_11_0 annual (lunar calendar)Ramadan_cell_0_11_1
Related toRamadan_header_cell_0_12_0 Eid al-Fitr, Laylat al-QadrRamadan_cell_0_12_1

Ramadan (Arabic: رَمَضَان‎, romanized: Ramaḍān [ra.ma.dˤaːn), also spelled Ramazan, Ramzan, Ramadhan or Ramathan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection and community. Ramadan_sentence_3

A commemoration of Muhammad's first revelation, the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next. Ramadan_sentence_4

Fasting from sunrise to sunset is fard (obligatory) for all adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, travelling, elderly, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating. Ramadan_sentence_5

The predawn meal is referred to as suhur, and the nightly feast that breaks the fast is called iftar. Ramadan_sentence_6

Although fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with a midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca, it is common practice to follow the timetable of the closest country in which night can be distinguished from day. Ramadan_sentence_7

The spiritual rewards (thawab) of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_8

Accordingly, Muslims refrain not only from food and drink, but also tobacco products, sexual relations, and sinful behavior, devoting themselves instead to salat (prayer) and recitation of the Quran. Ramadan_sentence_9

Etymology Ramadan_section_0

The word Ramadan derives from the Arabic root R-M-Ḍ (ر-م-ض‎) "scorching heat". Ramadan_sentence_10

Ramadan is one of the names of God in Islam, and as such it is reported in many hadiths that it is prohibited to say only "Ramadan" in reference to the calendar month and that it is necessary to say "month of Ramadan", as reported in Sunni, Shia and Zaydi sources. Ramadan_sentence_11

In the Persian language, the Arabic letter ض (Ḍād) is pronounced as /z/. Ramadan_sentence_12

Some Muslim countries with historical Persian influence, such as Azerbaijan, Iran, India, Pakistan and Turkey, use the word Ramazan or Ramzan. Ramadan_sentence_13

The word Romjan is used in Bangladesh. Ramadan_sentence_14

History Ramadan_section_1

Muslims hold that all scripture was revealed during Ramadan, the scrolls of Abraham, Torah, Psalms, Gospel, and Quran having been handed down on the first, sixth, twelfth, thirteenth (in some sources, eighteenth) and twenty-fourth Ramadans, respectively. Ramadan_sentence_15

Muhammed is said to have received his first quranic revelation on Laylat al-Qadr, one of five odd-numbered nights that fall during the last ten days of Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_16

Although Muslims were first commanded to fast in the second year of Hijra (624 CE), they believe that the practice of fasting is not in fact an innovation of monotheism but rather has always been necessary for believers to attain taqwa (the fear of God). Ramadan_sentence_17

They point to the fact that the pre-Islamic pagans of Mecca fasted on the tenth day of Muharram to expiate sin and avoid drought. Ramadan_sentence_18

Philip Jenkins argues that the observance of Ramadan fasting grew out of "the strict Lenten discipline of the Syrian Churches," a postulation corroborated by other scholars, including theologian Paul-Gordon Chandler, but disputed by some Muslim academics. Ramadan_sentence_19

Important dates Ramadan_section_2

The first and last dates of Ramadan are determined by the lunar Islamic calendar. Ramadan_sentence_20

Beginning Ramadan_section_3

Because Hilāl, the crescent moon, typically occurs approximately one day after the new moon, Muslims can usually estimate the beginning of Ramadan; however, many prefer to confirm the opening of Ramadan by direct visual observation of the crescent. Ramadan_sentence_21

Night of Power Ramadan_section_4

Main article: Laylat al-Qadr Ramadan_sentence_22

Laylat al-Qadr is considered the holiest night of the year. Ramadan_sentence_23

It is generally believed to have occurred on an odd-numbered night during the last ten days of Ramadan; the Dawoodi Bohra believe that Laylat al-Qadr was the twenty-third night of Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_24

Eid Ramadan_section_5

Main articles: Eid al-Fitr and Eid prayers Ramadan_sentence_25

The holiday of Eid al-Fitr (Arabic:عيد الفطر), which marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Shawwal, the next lunar month, is declared after a crescent new moon has been sighted or after completion of thirty days of fasting if no sighting of the moon is possible. Ramadan_sentence_26

Eid celebrates of the return to a more natural disposition (fitra) of eating, drinking, and marital intimacy. Ramadan_sentence_27

Religious practices Ramadan_section_6

The common practice is to fast from dawn to sunset. Ramadan_sentence_28

The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhur, while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast is called iftar. Ramadan_sentence_29

Muslims devote more time to prayer and acts of charity, striving to improve their self-discipline, motivated by hadith: "When Ramadan arrives, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of hell are locked up and devils are put in chains." Ramadan_sentence_30

Fasting Ramadan_section_7

Main article: Fasting during Ramadan Ramadan_sentence_31

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship. Ramadan_sentence_32

Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. Ramadan_sentence_33

The fast (sawm) begins at dawn and ends at sunset. Ramadan_sentence_34

In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking during this time, Muslims abstain from sexual relations and sinful speech and behaviour during Ramadan fasting or month. Ramadan_sentence_35

The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramadan_sentence_36

Muslims believe that Ramadan teaches them to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity (zakat). Ramadan_sentence_37

Muslims also believe that for the poor people who don't have enough food they should fast so that the poor can get food to eat. Ramadan_sentence_38

This would also make them realize how poor feel when they remain hungry. Ramadan_sentence_39

The aim of fasting now seems to be being compassionate towards the poor people. Ramadan_sentence_40

Exemptions to fasting include travel, menstruation, severe illness, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Ramadan_sentence_41

However, many Muslims with medical conditions insist on fasting to satisfy their spiritual needs, although it is not recommended by hadith. Ramadan_sentence_42

Those unable to fast are obligated make up the missed days later. Ramadan_sentence_43

Suhoor Ramadan_section_8

Main article: Suhoor Ramadan_sentence_44

Each day, before dawn, Muslims observe a pre-fast meal called the suhoor. Ramadan_sentence_45

After stopping a short time before dawn, Muslims begin the first prayer of the day, Fajr. Ramadan_sentence_46

Iftar Ramadan_section_9

Main article: Iftar Ramadan_sentence_47

At sunset, families break the fast with the iftar, traditionally opening the meal by eating dates to commemorate Muhammad's practice of breaking the fast with three dates. Ramadan_sentence_48

They then adjourn for Maghrib, the fourth of the five required daily prayers, after which the main meal is served. Ramadan_sentence_49

Social gatherings, many times in buffet style, are frequent at iftar. Ramadan_sentence_50

Traditional dishes are often highlighted, including traditional desserts, particularly those made only during Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_51

Water is usually the beverage of choice, but juice and milk are also often available, as are soft drinks and caffeinated beverages. Ramadan_sentence_52

In the Middle East, iftar consists of water, juices, dates, salads and appetizers; one or more main dishes; and rich desserts, with dessert considered the most important aspect of the meal. Ramadan_sentence_53

Typical main dishes include lamb stewed with wheat berries, lamb kebabs with grilled vegetables, and roasted chicken served with chickpea-studded rice pilaf. Ramadan_sentence_54

Desserts may include luqaimat, baklava or kunafeh. Ramadan_sentence_55

Over time, the practice of iftar has involved into banquets that may accommodate hundreds or even thousands of diners. Ramadan_sentence_56

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the largest mosque in the UAE, feeds up to thirty thousand people every night. Ramadan_sentence_57

Some twelve thousand people attend iftar at the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad. Ramadan_sentence_58

Charity Ramadan_section_10

Main articles: Zakāt and Sadaqah Ramadan_sentence_59

Zakāt, often translated as "the poor-rate", is the fixed percentage of income a believer is required to give to the poor; the practice is obligatory as one of the pillars of Islam. Ramadan_sentence_60

Muslims believe that good deeds are rewarded more handsomely during Ramadan than at any other time of the year; consequently, many donate a larger portion—or even all—of their yearly zakāt during this month. Ramadan_sentence_61

Nightly prayers Ramadan_section_11

Main article: Tarawih Ramadan_sentence_62

Tarawih (Arabic: تراويح‎) are extra nightly prayers performed during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_63

Contrary to popular belief, they are not compulsory. Ramadan_sentence_64

Recitation of the Quran Ramadan_section_12

Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran, which comprises thirty juz' (sections), over the thirty days of Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_65

Some Muslims incorporate a recitation of one juz' into each of the thirty tarawih sessions observed during the month. Ramadan_sentence_66

Cultural practices Ramadan_section_13

In some Islamic countries, lights are strung up in public squares and across city streets, a tradition believed to have originated during the Fatimid Caliphate, where the rule of Caliph al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah was acclaimed by people holding lanterns. Ramadan_sentence_67

On the island of Java, many believers bathe in holy springs to prepare for fasting, a ritual known as Padusan. Ramadan_sentence_68

The city of Semarang marks the beginning of Ramadan with the Dugderan carnival, which involves parading the Warak ngendog, a horse-dragon hybrid creature allegedly inspired by the Buraq. Ramadan_sentence_69

In the Chinese-influenced capital city of Jakarta, firecrackers are widely used to celebrate Ramadan, although they are officially illegal. Ramadan_sentence_70

Towards the end of Ramadan, most employees receive a one-month bonus known as Tunjangan Hari Raya. Ramadan_sentence_71

Certain kinds of food are especially popular during Ramadan, such as large beef or buffalo in Aceh and snails in Central Java. Ramadan_sentence_72

The iftar meal is announced every evening by striking the bedug, a giant drum, in the mosque. Ramadan_sentence_73

Common greetings during Ramadan include Ramadan mubarak and Ramadan kareem. Ramadan_sentence_74

During Ramadan in the Middle East, a mesaharati beats a drum across a neighbourhood to wake people up to eat the suhoor meal. Ramadan_sentence_75

Similarly in Southeast Asia, the kentongan slit drum is used for the same purpose. Ramadan_sentence_76

Observance rates Ramadan_section_14

According to a 2012 Pew Research Centre study, there was widespread Ramadan observance, with a median of 93 percent across the thirty-nine countries and territories studied. Ramadan_sentence_77

Regions with high percentages of fasting among Muslims include Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Horn of Africa and most of Sub-Saharan Africa. Ramadan_sentence_78

Percentages are lower in Central Asia and Southeast Europe. Ramadan_sentence_79

Laws Ramadan_section_15

In some Muslim countries, eating in public during daylight hours in Ramadan is a crime. Ramadan_sentence_80

The sale of alcohol becomes prohibited during Ramadan in Egypt. Ramadan_sentence_81

The penalty for publicly eating, drinking or smoking during Ramadan can result in fines and/or incarceration in the countries of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Malaysia. Ramadan_sentence_82

In the United Arab Emirates, the punishment is community service. Ramadan_sentence_83

In some countries, the observance of Ramadan has been restricted. Ramadan_sentence_84

In the USSR, the practice of Ramadan was suppressed by officials. Ramadan_sentence_85

In Albania, Ramadan festivities were banned during the communist period. Ramadan_sentence_86

However, many Albanians continued to fast secretly during this period. Ramadan_sentence_87

China is widely reported to have banned Ramadan fasting since 2012 in Xinjiang. Ramadan_sentence_88

Those caught fasting by the government could be sent to a "re-education camp". Ramadan_sentence_89

Some countries impose modified work schedules. Ramadan_sentence_90

In the UAE, employees may work no more than six hours per day and thirty-six hours per week. Ramadan_sentence_91

Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait have similar laws. Ramadan_sentence_92

Health effects Ramadan_section_16

There are various health effects of fasting in Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_93

Ramadan fasting is considered safe for healthy individuals; it may pose risks for individuals with certain pre-existing conditions. Ramadan_sentence_94

Most Islamic scholars hold that fasting is not required for those who are ill. Additionally, the elderly and pre-pubertal children are exempt from fasting. Ramadan_sentence_95

Pregnant or lactating women are exempt from fasting during Ramadan according to some authorities, while according to other authorities they are exempt only if they fear fasting may harm them or their babies. Ramadan_sentence_96

There are some health benefits of Ramadan including increasing insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance. Ramadan_sentence_97

It has also been shown that there is a significant improvement in 10 years coronary heart disease risk score and other cardiovascular risk factors such as lipids profile, systolic blood pressure, weight, BMI and waist circumference in subjects with a previous history of cardiovascular disease. Ramadan_sentence_98

The fasting period is usually associated with modest weight loss, but weight can return afterwards. Ramadan_sentence_99

Ramadan fasting, as a time-restricted eating habit that inverts the normal human day-night-routine for the observants, can have deleterious health effects on sleep patterns and the general health. Ramadan_sentence_100

Fasting in Ramadan has been shown to alter the sleep patterns and the associated hormone production. Ramadan_sentence_101

In Islam, pregnant women and those who are breasfeeding are exempt from fasting. Ramadan_sentence_102

Fasting can be hazardous for pregnant women as it is associated with risks of inducing labour and causing gestational diabetes, although it does not appear to affect the child's weight. Ramadan_sentence_103

It is permissible to not fast if it threatens the woman's or the child's lives, however, in many instances pregnant women are normal before development of complications. Ramadan_sentence_104

If a mother fasts during pregnancy, the resulting child may have significantly lower intelligence, lower cognitive capability and be at increased risk for several chronic diseases, e.g. Type 2 diabetes. Ramadan_sentence_105

Many Islamic scholars argue it is obligatory on a pregnant woman not to fast if a doctor recommends against it. Ramadan_sentence_106

In many cultures, it is associated with heavy food and water intake during Suhur and Iftar times, which may do more harm than good. Ramadan_sentence_107

Ramadan fasting is safe for healthy people provided that overall food and water intake is adequate but those with medical conditions should seek medical advice if they encounter health problems before or during fasting. Ramadan_sentence_108

The education departments of Berlin and the United Kingdom have tried to discourage students from fasting during Ramadan, as they claim that not eating or drinking can lead to concentration problems and bad grades. Ramadan_sentence_109

A review of the literature by an Iranian group suggested fasting during Ramadan might produce renal injury in patients with moderate (GFR <60 ml/min) or severe kidney disease but was not injurious to renal transplant patients with good function or most stone-forming patients. Ramadan_sentence_110

Crime rates Ramadan_section_17

The correlation of Ramadan with crime rates is mixed: some statistics show that crime rates drop during Ramadan, while others show that it increases. Ramadan_sentence_111

Decreases in crime rates have been reported by the police in some cities in Turkey (Istanbul and Konya) and the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Ramadan_sentence_112

A 2005 study found that there was a decrease in assault, robbery and alcohol-related crimes during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, but only the decrease in alcohol-related crimes was statistically significant. Ramadan_sentence_113

Increases in crime rates during Ramadan have been reported in Turkey, Jakarta, parts of Algeria, Yemen and Egypt. Ramadan_sentence_114

Various mechanisms have been proposed for the effect of Ramadan on crime: Ramadan_sentence_115


  • An Iranian cleric argues that fasting during Ramadan makes people less likely to commit crimes due to spiritual reasons. Gamal al-Banna argues that fasting can stress people out, which can make them more likely to commit crimes. He criticized Muslims who commit crimes while fasting during Ramadan as "fake and superficial".Ramadan_item_0_0
  • Police in Saudi Arabia attributed a drop in crime rates to the "spiritual mood prevalent in the country".Ramadan_item_0_1
  • In Jakarta, Indonesia, police say that the traffic due to 7 million people leaving the city to celebrate Eid al-Fitr results in an increase in street crime. As a result, police deploy an additional 7,500 personnel.Ramadan_item_0_2
  • During Ramadan, millions of pilgrims enter Saudi Arabia to visit Mecca. According to the Yemen Times, such pilgrims are usually charitable, and consequently smugglers traffic children in from Yemen to beg on the streets of Saudi Arabia.Ramadan_item_0_3

Ramadan in polar regions Ramadan_section_18

The length of the dawn to sunset time varies in different parts of the world according to summer or winter solstices of the Sun. Ramadan_sentence_116

Most Muslims fast for eleven to sixteen hours during Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_117

However, in polar regions, the period between dawn and sunset may exceed twenty-two hours in summer. Ramadan_sentence_118

For example, in 2014, Muslims in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Trondheim, Norway, fasted almost twenty-two hours, while Muslims in Sydney, Australia, fasted for only about eleven hours. Ramadan_sentence_119

In areas characterized by continuous night or day, some Muslims follow the fasting schedule observed in the nearest city that experiences sunrise and sunset, while others follow Mecca time. Ramadan_sentence_120

Ramadan in Earth orbit Ramadan_section_19

Muslim astronauts in space schedule religious practices around the time zone of their last location on Earth. Ramadan_sentence_121

For example, this means an astronaut from Malaysia launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida would center their fast according to sunrise and sunset in Eastern Standard Time. Ramadan_sentence_122

This includes times for daily prayers, as well as sunset and sunrise for Ramadan. Ramadan_sentence_123

Employment during Ramadan Ramadan_section_20

Muslims continue to work during Ramadan; however, in some Islamic countries, such as Oman and Lebanon, working hours are shortened. Ramadan_sentence_124

It is often recommended that working Muslims inform their employers if they are fasting, given the potential for the observance to impact performance at work. Ramadan_sentence_125

The extent to which Ramadan observers are protected by religious accommodation varies by country. Ramadan_sentence_126

Policies putting them at a disadvantage compared to other employees have been met with discrimination claims in the United Kingdom and the United States. Ramadan_sentence_127

An Arab News article reported that Saudi Arabian businesses were unhappy with shorter working hours during Ramadan, some reporting a decline in productivity of 35 to 50%. Ramadan_sentence_128

The Saudi businesses proposed awarding salary bonuses in order to incentivize longer hours. Ramadan_sentence_129

Despite the reduction in productivity, merchants can enjoy higher profit margins in Ramadan due to increase in demand. Ramadan_sentence_130

See also Ramadan_section_21


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan.