Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. During this time, Muslims worldwide practice a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection. It is done to commemorate Muhammad’s first revelation and participation of this holiday is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. The annual observance of Ramadan typically lasts between twenty-nine and thirty days, or from the sighting of one crescent moon to the next.

The fast takes place from dawn to sunset and is mandatory for all adult Muslims. Those who are ill, traveling, breastfeeding, menstruating, elderly, or diabetic, however, are excused from this practice.

There are two important meals; the ‘Suhur’ or the meal before dawn, and the ‘Iftar’ or the nightly feast that breaks the fast after sunset. During the time between these two meals, Muslims are not only expected to refrain from food and drink, ​​but from tobacco products, sexual relations, and sinful behavior as well.

During Ramadan, Muslims devote more time to prayer as well as participate in acts of charity in order to strengthen their connection with God and improve their self-discipline.

The purpose of the fast is to ‘cleanse the soul.’ Muslims believe that Ramadan teaches them self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy. It also gives one a small excerpt of what it is like to be hungry, creating compassion for the less-fortunate.

This year, Ramadan began on April second and will continue until the second of May. It is important to help the people that are participating in the fast, as it is no easy task. If you see someone observing Ramadan this month, make sure to give them a helping hand.


Ramadan Information Sheet