Ramadan – Why Muslims Fast & What Is It ?

Ramadan (Persian Ramazan, Urdu : Ramadan; Turkish: Ramazan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting.

The month lasts 29-30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon. The world Ramazan comes from the Arabic root rami-a orar-rama, which means scorching heat or dryness.

Fasting is fard “obligatory” for adult muslims, except those who are ill, traveling, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.



While fasting from dawn to sunset, muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking and engaging in sexual relations; in some interpretations they also refrain from swearing.

Food and drink is served daily, before sunrise and after sunset. According to Islam, the thawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month they are  believed to be multiplied.

Fasting for muslims during Ramadan meaning includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran.

Ramazan In The Quran  

The month of Ramazan meaning is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong).

And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days.

Ramadan In The Quran

Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.

Thus, according to the Quran, Muhammad first received revelations in the lunar month of Ramazan.

Therefore, the month of Ramazan meaning is considered to be the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar, the recording of which began with the Hijra.

Ramadan Beginning

Hilal (the crescent) is typically a day after the astronomical new moon. Since the new moon the beginning of the new month, Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning of Ramadan.

Ramadan - Hilal

However, to many Muslims, this is not in accordance with authenticated Hadiths stating that visual confirmation per region is recommended.

Night of Power

Laylat-al-Qadr, which in Arabic means “the night of power” or “the night of decree,” is considered the most holy night of the year.

This is the night in which Muslims believe the first revelation of the Quran was sent down to Muhammad stating that this night was “better than one thousand months (of proper worship).

Ramadan - Laylat-al-Qadr

Also. generally, Laylat al-Qadr is believed to have occurred on an odd-numbered night during the last 10 days of Ramazan, i.e., the night of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th.

The Dawoodi Bohra Community believe that 23rd night is laylat al Qadr.

Ramadan Ending

The holiday of Eid al-Fitr (“festivity of breaking the fast”) marks the end of Ramazan and the beginning of the next lunar month, Shawwal.

This first day of the following month is declared after another crescent new moon has been sighted or the completion of 30 days of fasting if no visual sighting is possible due to weather conditions.

This first day of Shawwal is called Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr may also be a reference towards the festive nature of having endured the month of fasting successfully and returning to the more natural disposition  (fitra) of being able to eat, drink and resume intimacy with spouses during the day.

Ramadan Rules

The predominant practice in Ramadan fasting from sunrise to sunset. The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhoor; while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast is the iftar.

Muslims also engage in increases prayer and charity during Ramazan.

Allaah says in the Quran what may be interpreted as, “O’ you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may achieve Taqwa (righteousness, God-fearing).”

The prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever observes the fast during the month of Ramadan, (while) believing in Allaah and seeking His rewards, will have his past sins forgiven.” [Reported by Imams Bukhari, Muslim and others]

Fasting the month of Ramadan food is one of the main pillars of Islam. It is obligatory upon every sane, healthy Muslim who’s reached puberty and is not traveling during the time of ramazan food fasting.

As for women, they must not fast if they are menstruating or having post-childbirth bleeding.

The Essential Elements Of The Fast of Ramadan

There are two essentials elements for your fast to be valid and accepted. They are:


You must have the intention to fast before fajr (dawn) every night during the month of Ramadan. The intention does not need to be spoken, because in reality it is an act of the heart, which does not involve the tongue.

It will be fulfilled by one’s intention from the heart to fast out of obedience to Allah seeking His pleasure.

Abstaining from acts that nullify the Fast

The second essential element for your fast to be accepted is that you abstain from the acts that nullify the fast from dawn to sunset.

If you maintain these two essential elements during ramadan food fasting, then your fast will be valid and accepted.

Ramadan Fasting

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam.

The fast (swan) begins at dawn and ends at sunset. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, Muslims also increase restraint, such as abstaining from sexual relations and generally sinful speech behavior.

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

Ramazan also teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity (zakat).

Those who were unable to fast still must make up the days missed later.


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