When Is Ramadan?
Ramadan is an important time of year for all Muslims around the world. It is a time of reflection of your life, your religion and a time where you think about the needy. It’s also a time where you learn to be patient, to be more giving and to get closer to your religion.
However, with so much going on during the holy month of Ramadan, there’s lots of questions being asked, so we’re going to get into them!
When is Ramadan?
This is the most popular question asked every year and the reason for this is; the date changes each year. Why? Well, Ramadan is determined by the lunar Islamic calendar. A year consists of 12 months of 354 or 355 days. Ramadan tends to fall on the 9th month of the lunar Islamic calendar.
So, when is Ramadan 2018 then? This year’s Ramadan will begin in the evening of Tuesday 15th May. On this evening, Muslims across the world will start preparing for the next month where most of the day will be spent fasting.
It’s also worth noting that although you’ve got your answer to ‘when does Ramadan start?’, the date could still vary depending on your country, so it’s always best to double check with a local Mosque.
What is Ramadan?
So, we’ve answered the most popular question ‘when is Ramadan’ but let’s take one step back and answer ‘What is Ramadan?’.
Let’s explain what Ramadan means first. Ramadan comes from an Arabic root which means Ramid or Ar-Ramad which means scorching heat or dryness. This just gives an indicator of what fasting feels like. It’s not easy, but it’s not meant to be.
Ramadan is an important event in a lot of Muslims lives as it’s a month spent fasting which makes you appreciate how much you have compared to those who don’t have much. It is also a time to get closer to religion with special prayers for this month and by reading the holy Qur’an.
Ramadan is so important because it’s believed the Qur’an was revealed in this month. No-one knows the exact date but it’s believed to have happened on an odd-numbered night between the 21st and 29th fast. These odd numbered nights are called Lailat Al Qadr or otherwise known as the ‘Night Of Power’. A lot of Muslims the 27th night is the night the Qur’an was revealed so tend to spend a whole night dedicating themselves to the Qur’an.
Why is Ramadan celebrated?
Ramadan is celebrated because it was this month that the holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him. All the teachings of Islam come from the Qur’an and the religion is based off it. This is why Ramadan is celebrated due to the significant impact the Qur’an has had in Islam.
Fasting is also part of the five pillars of Islam. By observing the month of Ramadan, you meet one of the pillars of Islam.
What do you need to do during Ramadan?
There are many things you need to do during Ramadan:
- Most importantly, engage in the month of Ramadan – fast if possible especially if you’re an adult. Some people are excluded from fasting such as; those who are ill, elderly or travelling. Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or are menstruating are excluded from fasting too.
- Spend time getting closer to your religion. This can be by praying, reading or learning more about Islam
- Give charity. This is a time of giving so Muslims are encouraged to give generously
- Reflect – on yourself, your way of live and how you can improve for the better
- As well as not eating during sunrise to sunset, Muslims also learn to increase restraint as no sexual activity can take place during this month
This is a month where you can turn over a new leaf by asking for forgiveness and coming out as a better person once Ramadan is over.
Can you drink water during Ramadan?
No, to put it bluntly. Fasting in Islam also includes water and any other liquid. It may sound tough and we wouldn’t lie and say it’s not, but the reward and learning you get from this, makes up for the month that fasting occurred.
When do you open your fast?
Fasting takes place between sunrise to sunset, so in each country the time to begin and end your fast will be different. Most Mosques give calendar hand outs with timings of fast opening for the whole month, but if this isn’t the case, it’s worth looking at Time And Date website and check the sunrise and sunset time of where you are.
The pre sunrise meal is called Suhur and the meal to open your fast is called Iftar. Dates are water are commonly known as the two to open your fast with.
As there is Magrib prayer (4th prayer of the day) straight after the fast opens, it is encourages to prayer first and then continue opening your fast properly.
When does Ramadan end?
Ramadan ends on June 14th if Ramadan is the full 30 days. If there is a full moon sighting on the 29th fast, this then means that the day it would have been the 30th fast, would actually be the celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr. In this case, Ramadan will last 29 days. Eid-Ul-Fitr then brings the beginning of the next lunar month.
This is the case every year. Ramadan can end on either the 29th or 30th fast.
Why do Ramadan dates change every year?
This is a question that has a lot of people curious. Why does the month of Ramadan change each month but other events/religions have the same date for events? This is because; Ramadan is based on a lunar calendar. This means it is determined by the position of the moon. Due to this, Ramadan comes forward each year – around 11 days earlier than the previous year.
As Ramadan is mid-May this year, next year it will be in early May and then the following year it will move to April etc.
How do I lose weight in Ramadan?
You shouldn’t be thinking ‘how do I lose weight during Ramadan’ as this isn’t the purpose of Ramadan. You’re not fasting to help lose weight, but your fasting for a more spiritual purpose – to get closer to your religion.
However, you may find by making small changes in what you eat and how your food is cooked, you may naturally lose weight during this month, but this isn’t the case for everyone.
The NHS have put together a very useful guide on suggestions on what to eat and what not to eat. It’s important to know this information as the right food can help your fast be a lot easier.
It’s always nice fasting in an environment where everyone else is too. The excitement you get from observing this month with everyone else is simply beautiful. If you would like to spend Ramadan 2018 abroad, why not check all the halal holidays we include such as; Turkey, UAE and Morocco.
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