The Islamic Calendar is a Lunar calendar and in that calendar the ninth month is called Ramadan. It is a holy month as well as Prophet Muhammad received the word of Allah in this month. Traditionally it is customary for all Muslims to fast during this month from dawn to sunset.


During the month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world also participate in various acts of charity.  Ramadan is celebrated by following a few rituals for every day throughout the month.

Rituals during the month of Ramadan

  • Fasting

Ramadan helps to improve your spiritual reflection and devotion for Allah. The fast starts at dawn. Fasting means restraining oneself from all desires, this includes food, drinks and sexual activities and sinful speech as well.
Fasting is practiced by all. Children also learn to fast as soon as they reach adolescence so as to imbibe the discipline in them. The only condition for fasting is that the individual should be healthy and have no illnesses or disabilities. Individuals who are exempted from fasting include:

  1. If the individual is travelling
  2. Menstruation
  3. One with severe illness
  4. Pregnancy
  5. Breastfeeding

The Hadith recommends that individuals with illnesses should not fast due to development of complications but many persist on fasting to get spiritually enlightened. If for some reason an individual cannot fast you can make up for the missed days of fasting later.

  • Suhur

During the month of Ramadan fasting starts at dawn, so the individuals get up before dawn and have a meal before staring the fast till sunset. This meal is known as the Suhur. Once dawn breaks, Muslims start the fast and begin Fajr, the day’s first prayer.

  • Iftar

Fasting during Ramadan ends with sunset. As the sun sets, fasts are traditionally broken with dates. Following this, the fourth prayer of the daily five prayers called Maghrib prayer is prayed. After the prayers the meal called Iftar is served.
At Iftars you will find traditional dishes and desserts. /drinks include water, juices and milk. Iftar meals in the Middle East consist of

  • Water
  • Juices
  • Dates
  • Appetizers and Salads
  • Main dishes
  • Desserts of various kinds

Main dishes include delicious options like lamb that has been stewed with wheat berries, roast chicken with rice pilaf that has been studded with chickpea, or lamb kebabs with grilled vegetables. While the popular traditional desserts include baklava, luqaimat or kunafeh helps give a perfect finish to the scrumptious meal.
Iftar meals have grown to become a time when the whole community comes together to celebrate and enjoy a meal together.

  • Charity

Charity is an important part of Ramadan celebrations. According the teachings of Islam a
part of your earning is supposed to be donated for the poor, Zakāt. An option to donate more than the obligatory donation, Zakat is called Sadaqah. If you want you can donate more. The amount of donations usually increases during the month of Ramadan because according to Islamic teachings, rewards or the person who donates during time increases on the day of Last Judgment.

  • Nightly prayers

A nightly extra prayer called Tarawih is conducted by Muslims during the ninth month of Ramadan. It is not compulsory but most Muslims practice it. There are two versions regarding this prayer:

  1. Many scholars believe that this is neither a Sunnah nor a fard. It is a night prayer called Tahajjud that has been preponed to ease the difficulty of the people
  2. Most Sunni scholars consider the Tarawih prayers to be Sunnat al-Mu’akkadah. This is a salaat that was conducted by the Islamic prophet Muhammad regularly.

During the course of the nightly prayers the whole Quran is read. Each night during Tarawih a part of the Quran is read so that the whole Quran is completed by the end of the month of Ramadan. This is not a rule but it is a common practice.

Eid-ul-Fitr is a grand celebration that is celebrated each year at the end of the month of Ramadan. It is also called “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast”.