Ramadan celebrates the first time the Koran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad in Islamic belief, with its time and date dependent on the lunar Islamic calendar. We have the information on what the observance represents, how it is celebrated and when it will be celebrated this year.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan, also known as “Ramzan,” “Ramadhan,” or “Ramathan,” is often referred to as a “holiday,” but the observance actually lasts a month and is in itself the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar.
The first night, also known as the “night of power” or “night of decree,” is considered the holiest night of the year, as it represents the night Muhammad had his first revelation. Ramadan ends with the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which also marks the beginning of the next lunar month. Its observance is ultimately considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
The word “Ramadan” means “heat” or “dryness,” representing the holiday serving as a period of fasting and sacrifice.
How do believers celebrate Ramadan?
Adult Muslims are obliged to fast, which is defined as abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight hours, although there are a few exceptions: the ill, those traveling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating. In certain circumstances, people who were unable to fast during the month of Ramadan are obliged to fast at later dates.
In addition, Muslims are obliged to practice increased prayer, self-discipline and charity during this period. A pre-dawn meal that takes places before the fast is called the “suhur;” a meal that takes place after sunset that breaks the fast is called the “iftar,” according to The Sun.
During this period, Muslims also greet each other with “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem,” both of which mean “Blessed Ramadan.”
In some Muslim countries, some areas, like shopping malls or public squares, might be decorated with lights in order to celebrate the holiday; lanterns, in particular, have become a symbol of the holiday.
When is Ramadan 2018?
Ramadan in 2018 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, May 15, and will end in the evening of Thursday, June 14.
UPDATE: According to Gulf News, due to moon-sighting methodology, Ramadan will officially begin this upcoming Thursday, May 17.
Ramadan 2018 Details
- Start Date: Thursday, May 17
- End Date: Thursday, June 14