What Is Ramadan? And Other Questions You Always Wanted To Ask

Always had questions about Ramadan but were too afraid to ask? Here are some common questions, answered.

Did you know that there are an estimated 1.9 billion Muslims around the world?

As Ramadan begins, many of them will be marking the Muslim holy month in some way.

Always had questions about Ramadan but were too afraid to ask? Here are some common questions, answered.

What Is Ramadan?

what is ramadan
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Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and the most sacred month for Muslims as they believe that their holy book, the Qu’ran, was revealed during this month.

What Do Muslims Have To Do During Ramadan?

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During Ramadan, Muslims:

  • Seek spiritual nearness to God
  • Fast from sunrise to sunset
  • Devote more time to prayer
  • Increase acts of charity
  • Most importantly, it’s a time of celebration and joy spent with loved ones

Why Do Muslims Have To Fast?

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Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with the other four fundamental principles of testimony of faith, prayer, charitable giving and making a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Fasting helps remind Muslims about their spiritual and social purpose. It reminds them about their connection to God and the struggles of the poor and the needy.

How Does Fasting Work?

how does ramadan fasting work
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Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day during Ramadan.

They wake up early in the morning before sunrise to eat their first meal, called Suhoor. A well-balanced meal allows them to continue throughout the day without food and water.

Once the evening call to prayer is made, Muslims break their fast with a meal called Iftar, or small breakfast.

Eid al-Fitr marks the ending of the holy month of Ramadan. It is a three-day celebration to spend with family and eating good food.

Children, the elderly, pregnant women, people who are ill or on their periods, do not have to fast.

What Else Can’t You Do During Ramadan?

what cant you do ramadan
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Besides fasting during Ramadan, Muslims also abstain from:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Engaging in sexual activity
  • Sinful behavior like being impatient, lying or gossiping

What Are Some Other Interesting Facts About Ramadan?

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Fasting times can vary depending on the length of time between sunrise and sunset around the world. Muslims can fast from 11 hours in Australia to almost 22 hours in Iceland and Norway.

Many families break their fast at Iftar by eating dates as it commemorates Muhammad breaking his fast with three dates.

How Can I Be Respectful To People Who Are Fasting?

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  • Include people in social gatherings
  • Inquire respectfully about Ramadan
  • Ask people about Iftar and traditional cuisine


  • Make things awkard
  • Criticize Ramadan practices

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