On March 22, 2023, Muslims worldwide will begin observing Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. The month-long observance involves fasting, prayer, and worship, and is meant to commemorate the time when Allah revealed the first verses of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad.

Ramadan 2023
Photo by Rumman Amin on Unsplash

The Beginning of Ramadan

Ramadan commences when the full moon is sighted, marking the beginning of the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This year, the full moon is expected to be seen on March 22, and Muslims worldwide will begin fasting from that day onwards. The month-long observance is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and religious devotion.

The Significance of Ramadan

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims worldwide and is a time to renew their awareness and gratitude of everything Allah has provided in their lives. Fasting during the month is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the central tenets and core beliefs of the religion. The other four pillars include the profession of faith in Allah as the only God and Muhammad as the messenger of God, praying five times a day, charity, and at least once in a lifetime pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Fasting during Ramadan

During Ramadan, healthy adult Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, which includes abstaining from all food and drink, as well as sexual activity. This is a very spiritual time, and through the sharing of hunger and thirst, it is a reminder of the religious duty to help the less fortunate. Muslims also break their fast with a large communal meal called Iftar, which is usually eaten with family or community members.

Observing the Fast

Fasting during Ramadan requires individuals to have a light meal before sunrise called Suhoor. After eating Suhoor, an individual must have the Niyyah (intention) to fast the entire day, reaffirming it by saying “I intend to observe my fast for today.” During the day, eating or drinking, smoking, taking medicine, and engaging in sexual activities are not allowed and will break the fast.

Ramadan Mubarak

If you want to wish someone a happy Ramadan, you can say Ramadan Mubarak, which means “Happy Ramadan.” As Muslims worldwide begin observing this holy month, they will fast, pray, and engage in worship as a reminder of their religious obligations and to strengthen their faith in Allah.