What is Ramadan?
Ramadan (also romanized as Ramazan, Ramadhan, or Ramathan) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (Sawm) to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Mohammad SAW. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Ramadan is taken from the word ramad which means that which is intensely or vehemently heated by the sun. And the word ramdhaa means the intense heat of the sun. [The Arabs used to say about] the sheep that they were burned (ramidat) while they were grazing under the scorching heat of the sun to the extent that their livers became damaged (by the intense heat of the sun). Ramadan was named such because it burns the sins of the believers, erases our sins because the hasanat (good deeds) eliminates the sayyi’aat (bad deeds).
Fasting is fardh (obligatory) for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating. Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory (wajib) during the month of Sha’ban, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina. Recommended Ramadan diet for better health.
Muslims are instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting except in self-defense. Food and drinks are served daily, before dawn and after sunset, referred to as Suhoor and Iftar respectively. Spiritual rewards (thawab) for fasting are also believed to be multiplied within the month of Ramadan. Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers), recitation of the Quran and an increase of doing good deeds and charity.