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Ramaḍān (Arabic: رمضان) or Ramaḍān al-Mubārak (Arabic:رمضان المبارک) is the 9th month of Hijri calendar. It is obligatory for every Muslim to fast all the days of this month. In the Qur'an, this month is mentioned as the month in which this book was revealed to the Prophet (s). The Night of al-Qadr is in this month. This is the only month whose name is explicitly mentioned and praised in the Qur'an. Also, 21st of this month marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali (a).

Among the most important recommended practices in this month are reciting the Qur'an, observing night vigil at the three possible nights of al-Qadr, praying, repenting, giving Iftar meals to others and helping the needy.

Due to the great significance of this month, committing sins in this month leads to worse divine punishments in this world and the Hereafter.

This month is greatly revered by Muslims and is considered their month of worship, and the faithfuls prepare themselves spiritually in the previous months of Rajab and Sha'ban to begin this month prepared and ready to receive its blessings.


کتیبه مسجد.png

The name of "Ramadan" is derived from the Arabic root-form "r-m-d" (Arabic: رَمَضَ) meaning "heating up" and "burning".[1] Some philologists believe the reason behind choosing the word "Ramadan" for the month was the hot weather of the month (at the time of the coinage) and is not related to the fasting because the month was named Ramadan before Islam.[2]

In the Qur'an

Ramadan is the only month mentioned in the Qur'an[3] and revered;

In Hadiths

In hadiths, this month is referred to in different ways, such as in the following;

  • "Ramadan" is one of the names of God.[4]
  • If people know the value of this month, they wish the whole year was Ramadan.[5]
  • It is the month of forgiveness, and if one's sins are not forgiven in this month, there is not much hope in forgiveness of them in the rest of the year.[6]
  • The month of God.[7]
  • The month of divine mercy and forgiveness.[8]
  • The month of burning sins.[9]
  • The month during which the gates of the Heavens are open.[10]
  • The month of double rewards.[11]
  • The spring of the Qur'an.[12]
  • The month during which the gates of hell are closed.[13]
  • The month during which the gates of the Paradise open.[14]
  • The month in which devils are chained.[15]
  • It is the month in which the great sound will be heard as a sign of the appearance of Imam al-Mahdi (a) according to some hadiths. Some hadiths reported the solar eclipse to happen on the 13th or 14th of this month and a lunar eclipse on the 25th of the same month unexpectedly.[citation needed]
  • It is the month in which the glorious Qur'an, the New Testament, the Torah, the Ten Commandments and the Psalms have been sent down.[16]

Beginning and the End

A group are trying to find a new moon from the top of Milad Tower in Tehran at the end of Ramadan, 1433/2012.
Main article: Moon Sighting

Like other months of the Hijri Calendar which begin by sighting the new moon, Ramadan begins and ends either when 30 days have passed from the beginning of the month or when the crescent of the new moon is seen. Moon sighting for the beginning of Ramadan is among recommended actions.[citation needed]

According to some hadiths, Ramadan is always 30 days, and it will never be less.[17] Some early scholars believed in those hadiths.[18] However, some other hadiths say that like other months, Ramadan's length is changing and it can be 29 or 30 days.[19] Most Islamic authorities believe in these hadiths.[20]


Main article: Fasting

Fasting (or Sawm) is one of the most important acts of worship in Islam, which is literally defined as to abstain "completely" from foods, drinks, etc., before the break of the dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year.[21] It's an obligatory task for every Muslim to fast all days of Ramadan, except the ones with accepted excuses such as not being able to fast because of some illness or pregnancy, or being on travel. Besides not eating and drinking, there are also some others necessities for true fasting, such as abstention from sins.

Recommended Practices

Muslims waiting for sunset during Ramadan in Cairo, Egypt. November 7, 2005

Some practices are common and are recommended for all days of Ramadan, and there are some practices for certain days.

Common Practices

The following are among common practices in this month:

Special Practices for Certain Days

There are special practices recommended for some days and nights of Ramadan, such as;

Important Events

8. Sha'ban 9. Ramadan 10. Shawwal
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
Lunar Hijri Calendar

Al-Quds Day

Al-Quds Day in Australia
Main article: Al-Quds Day

Al-Quds Day takes place every year on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan. Soon after the Islamic revolution in Iran, Imam Khomeini called on Muslims to dedicate this day to demand the rights of oppressed Muslims in Palestine. On this day, rallies are organized before the Friday Prayer to protest against the occupation of Palestine and the oppression of its people.

Since the end of Ramadan may vary from country to country, if the last day of Ramadan is a Friday or Saturday in Iran, al-Quds day will be held the week before. In some countries, due to lack of police authorization on Friday, the rally is made on another day, or there is only permission for holding conferences on that day.

See Also


  1. Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 189.
  2. Muṣṭafawī, al-Tahqīq fī kalimāt al-Qur'ān al-karīm, vol. 4, p. 243
  3. Qirāʾatī, Muḥsin. Tafsīr-i nūr, vol. 1, p. 287.
  4. Rayshahrī, Mizān al-ḥikma, hadith 7442.
  5. Majlisī, Biḥar al-anwār, vol. 93, p. 346.
  6. Rayshahrī, Mizān al-ḥikma, hadith 7461.
  7. ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 7, p. 266.
  8. Majlisī, Biḥar al-anwār, vol. 93, p. 342.
  9. Rayshahrī, Mizān al-ḥikma, hadith 7441.
  10. Majlisī, Biḥar al-anwār, vol. 93, p. 344.
  11. Majlisī, Biḥar al-anwār, vol. 93, p. 340.
  12. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 630.
  13. Rayshahrī, Mizān al-ḥikma, hadith 7453.
  14. Rayshahrī, Mizān al-ḥikma, hadith 7453.
  15. Rayshahrī, Mizān al-ḥikma, hadith 7453.
  16. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 628.
  17. ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 10, p. 268-274.
  18. Ibn Ṭāwūs, al-Iqbāl bi-aʿmāl al-ḥasana, vol. 1, p. 33-35.
  19. ʿĀmilī, Wasāʾil al-Shīʿa, vol. 10, p. 261-268.
  20. Baḥrānī, al-Ḥadāʾiq al-nāḍira, vol. 13, p. 270-271; Āmulī, Miṣbāḥ al-hudā, vol. 8, p. 384.
  21. Fasting in Islam, Islamic Society of Rutgers University, Retrieved June 15, 2015
  22. Ṣadūq, al-Amālī, p. 93.


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  • Baḥrānī, Yūsuf al-. Al-Ḥadāʾiq al-nāḍira. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, [n.d].
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  • Ibn Ṭāwūs, ʿAlī b. Mūsā. Al-Iqbāl bi-aʿmāl al-ḥasana. Qom: Intishārāt-i Daftar-i Tablighāt-i Islāmī. [n.p]. [n.d].
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  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥar al-anwār. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, Tehran: 1362 Sh.
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