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Ramaḍān (Arabic: رَمَضان) or Ramaḍān al-Mubārak (Arabic:رَمَضان المُبارَک) is the ninth month of the Hijri calendar. It is obligatory for every Muslim to fast all the days of this month. Ramadan is when Allah revealed the Qur'an to the Prophet (s). The Night of al-Qadr is in this month. Ramadan is the only month whose name is explicitly mentioned and praised in the Qur'an. Also, the 21st of this month marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali (a).

Among this month's most significant recommended practices are reciting the Qur'an, keeping vigil on the three possible nights of al-Qadr, praying, repenting, giving Iftar meals to others and helping the needy.

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

Muslims greatly revere this month and consider it their month of worship. Faithful people prepare themselves spiritually in the previous months - Rajab and Sha'ban - to become ready for receiving godsends in Ramadan.


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

In the Qur'an

Ramadan is the only month mentioned in the Qur'an[3] and is 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 knew the value of this month, they would wish the whole year was Ramadan.[5]
  • It is the month of forgiveness, and if one's sins are not forgiven during this month, there is not much hope for forgiveness for 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 Paradise open.[14]
  • The month in which devils are chained.[15]
  • Ramadan is the month that 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 happening on the 13th or 14th of this month and a lunar eclipse on the 25th 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 is trying to find a new moon from the top of Milad Tower in Tehran at the end of Ramadan, 1433/2012.

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. Moonsighting at the beginning of Ramadan is among recommended actions.[citation needed]

According to some hadiths, Ramadan is always 30 days and 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, which can be 29 or 30 days.[19] Most Islamic authorities believe in these hadiths.[20]


Fasting (or Sawm) is one of the most important acts of worship in Islam, which is defined as abstaining "completely" from foods, drinks, etc., before the break of 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 for those with accepted excuses such as having an illness, pregnancy, or being on a trip. Besides not eating and drinking, there are other necessities for a true fasting, such as restraining sins.

Recommended Practices

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

Some practices are usual and recommended for all days of Ramadan, and there are some practices for specific days.

Common Practices

The following are among the common practices this month:

Specific Practices for Certain Days

There are some particular 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

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

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 a lack of police authorization on Friday, the rally is made on another day, or there is only permission for holding conferences.

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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