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What is Ramadan and how is it celebrated around the world?


In a few weeks, billions of Muslims around the world will be observing the blessed month of Ramadan - but you might be wondering: what exactly is Ramadan?

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, which translates as ‘scorching heat,’ is the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar and commemorates the time when Archangel Gabriel revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (saws) during the hottest month of summer. It lasts for a month from the sighting of the first crescent moon to the sighting of the next crescent moon. 


What do you do during Ramadan?

Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, reflection, reciting the Quran, prayer and community. It is a time of spiritual growth and a time to practice self-restraint and self-reflection. During Ramadan, fasting is seen as a way to cleanse the soul and to have empathy for those who are less fortunate.  Muslims also try to abstain from impure thoughts, sexual behaviour, tobacco products and bad behaviours during this month.

Fasting is also known as Sawm is one of the 5 fundamental pillars of Islam and spiritual rewards from fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan. Therefore this month is also referred to as the month of mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness is an attribute that is significantly encouraged in the religion of Islam, particularly in this special month. It is often a time in which strained relationships are resolved and mended for sake of Allah only. During Ramadan, Muslims don’t eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. (Yes not even water).


Do all Muslims fast during Ramadan? 

Generally, Muslims who are healthy and have reached puberty are required to partake in fasting. Muslims can be exempt from fasting at certain times, for example, if one is nursing or pregnant, menstruating, in poor health, elderly or travelling, yet missed fasting days should be made up soon and if one is unable to do so, charitable acts of feeding the poor are recommended. This practice is called Fidyah.


What does breaking the fast look like?

Daily fasts are broken by sharing meals with family and friends. The pre-dawn meal is called Suhur and the nightly meal after sunset is called Iftar. Iftars have also become an occasion within itself. It is a time for all the family to gather and experience this wonderful rewarding custom. However, in recent time’s we often see Iftar parties being hosted and celebrated with extravagant and delicious foods. Homes are decorated to emphasise the festivity of the occasion and in effect encourages the engagement and understanding of all family members especially the young.

Muslims often break their fast by eating 1 to 3 dates, as this was the practice of the Prophet Mohammed. It is believed that Mohammed broke his fast with three dates and water. Dates are an important source of nutrition during fasting, as they are a wonderful source of iron, natural sugar, magnesium and fibres. Therefore, they help to restore blood sugar after many hours of fasting.

The end of the month of Ramadan is celebrated with a 3-day festival called Eid-al-Fitr, the Feast of Fast Breaking, which is also one of the major religious holidays of Islam. 


Do you know anyone who celebrates Ramadan? Have a look at our Ramadan Collection to find unique Ramadan products to gift them, perfect to decorate  homes with or dress up an iftar table attire!

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