Ramadan 2024

As we approach the holy month of Ramadan, it is important to familiarise ourselves with a Holy month celebrated by millions of Muslims worldwide. During Ramadan, Muslims observe a period of fasting to practise self-discipline and strengthen their faith in Allah. But Ramadan is not just about fasting, it is a time of spirituality, community and self-reflection.

This blog will answer common questions about Ramadan and shed light on its significance and traditions.

What Is Ramadan?

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and is celebrated as the month during which the verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The night that the Qur’an was revealed is known as Lailut ul-Qadr (‘The Night of Power’). It is the 9th month of the Lunar Hijri year and is considered the most sacred month in the Islamic calendar.

When Does Ramadan Start?

The Islamic lunar calendar dictates the start and end of Ramadan, so its start date and duration can vary from year to year depending on the sighting of the moon and your location. Ramadan begins with the first crescent of the new moon and marks the beginning of the month of Shawal.

In 2024, Ramadan in the UK is expected to start on the evening of Sunday 10th March, and conclude on the evening of Monday 9th April, however these dates may vary depending on the sightings of the moon.

How Do Muslims Celebrate Ramadan?

Several traditions are observed by Muslims during Ramadan. The primary aspect is fasting, known as “Sawm.” This fast is broken by Iftar, which typically consists of dates to emulate the way Prophet Mohammed broke his fast and is a meal eaten after sundown. Suhoor is a pre-dawn meal eaten before beginning Sawn. 

Other practices include reading the Qur’an, performing Salah, completing acts of good deeds and Dua, and donating Sadaqat to charity. During this time, Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking, and any negative behaviour.

Can Anyone Be Exempt From Fasting During Ramadan?

It is important to note that some people are excused from fasting due to various circumstances. The teachings of Islam recognise the needs and challenges its followers face and promote compassion and understanding in matters of religious observance.

Anyone facing health conditions that could be affected by abstaining from food and drink is exempt from fasting. Individuals with chronic illnesses, mental health concerns, pregnant, menstruating or breastfeeding women, and those with medical conditions that require a regular diet (e.g., diabetes) are advised not to fast.

Children are not obliged to fast until they reach puberty, usually around the age of 14, and the elderly are exempt from maintaining their overall well-being. This time is perfect for children to engage in other religious activities to learn about the importance of fasting and Ramadan. Take a look at our blog that shares various Ramadan activities for kids.

Those undertaking significant travelling journeys are also exempt from fasting. The flexibility of Islam’s teachings acknowledges the challenges of maintaining a fast while travelling and emphasises the importance of convenience and practicality.

For more information about Ramadan, please visit our Ramadan blog, which includes information about Ramadan celebrations, gift ideas, and activities for kids

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