Updated: Mar 31
When is Ramadan 2023:
Ramadan 2023 is expected to begin on either Thursday, March 23, 2023 or Wednesday 22 March and will end on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Eid al Fitr 2023 is expected to be celebrated on Saturday 22 April or Friday, April 21, 2023. However, it should be noted that these dates are provisional as the actual commencement of Ramadan 2023 is dependent on the sighting of the moon. When does Ramadan start? Wednesday 22 March or Thursday, March 23, 2023
How long is Ramadan? 29 or 30 days.
When does Ramadan end? Saturday 22 April or Friday 21 April.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a significant religious observance in Islam, which is observed by millions of Muslims worldwide. It is a month-long period of fasting, prayer, and self-reflection. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking, and any sexual activity from dawn until sunset. It is a time for spiritual reflection, introspection, and an opportunity to deepen one's connection with Allah. Ramadan is considered to be the holiest month of the year for Muslims. The word "Ramadan" comes from the Arabic word "ramada" which means "scorching heat" or "dryness". It is believed that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month. Therefore, Ramadan is a time of spiritual purification and renewal for Muslims.
Fasting is an essential part of Ramadan. It is a time for self-discipline and restraint, as well as a reminder of the suffering of the less fortunate. Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, refraining from food, water, and any other form of sustenance. Fasting is not only about abstaining from food and drink but also involves abstaining from negative thoughts and actions. It is a time to focus on spiritual growth and moral development.
Ramadan is also a time for increased prayer and recitation of the Quran. Muslims are encouraged to attend mosque for nightly prayers called Taraweeh, which are special prayers offered only during Ramadan. The Quran is recited in its entirety during Taraweeh, and Muslims are encouraged to memorize as much of the Quran as possible during this time. Charity is another significant aspect of Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to give to the less fortunate and donate to charity during this time. Many Muslims choose to give Zakat, which is a mandatory donation of 2.5% of one's wealth to the less fortunate. Ramadan is a time for giving and sharing with those in need.
The end of Ramadan is marked by a three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr, which means "Festival of Breaking the Fast." It is a time of celebration and feasting, as well as a time for forgiveness and reconciliation. Muslims attend special Eid prayers and gather with family and friends to share meals and exchange gifts.
“Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 2:183)
Here are some of the things that can break the fast:
Eating or drinking: The most obvious action that invalidates the fast is eating or drinking anything, including water, during the fasting hours. Even a small amount of food or drink consumed intentionally can break the fast.
Smoking: Smoking is also prohibited during the fasting hours, as it is considered to be a form of intake that invalidates the fast.
Sexual activity: Any form of sexual activity that leads to ejaculation.
Menstruation and postnatal bleeding: Women who are menstruating or experiencing postnatal bleeding are not required to fast, as it is not possible for them to do so. However, they are expected to make up the missed days after Ramadan.
Vomiting: If someone vomits intentionally or unintentionally, it breaks the fast. However, if the vomiting is due to a medical condition or illness, the fast may still be valid.
Medication taken through nose or ears.
Water accidentally goes down the throat whilst gargling when doing ablution "Wudu"
Spiritual Benefits of Fasting During Ramadan
Fasting during Ramadan also has spiritual benefits for Muslims. It is considered a time for self-reflection, introspection, and spiritual growth. Here are some of the potential spiritual benefits of fasting in Ramadan:
Increased mindfulness: Fasting can help people become more mindful of their thoughts and actions, and encourage them to be more present in the moment.
Strengthened faith: Fasting can be a way to strengthen one's faith and connection to Allah, as it is a form of worship and a way to seek forgiveness.
Increased compassion: Fasting can foster empathy and compassion towards others, particularly those who are less fortunate and may not have enough to eat.
Improved self-discipline: Fasting requires self-discipline and self-control, which can be beneficial in other areas of life as well.
Renewed sense of purpose: Fasting can provide a sense of renewed purpose and direction in life, as people reflect on their goals and priorities.
Fasting Ramadan in Quran and Hadith
“… and men who fast and women who fast, … Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward.” (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:35) Abu Huraira (R.A.) that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and hope for reward, his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Bukhari: 38) Abu Huraira (R.A.) that Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) said: "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained." (Sahih Bukhari: 1899) Salmaan Farsi (R.A.) says that on the last day of Shabaan, Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) spoke us and said: ‘O People, there comes to you a great month now, a most blessed month, in which is a night greater in value and goodness than a thousand months. It is a month in which Allah Has made fasting fardh (obligatory) by day and has made Sunnah the Taraweeh Salah by night. Whosoever wants to be close to Allah by doing any good deed, for such person shall be the reward like the one who had performed a fardh in any other time and whoever performs a fardh (obligation), shall be given the reward of seventy faraaidh (obligations) in any other time.’ (Ref: Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith No. 1887)
Physical Benefits of Fasting in Ramadan
Fasting during Ramadan can have several health benefits for the body. Here are five potential benefits of fasting in Ramadan:
Weight loss: Fasting during Ramadan can lead to weight loss, as the body uses stored fat for energy during the fasting hours. Additionally, people tend to eat healthier and consume fewer calories during Ramadan, which can contribute to weight loss.
Improved blood sugar control: Fasting can improve blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance and increasing insulin sensitivity. This can be particularly beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
Reduced inflammation: Fasting has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which can be beneficial for people with chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Improved heart health: Fasting can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Improved brain function: Fasting has been shown to improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration. Additionally, it can stimulate the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein that promotes the growth and survival of nerve cells in the brain.
It is important to note that these potential benefits are based on limited research and may not apply to everyone.