This page contains some of the FAQs on Ramadan.
- For health tips to help you with fasting during the month of Ramadan, please go to the NHS Healthy Ramadan page.
- For resources on healthy fasting, fasting at school and work, you can visit the Muslim Council of Britain page on Ramadan.
- For resources to help you learn the Quran and tafsir, we have listed a few links on the ‘Learn the Quran’ page.
What is Ramadan?
The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which fasting is observed from dawn to sunset.
The month of Ramadan is also the month the Quran was revealed as stated in the following verses:
“The month of Ramadan is the one during which the Quran was revealed as a guidance for mankind; “ [ Al-Baqarah 2: 185]
“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).” [Al-Qadr 97:1]
If you are a member of our mailing list, you will be notified by email when Ramadan begins.
Why do Muslims fast?
Muslims are commanded to fast as stated by the following verse of the Quran:
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’aan, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month…”
Fasting/Sawm is the fourth pillar of Islam as was narrated in (al-Bukhaari, 8; Muslim, 16) from the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): the testimony that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; establishing prayer; paying zakah; fasting Ramadan; and Hajj to the House (the Ka’bah).”
When does the fast begin and when does it end?
The fast begins at dawn and ends at sunset. To know when these specific times are, refer to the Ramadan prayer timetable. On the timetable dawn is the beginning time of the Fajr prayer and sunset is the beginning time of Maghrib.
What things invalidate the fast?
There are seven things that break the fast, as follows:
1- Eating and drinking
2- Anything that is regarded as coming under the same heading as eating and drinking
3- Vomiting deliberately
4- Letting blood by means of cupping and similar
7- Menstruation and nifaas
For more information on this, please go to this page.
What is ‘Laylatul Qadr’?
Allah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We have sent it (this Quran) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree).
And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is?
The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).
Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees,
(All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn”
“We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan — the 9th month of the Islamic calendar]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]” [al-Dukhaan 44:3]
The hadeeth of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month which Allaah has enjoined you to fast, during which the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained up. In it there is a night which is better than a thousand months, and whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.”
[Narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 2106; Ahmad, 8769. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb, 999]
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, will be forgiven his previous sins.”
[Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1910; Muslim, 760]
What is ‘taraweh’?
The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is Sunnah to pray qiyam at night in Ramadaan. Al-Nawawi said that what is meant by praying qiyam in Ramadaan is to pray Taraweh.
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.”
[al-Bukhaari (2008) and Muslim (174)]
Whoever prays qiyam/taraweh in Ramadaan with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer, because of the report narrated by Abu Dawood (1370) and others from the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever prays qiyaam with the imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Salaat al-Taraaweeh, p. 15 )
What is I’tikaf?
I’tikaf refers to going into seclusion in the mosque for the sole purpose of worshipping Allah and attaching oneself and one’s heart to His worship.
It is Sunnah to observe i’tikaf (retreat for the purpose of worship) in Ramadaan, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) always did that, as it was narrated in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to spend the last ten days of Ramadaan in i’tikaaf until he passed away, then his wives observed i’tikaaf after him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1922; Muslim, 1172.