First Day of Ramadan Date in the current year: March 11, 2024

First Day of Ramadan Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed as a month of fasting by Muslims all over the world. The first day of Ramadan is an official non-working day in Muslim countries and in some countries with a large Muslim population.

Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, the beginning of the new month is marked by the new moon. An Islamic lunar year is shorter than a civil year, so the first day of Ramadan falls on another date in the Gregorian calendar every year. Moreover, it may fall during different seasons in different years. In Muslim countries where certain public holidays are celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar, they may be moved to another date when they fall during Ramadan.

Ramadan is the month when Muslims worldwide commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. During the entire month, they fast every day from dawn to sunset. While fasting, Muslims are required to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations.

In addition, Muslims must refrain from what is referred to as “sinful behavior”. It includes gossip, cursing, lying, angry and sarcastic retorts, lust, greed, envy, anger, and violence (except in self-defense). They need to avoid all irreligious and obscene stimuli because purity of thought is as important as purity of action. Besides, fasting during Ramadan usually includes an increase of praying, reciting the Quran, charity, and doing good deeds.

Fasting during Ramadan (Siyam) is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam, five basic acts considered mandatory by observant Muslims. The other four are faith (Shahada), prayer (Salah), charity (Zakat), and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). Fasting is seen as a way to find a raised level of closeness to God.

Fasting during Ramadan becomes obligatory for Muslims as soon as they reach puberty. Although prepubescent children are exempt from fasting, some choose to fast for at least half a day to train themselves.

There are several types of people who are exempt from fasting. They include individuals suffering from a physical or mental illness, travelers, menstruating women, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, and the elderly. Generally, a person may be excused from fasting if fasting during Ramadan would be excessively problematic for them.

If the circumstance that prevents one from fasting is temporary, they are required to make up for the missed days of fasting after this year’s Ramadan ends and before the next year’s Ramadan begins. When the circumstance is long-lasting or permanent, one can make up by feeding a person in need for every day of the fast that has been missed.

Muslims end their daily fast at sunset with an evening meal called Iftar. Many mosques hold community meals with people gathering to pray and break their fast together. Feeding someone Iftar is considered a very rewarding form of charity. In many Muslim countries, Iftar includes traditional dishes. Early in the morning, before the dawn starts to rise and the daily fast begins, Muslims consume one more meal called Suhur. It is eaten before the Fajr prayer, which is the first of the five daily prayers.

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