One of the five pillars in Islam
Ramadan 2023: the most important information about the Muslim month of fasting
To break the fast, devout Muslims first eat a date to open the stomach.
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For many Muslims, the days of Ramadan are among the most important of the year. During the month of fasting, hundreds of millions of people worldwide are called to renounce certain things in life. But what exactly is Ramadan and why is it fasting for a month?
The most important information about Ramadan 2023 at a glance
- The fasting month of Ramadan begins on March 23, 2023 and ends on April 20, 2023.
- During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and other stimulants during the day.
- The end of Ramadan is marked by the Sugar Festival, which is celebrated this year from April 21st to 23rd.
What is Ramadan and what is celebrated?
Ramadan is the month of fasting for Muslims and Muslimas and is also known as the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. In Ramadan, believers should reflect on self-control and renunciation. By limiting it to the essentials, people should become more aware of compassion towards the needy and weak.
During Lent, Muslims enjoy the special togetherness in the family and with friends. During Ramadan, people have the opportunity to take stock and make new resolutions. What can be avoided in the future? What lessons can be learned from Lent?
Ramadan begins: Why do Muslims fast?
Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting. What things Muslims do without and why the month of fasting begins on a different day every year.
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Compulsory fasting on Ramadan: Why do devout Muslims and Muslimas fast?
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the so-called five pillars of Islam and thus one of the main obligations for devout Muslims. Therefore, the exact period can always shift by ten to eleven days per year. The five pillars of Islam are:
- Bearing witness to the unity of God and the prophethood of Muhammad
- Prayer five times a day
- The pilgrimage to Mecca
- Giving alms (zakat)
- Fasting on Ramadan
The basis for fasting in Ramadan is the Qur’anic verse “You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you, that you may become pious.” (2:183). By giving up certain pleasures, fasting people are said to expand their conscience for those in need. Moreover, fasting is a testament to one’s own resilience. In Islam, fasting is intended to cleanse and purify the soul so that the relationship with God and fellow human beings is strengthened.
The fasting period of Ramadan always lasts one month and falls on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
Which fasting rules apply?
The rules for fasting Ramadan dictate that no solid or liquid food be eaten between sunrise and sunset. Also, don’t drink anything in between. As soon as the sun goes down, iftar begins to break the fast for devout Muslims.
Traditionally, a date is eaten first to open the stomach. The food is usually very sumptuous: pureed lentil soup, white bread, fried rice, lamb, vegetable dishes, salad and pieces of melon. Smoking and sex are also prohibited during the day.
What is the name of the festival after Ramadan?
The Sugar Festival marks the end of Ramadan. It is celebrated in the first days of “Shawwāl”, the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. During the three-day celebrations, it is common for relatives to travel from all over the world to celebrate the big festival with the whole family.
The Islamic fast-breaking is all about family. The festival has different names depending on the region. In Arabic it is called “Eid al-Fitr”, in Turkey it is called “Ramazan Bayramı” and in Malay-speaking countries the Great Day of Breaking the Fast is called “Hari Raya Aidilfitri” or “Hari Raya Puasa”.
The name Sugar Festival goes back to the many things to snack on during the festival. But not least because of the sweets, it is popular with children, and gifts are also distributed on Eid al-Fitr.
At the end of Lent, people wish “Happy Id” and send good luck messages to friends and family.
Ramadan falls in these periods in the next few years:
- Ramadan 2024: March 11th to April 10th
- Ramadan 2025: March 1st to March 30th
- Ramadan 2026: February 17th to March 20th