Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the month of fasting, in which participating Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. After the sunset they are permitted to eat and drink, the meal which is called Eftari. Even before the arrival of Islam, Ramadan had been the name of the ninth month in their calendar. It has been mentioned in the Qur’an that “fasting is each Muslim’s duty (as mandatory) as it was upon those before you”. Muslims are supposed to learn patience, modesty and spirituality through fasting.
Ramadan is a 30-day period for Muslims to fast for the sake of God and to pray more than what they have done before. In Ramadan, Muslims ask for God’s forgiveness for their past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.
Compared to the solar calendar, the precise date of Ramadan differs annually, shifting backwards yearly for ten days. Ramadan was the month of the first revelation of verses of the Qur’an upon Prophet Muhammad. It occurred during a night known as Laylat al-Qadr (the night of decree or measures) by Muslims. This night is believed to lie within one of the last 10 days of the month.
Eid ul-Fitr, with its specific feasts and celebrations, signifies the end of Ramadan which is on the first of Shawwal (tenth month of Islamic calendar.