Ramadan is a month which Muslims across the globe await each year - an auspicious month filled with modesty, humility, spirit and above all, blessing.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; the Islamic calendar follows a lunar cycle, which means that the months rotate by around 11 days each year. Therefore, Ramadan is, on average, 11 days earlier every year. Please see here for the Ramadan 2018 timetable.
It is a month of sawm (also known as fasting) and worship for Muslims worldwide and is the fourth pillar of the obligatory Five Pillars of Islam – which is compulsory for all able Muslims.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan entails abstaining from many things between the hours of sunrise and sunset. These things include eating, drinking, backbiting, thinking impure thoughts, committing sinful acts, upsetting others, smoking, any form of intimacy, seeing evil things, hearing evil things and so on. The idea is to purify the mind, body and soul in order to attain closeness to Allah SWT.
The month encourages giving to those in need by way of an obligatory contribution, also known as Zakat-ul Fitr. This donation is to be submitted prior to the congregational prayers on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, which is a festival that concludes the month of Ramadan. This contribution helps to ensure that many of those in less fortunate circumstances across the world can celebrate and enjoy this festival too.