Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which consists of 12 months and lasts for about 354 days. The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of food and drink. The month of Ramadan traditionally begins with a new moon sighting, marking the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. The beginning and end of Ramadan is determined by the lunar Islamic calendar.
Hilal (Arabic for crescent) is typically a day after the astronomically new moon. Thereby the new moon marks the beginning of the new month people can safely estimate the start of Ramadan. The consistent variations of a day have existed since the time of Muhammad.
The Night of Power:
The Arabic Laylat-al-Qadr, is translated to English as “The night of Power”. It is considered as the holiest night of the year. This is the night in which Muslims believe that the first revelation of the Quran was sent over to Prophet Mohammad stating that this night was better than one thousand months of proper worship. Generally, people believe that this usually occurs on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan i.e 21st , 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th.
The holiday of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and the beginnings of the tenth month of Islamic calendar named Shawwal. This is the first day of the following month is declared after another crescent new moon has been sighted or the completion of 30 days of fasting if no visual sighting is possible due to weather conditions. This first day of Shawwal is called Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr may also be a reference towards the festive nature of having endured the month of fasting successfully and returning to the more natural disposition (fitra) of being able to eat, drink and resume intimacy with spouses during the day.
- By Bushra Shaik