Introduction to Ramadan

11 أغسطس

Tonight is the first night of the holly month Ramadan [fasting month for Muslims]

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Islam uses a lunar calendar – that is, each month begins with the sighting of the new moon. Because the lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the solar calendar used elsewhere, Islamic holidays “move” each year.

Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong)..” (Q 2:183)

Why this month?

Muslims believe that during the month of Ramadan, Allah revealed the first verses of the Quran, the holy book of Islam. Around 610 A.D., the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to go out to the desert near Mecca (in today’s Saudi Arabia) to think about faith, society and God.

One night a voice called to him from the night sky. It was the angel Gabriel, who told Muhammad he had been chosen to receive the word of Allah. In the days that followed, Muhammad found himself speaking the verses that would be transcribed as the Quran.

At many mosques during Ramadan, about one thirtieth of the Quran is recited each night in prayers known as Tarawih. In this way, by the end of the month the complete scripture will have been recited.

When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” [Bukhari] …

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