Are You Ready for Ramadan 2023?
16 March 2023
Ramadan is fast approaching. Considered the Holy Month for fasting, reflection, and prayer in Islam, this is the time when Muslims across the world work on strengthening their spiritual lives and consider how well they’re applying Islam’s tenets in their everyday activities. The key to reaping Ramadan’s maximum benefits is understanding its significance.
Here, we delve into its importance and share the dates of Ramadan 2023 to help you prepare for it.
What Is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam. It highlights the importance of sawm (fasting) and charity. Its literal meaning is “scorching heat,” signifying the cleansing of sins to help believers “burn brighter.”
The festival is associated with the appearance of the crescent moon and lasts for approximately 30 days every year.
Ramadan 2023 Dates
In 2023, Ramadan will be celebrated from March 22 to April 21. The dates of Ramadan vary every year as it follows the lunar cycle. Falling on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Hilal (the crescent moon) signifies its beginning while Eid-al-Fitr marks its end.
Depending on where you’re located — and what culture you follow, the fasting period may be extended by a day. So, Eid-al-Fitr may fall on a Saturday or Sunday.
Since the Muslim calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar, the Holy Fast begins 10 to 12 days earlier every year. This allows it to be held in every season in a cycle of 33 years.
The Importance of Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is considered the Holy Month of Islam as it signifies the canonical migration of the Prophet Mohammad and his disciples from Makkah to Madinah.
It is believed that the Prophet Mohammad received the initial verses of the Holy Quran approximately three days before the end of the festival. On the 27th day of Ramadan, Allah revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad as he meditated in a cave called Hira outside Mecca.
This day is called Laylat al-Qadr or the Night of Power. It is the most important night of the fasting period where one night of fasting can replace a thousand months.
Every Muslim observes Ramadan with dedication and discipline. It plays a crucial role in maintaining and restoring belief and health in one’s life.
What Are Prohibited During Ramadan?
While fasting, Muslims are expected to exhibit discipline and self-restraint. Worldly pleasures must be kept on hold to display strength and integrity of character.
- Muslims should not put any foreign objects within their bodies. This includes all bodily orifices, such as the nose, ears, mouth, etc.
- Intimate, physical relationships must be avoided during the month of Ramadan. Learning to be happy and content with oneself must be practiced.
- Morals and values are highly prioritized. Intentionally hurting others, whether verbally or physically, is looked down on. Being kind and truthful is the basic principle of this rule.
- Muslims must be in strict adherence to timings. They must practice this whether it is in accordance with the fast or any other matters of life as it nurtures the habit of punctuality.
Unintentional actions against these rules are forgiven, but they are to be made up for in the following days. The fast ends after believers come together and recite the evening prayer. They can also participate in Tariwah — daily optional prayers — at the end of each day.
It is not polite to ask a fellow believer whether they are holding the fast. This is in case they are not able to maintain the fast due to reasons they are not able to disclose.
Other Important Rules of Ramadan
Following the five tenets of Islam is a basic norm of being a Muslim — and one must do everything they can to fulfill their primary obligations in their lifetime. As Ramadan is said to be the holiest of all months, it would be a good time to bring them into practice.
Believe in the oneness of Allah by reciting this simple yet profound creed “There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”
Fasting and self-restraint, to practice discipline and cleanse oneself.
5 daily ritual prayers that make up the purpose of a Believer’s life — to worship Allah. It’s a gift that keeps giving.
It asks the believers to be charitable towards the weak and needy — and expect reward from the Lord in the hereafter for the same.
The annual pilgrimage to Mecca one must make at least once in their life to return to one’s roots.
It is customary for Muslims to eat suhoor, a meal that is consumed before daybreak. It powers them through the day and keeps them from becoming irritable due to hunger.
The fast has to be held in compliance with a set of important rules. It must be observed from dawn to sunset.
After the call for evening prayers (adhan) is made, the Believers break the fast at the end of the day by consuming iftaar — a rich and flavorful way to mark the end of a long fast. It is a heavy meal composed of a variety of dishes and is consumed with families and friends to create a feeling of happiness, warmth, and togetherness with one’s loved ones.
It is often followed by a light dinner before Isha and Taraweeh.
The purpose of the month of Ramadan is to maintain a pure heart and focus on the betterment of your life and the lives of those around you. It is also an important time to donate zakat to those in need and strengthen your community.
If you wish to partner with a non-profit organization so you can donate zakat this Ramadan 2023, look no further. The Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA), will ensure that the zakat you donate supports IMANA’s Medical Relief missions around the world.
You can donate zakat on a one-time or recurring basis and share happiness with the people around you.