Learn About Ramadan: Islam's Holy Month

Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Historically, it is said that this month is the time when Allah disclosed the first verses of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad. In modern times, the month is marked by fasting and self-sacrifice, charity and prayer. While prayer is an important part of the Muslim faith throughout the whole year, it is even more so during Ramadan. The same goes for fasting, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. In this video, WatchMojo.com takes a look at the cultural and historical significance of Islam’s holy month, Ramadan.

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Days of the Calendar: Ramadan

This is the holiest month in Islam. Learn more about Ramadan.

Historical Significance

The historical significance of Ramadan dates back to roughly 610 A.D. when it is said that Allah disclosed the first verses of the holy book of Islam, the Quran, to the prophet Mohammed. This is why the Quran is commonly read and recited throughout the holy month.

The Islamic Calendar

Around the world, over 1 billion Muslims celebrate the holy month of Ramadan each year. Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar, and is marked by praying, fasting and charity. Adherents know the beginning and end of the month have arrived because of the appearance of a new moon.

Fasting - Or Sawm

For the entire month, healthy Muslims over the age of 12 spend the daylight hours fasting. In fact, fasting – or sawm – is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. Fasting allows Muslims to focus on their spirituality, develop a deeper relationship with God, cleanse the mind and body and to think about those less fortunate.

Ramadan Meals

Often, families rise prior to the sun to partake in a meal called suhoor, and once the sun has set they break the fast with iftar which is usually a very rich meal.


Not only do Muslims abstain from eating and drinking, but they also practice self-sacrifice and self-control during Ramadan. This means actions, words and thoughts must be restrained – for example, gossip, impure thoughts and sexual activity are not permitted during fasting hours.

Nightly Prayer - or Tarawih

Praying is always important to the Islamic faith, but especially so during Ramadan. The nightly prayer called tarawih is performed prior to the nighttime meal, and it serves to cleanse all sins.


Charity is another aspect of the Muslim holy month. In fact, volunteer work can serve as a substitute for those who cannot fast.

Eid ul-Fitr

Finally, when the month ends, the fast is broken with a huge celebration called Eid ul-Fitr, or the Festival of Breaking the Fast. This is one of two major Muslim holidays, and it sees members of the Islamic faith dressing in their best clothes, celebrating with family, praying and sometimes exchanging gifts.

An Important Time in the Muslim Year

Ramadan is a time for introspection, patience and modesty, and it marks one of the most important times of the Muslim year.

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