Ramadan is a sacred time for Muslims across the world and one that we so eagerly look forward to every year. The month brings peace and comfort along with the opportunity to be better for ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. The ummah is united in a common pursuit of Allah’s love and mercy and we seek to earn His forgiveness and bounty throughout its duration.
To help you make the most of Ramadan, we’ve put together a handy guide to provide you with some basic information as well as wider context, highlights, tips and tricks, recourses and recommendations. Enjoy, and don’t forget to share with you family and friends!
What Is Ramadan?🌙
We’ll get to the really good stuff soon but it’s important to start at the beginning.
Ramadan is the the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar and is recognised as the month of fasting. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and to do it during Ramadan is to abstain from food, drink and any bad habits. We’re expected to fast from sunrise to sunset for 30 days.
All Muslims are expected to fast except for young children, the elderly, those afflicted with illness, and travellers.
In 2023, Ramadan is expected to begin on the 22nd of March and end on the 21st of April (subject to the moon sighting), with Eid taking place on the 22nd.
Let’s get deeper💭
Aside from complete devotion to Allah SWT and discipline, Ramadan also teaches us the importance of empathy and provides us with much-needed perspective.
It’s vital to consider those less fortunate and increase gratitude for all that we have. Fasting teaches us to remove our life’s pleasures from our priorities and emphasises our complete dependence on Allah SWT for everything.
This month is transformative for many and creates time and space to take an introspective look at ourselves from within, encouraging mindfulness and reflection that will hopefully stay with us long after Ramadan has passed inshaAllah.
The month of The Quran 📖
Another defining feature of Ramadan? It was the month in which the Quran was revealed to our beloved Prophet PBUH:
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًۭى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ
Ramaḍân is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺. (Surat Al-Baqarah, 185)
Ramadan is the month of the Quran and building and nurturing our relationship with Allah SWT’s words during this time is essential. Many Muslims around the world seek to complete a khatm within the month, while others try to read and recite it daily.
The role of Tarteel:
This might read like just another shameless plug, but this is where Tarteel can really help you in your Quran journey! The app is designed to fit around you and your Quran goals:
- Memorization Mistake Detection🧠: The AI detects mistakes in your recitation - great in the absence of a teacher or just for revision.
- Challenge Setting🏆: You can set challenges to push yourself further - or even take part in our Recite a Quran, Give a Quran challenge in which we’ll donate a mus’haf should you recite 70% or more of the Quran using Tarteel.
- Adaptive Mode📱: Use it in Taraweeh to follow along with the Imam with a translation so you know exactly what’s being recited.
- Historical Mistakes📜: Check your progress and you see how far you’ve come at a glance.
The main thing is that Tarteel encourages habit building behavior with the Qur’an and supports you in building a deeper connection with it throughout Ramadan and beyond.
The benefits of fasting👏🏽
In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of medical, fitness and nutrition experts advise intermittent fasting as a means for attaining better health and overall functionality but this is why we love Islam - it’s one step ahead of the curve. Fasting* can:
- Help reset the body’s metabolism
- Encourage your body to repair itself
- Promote blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance
- Fight and reduce inflammation
- Improve blood pressure
- Boost brain function
- Increase growth hormone secretion
*Please note that we are NOT healthcare professionals and you should discuss fasting with your doctor first if you think your overall health and wellbeing could be compromised.
A snapshot of Ramadan around the world🌍
Greenland🇬🇱: 20 hours
Poland🇵🇱: 18 - 19 hours
United Kingdom🇬🇧: 16 - 17 hours
France🇫🇷: 16 - 17 hours
Canada🇨🇦: 15 - 16 hours
Turkey🇹🇷: 15 - 16 hours
Saudi Arabia:🇸🇦 14 - 15 hours
Senegal🇸🇳: 13 - 14 hours
Malaysia🇲🇾: 12 - 14 hours
Brazil🇧🇷: 12 - 13 hours
Zimbabwe🇿🇼: 12 - 13 hours
Increase your knowledge📚
We should always be in a state of learning, and Ramadan is a great time to give ourselves more context of our deen overall. There are plenty of brilliant institutions and resources to supplement your learning. We’ve listed a few topics you might be interested in learning more about below:
- Tafseer (explanation) of each Juz of the Qur'an
- The seerah (life journey) of the Prophet ﷺ
- Description of Jannah
- Memorizing prophetic duas
- An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'an
Spend a little, give a lot🎁
In a month where good deeds are amplified and rewarded more than usual, it’s important to give back. As mentioned earlier, Ramadan is a time of empathy and so we should make every effort to give back and uplift those in need.
إِنَّ ٱلْمُصَّدِّقِينَ وَٱلْمُصَّدِّقَـٰتِ وَأَقْرَضُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًۭا يُضَـٰعَفُ لَهُمْ وَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌۭ كَرِيمٌ
Indeed, those men and women who give in charity and lend to Allah a good loan will have it multiplied for them, and they will have an honourable reward. (Surat Al-Hadid, 18)
Here’s a list of charities you can use this Ramadan to ensure to make a difference, no matter how big or small:
The little things that make an epic Ramadan✅
Eat and drink well🥗
Take it easy with the salt, sugar and oil in your food during Ramadan; remember, we need enough to sustain us and enable maximum productivity. Eat foods that are light on the stomach with plenty of volume, like vegetables along with a good amount of protein to keep you full for longer. Slow burning carbs like porridge and Greek yoghurt are great for suhoor and as well as drinking water, try to eat your hydration with things like watermelon and cucumber. Eat light so that you can really focus during Taraweeh and during the night where you’ll want to make ample worship.
Take a nap💤
No one expects you stay awake all day and all night, and you’d experience burnout pretty fast if you did. Try and find windows of time throughout the day to catch a quick nap if you can. It’ll mean you’re more energised later on and will fight any fatigue you could potentially experience after iftar.
Lend a helping hand🤝
Don’t be that person that sits back and watches everyone else fuss for iftar and suhoor. Make some effort and contribute however you can so that it doesn’t all fall on one person or group of people every day. Ramadan is for everyone and the more we help out, the more time we can spend enjoying the moments that really matter.
Organise your day⏰
Try to segment your time. It’s difficult when you’re at work or school but it’s important to organise yourself so that you don’t experience burnout. Place emphasis on small consistent efforts that you can make daily and try to keep some sense of routine.
A smile, a simple check in with loved ones - kindness goes a long way. Remember, not everyone experiences Ramadan in the same way so be patient, be there for anyone who needs you and support one another throughout the month. Ramadan is a great time to create memories with our friends, family and community, and we should treat it as such!
Well, that’s our mini guide to the most wonderful time of the year. We hope you’ve found it useful and that you and your loved ones have a truly blessed Ramadan inshaAllah.❤️