Ramadan, also pronounced Ramzan, is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, where Muslims observe fasts from dawn to dusk. It is also the month when Muslims are seen spending more time in remembrance of Allah and exercising self-discipline and helping the poor. Last year, due to COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, Ramadan prayers were limited to homes. This year, restrictions have been relaxed, but the COVID-19 threat is still there if not as much as last year.
Ramadan 2021 will commence next month. Unlike other festivals that are based on Gregorian calendar, Ramadan, like all other Islamic months, follows lunar cycles, where a new moon sighting marks the beginning of a new month. Ramadan is still about two weeks away, and there's no way to predict the exact date, which will be confirmed with the sighting of the new moon. Moreover, the date of Ramadan varies from country to country.
When is Ramadan around the world?
As per the current astronomical predictions, Ramadan will commence in India on April 12 and after a month of fasting, Eid ul-Fitr will be celebrated on May 12. But the date may vary depending on the moon sighting, which will begin on April 11. This means, the first fast will either be on April 11 or April 12.
Similarly, Eid ul-Fitr will also be confirmed upon sighting of the new moon.
If Ramadan falls on April 12 in India, most parts of the world, including the US, UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, and the U.S. along with Turkey among other locations such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE will observe their first fast on April 12.
As for the time-table, it varies from city to city. Muslims must be punctual while breaking the fast, down to the last minute and even when they stop eating after the early morning meal, known as Sehri.
Significance of Ramadan
Muslims around the world see the month of Ramadan as the holiest Islamic month of the year. During this month, healthy individuals observe mandatory fasting, which is one of the five pillars of Islamic faith, and also perform other religious activities such as praying, giving charity, reciting the holy book of Quran, helping the poor, and more. At the end of the month, Muslims who dedicated themselves to the way of Islam are believed to be get rewarded handsomely by Allah. Muslims mark the end of Ramadan with grand celebrations of Eid ul-Fitr.