All about Ramadan: What it is, fasting rules, and importance of the Islamic observance

Ramadan takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a spiritual observance that is observed by Muslims across the globe. 

The month includes strict fasting along with extensive praying. It concludes with the Eid al-Fitr celebration. 

Here is everything you need to know about Ramadan, the fasting rules and the importance of the time in the Islam religion.

Ramadan is a time of extensive praying for Muslims. (Hussain Ali / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / File)


  1. What is Ramadan?
  2. Can you eat or drink during Ramadan?
  3. What are Ramadan’s fasting rules?
  4. What is the importance of Ramadan?
  5. How do Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan?

1. What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a holy month that Muslims observe around the world. The month-long event, which includes heavy fasting and prayer, ends with Eid al-Fitr. 

There are many rules that Muslims follow during Ramadan, including when to fast.

2. Can you eat or drink during Ramadan?

Muslims celebrating Ramadan cannot eat or drink during the daylight hours for the entire month.

There are some exceptions to this rule. Those who are ill, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and small children are not required to take part in the fast, according to the Associated Press.

The Quran is Islam's holy book.

The Quran is Islam’s holy book. (Atta Kenare / AFP via Getty Images / File)

3. What are Ramadan’s fasting rules? 

During Ramadan fasting, those participating do not eat or drink from dusk to dawn during the month.

Prior to their fast beginning, they typically eat what they call “suhoor,” which is a meal eaten before dawn that helps get them through the day of fasting.

In addition to suhoor, there is also a nightly feast, which is known as “iftar.”

There are other Ramadan rules that are upheld from sunrise to sunset. Some of those rules include no drinking, smoking or sexual intercourse during those hours for the month.

4. What is the importance of Ramadan?

Ramadan is a time that brings Muslims closer to God and reminds them of the less fortunate who are suffering. It is a time heavily revolved around prayer, and they are supposed to observe the five daily prayers during the month.

Fasting during the month is one of Islam’s five pillars. The other pillars are declaration of faith, daily prayer, charity, as well as making the hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.


Families come together for a nightly feast, called iftar, after fasting all day during Ramadan. (Mustafa Hassona / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / File)

5. How do Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan?

The end of Ramadan is marked by a day called Eid al-Fitr, which means “festival of breaking the fast.” The day marking the end of the holy month includes gift-giving and feasts.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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