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Ramadan 2018 Everything you need to know before Holy Month starts

This is a complete guide that covers everything from starting date to spiritual significance.

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Ramadan 2018: Everything you need to know about Holy Month play

Holy Month of Ramadan expected to start on May 17


Ramadan is most likely to start tomorrow, May 17, 2018.

This has been confirmed by the official Saudi news agency SPA, the top religious authority in Egypt, the Mufti, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority.

So ahead of the start of the Holy Month, here is everything you to know:

What exactly is Ramadan?

The word itself comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means "scorching heat" or "dryness." As the name implies, it is a period of abstinence and spiritual growth.

Muslims praying during Ramadan play

Muslims praying during Ramadan



Starting on Thursday, Muslims all over the world will welcome the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This month of Ramadan is regarded as the holiest month of them all.

This is because God revealed the first chapters of the Quran, Islam's sacred text, to the Prophet Muhammad during this period. Chapter 2, Verse 185 of the Holy Book states: "The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong).

"And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful."

The first verses of the Quran are believed to have been revealed to Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan play

The first verses of the Quran are believed to have been revealed to Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan



Muslims believe that the first verses of the Quran were revealed on a night known as the Laylat al-Qadr or the "Night of Power" in English. This night is said to be better than one thousand months.

 It is also believed that the gates of hell are closed and gates of heaven are open during this month.

Fun Fact: The starting date changes every year. This is because it depends on when the moon is spotted.

ALSO READ: 5 apps that will make Ramadan better for you

What do Muslims do during Ramadan?

During this month, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This is after taking a meal called suhur before sunrise. The fast is broken with a meal called iftar.

Reading the Quran is encouraged, along with charity, prayers, performing extra prayers in the evening called tarawih and a seclusion known as i'tikaf.

In general, Muslims are expected to abstain from sexual activity, smoking, jealousy, anger, other negative thoughts as they practice self-control, purification, in order to get closer to Allah.

Fasting is obligatory for all Muslims except the mentally disabled, elderly, ill people, pregnant or lactating women, women in their menstrual period and young children.

Ramadan for Non-Muslims play

Ramadan for Non-Muslims



What happens next?

Ramadan ends when the crescent moon is sighted. This is marked with the Eid al-Fitr celebration, which falls on the first day of the following month.

Muslims celebrating Eid Al Fitr, which is likely to be on June 15, 2018 play

Muslims celebrating Eid Al Fitr, which is likely to be on June 15, 2018



This year, this is expected in the second or third week of June.

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