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5 Common Questions About Ramadan Asked By Non-Muslims

Every year, the biggest religious month, the month of Ramadan is observed by majority of the Muslims all over the world and each year we find Non-Muslims querying similar questions. Here are the common five:

1. What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a month in which Muslims are ordained by Allāh, God Almighty to observe obligatory fasts from dawn till sunset. Muslims are encouraged to keep and open the fast in a gathering so to gain the mercy of Allāh. The fast is not just about abstaining from certain types of foods and drinks, rather it requires the Muslim to refrain from eating and drinking completely – yes not even water. Moreover, whilst fasting, the Muslim is not allowed to have intimate sexual relationship with his/her spouse too.

Basically, the fast makes impermissible what normally is permissible.

The auspicious month is also refereed to as the month of the Qur’an, since in this month the first verses from the final divine book of Allāh, the Qur’an, were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

”The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion…” [1]

2. What is the purpose of this month?

Is it just about keeping away from food, drink and sex? Or is there a bigger motive behind such a practice? The best way to answer this is to allow the One who commanded it to tell us the key reason behind this month. Allāh says:

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous, attain piety and become God conscious.” [2]

Alongside fasting and praying, Ramadan is a month in which

How can Muslims not observe these precious fasts when they are informed by Allāh that:

“Every good deed is rewarded with ten of the same up to seven hundred times over. Fasting is for Me, and I shall reward for it.’ Fasting is a shield from the Fire.

The smell coming from the mouth of the one fasting is more pleasant to Allāh than the scent of musk.

If one of you is abused by an ignorant person while fasting, then let him say: ‘Indeed I am fasting.'” [3]

Through this month of training, Muslims hope to come out of it stronger spiritually, physically and mentally. It is anticipated the Muslim is able to continue with the good habits practiced in the month, whilst abstaining from the bad for the rest of the year too.

From maintaining a healthy connection with Allāh and regularly helping others to ceasing from saying, watching and doing harmful things, it is a month of patience, giving generously, showing gratitude, disciplining oneself and reevaluating the goals in one’s life.

3. Why does the start of the month changes every year?

The Islamic calendar, which is referred to as the Hijri calendar, has been based upon the lunar calendar, which means that each month begins with the sighting of a new moon. There are 354 days in a lunar calendar whilst in a solar calendar, which is what the Georgian calendar is based upon, has 365 days.

Thus, the start of Ramadan is generally 10-11 days before every year in relation to the Georgian calendar. To find out more reasons, click here.

“…So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it.” [4]

4. Do the elderly, the sick and the little children also have to fast?

No. Those who are sick, weak or old, too young, pregnant or breastfeeding women or even travelling, they are all exempt from observing the fasts with certain conditions. Allāh says:

“Allāh intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allāh for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” [5]

5. Surely the fasts must make one tired or have lack of energy?

Yes, it’s only normal for those observing these fasts in the daylight hours and standing for prayers at night will find it tough at times. But, when they know the reward that’s awaiting them in the hereafter, surely this is nothing to sacrifice.

People spend nights and days running after the desires of this world, so those who believe in Allāh and want to attain His mercy and acceptance, they know their Lord will not burden the soul more than it can take.

“Allāh burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.” [6]

Hope this has enabled Non-Muslims and Muslims alike to understand more about this blessed month.



[1], [4] & [5] Al-Qur’an 2:185
[2] Al-Qur’an 2:183
[3] Jami` at-Tirmidhi 764
[6] Al-Qur’an 2:286

Written by Adeel Malik

Born in Hong Kong, grew up in Scotland and ethnically Pakistani, Adeel primes himself to be a multicultural individual who is an advent social media user for the purpose of learning and propagating Islam while is also a sports fan. Being an English teacher himself, he envisions a bright future for Muslims which he strongly believes can only be done with education.

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