Monday, 6 June 2016

Ramadan Q&A: All you need to know.

Varshesh Joshi
Ever since I first started fasting up until now I receive soo many questions about fasting and the holy month of Ramadan. However sometimes people are scared to ask because they don't want to say anything wrong. I'm very relaxed, laid back and open minded therefore I don't take questions that I get asked by people about my religion or culture in the wrong way because I know people are only asking because they're interested to know, otherwise why would you ask- right?

So I've gathered 15 main questions that I have been asked over the years and answered them for you. If you still have any questions left then feel free to comment below and ask me! I love answering questions and I hope this post helps many of you with any misunderstandings and general questions you may have! Following are the questions you've been too scared/nervous to ask about Ramadan...

1. What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a whole month of fasting for Muslims to observe during daylight hours. During the time of Ramadan there is an increase in generosity, charity, study of the Quran, prayers, and to improve one’s self. The month also includes spending time with loves ones and being thankful for everything you have. Ramadan is known for cleansing purifying ones body and soul.

2. What is fasting?
Fasting is when you cannot eat during the daylight hours. Fasting is a month where Muslims are brought closer to Allah (God) and Muslims are reminded as a result of fasting the lives of those less fortunate. Therefore Ramadan is a time where people mainly focus on one’s inner self, refrain from ‘bad’ deeds and purify themselves. Ramadan encourages good deeds and to continue these even after Ramadan ends.

3. How long do you fast for?
Fasting lasts for 29-30 days depending on the sighting of the new moon.

4. Do all Muslims have to fast? Who is excused?
Not all Muslims have to fast. Many people are excused from fasting including children, elderly, the ill, women who are pregnant and those who are not fit enough to participate during the month.

5. At what age do you start to fast?
The starting age to fast from is puberty.

6. Can you eat or drink?
Fasting means you cannot eat or drink during the daylight hours.

7. Can you drink water?
No you can’t even drink water, or any other form of drink.

8. How do you do it?
It’s like the saying ‘patience is a virtue’. Ramadan is a great time to improve and discipline your mind, character and knowledge.

9. Do you not eat for the whole month?
I’ve been asked this multiple of times and fortunately it’s only during daylight hours we fast.

10. When can/can’t you eat?
From dawn to dusk we cannot eat and from dusk to dawn we are allowed to eat. It’s a great way to exercise self-control. 

11. What is a normal fasting day?
Traditionally we wake up for Suhūr (pre-dawn meal) for the following day. Everyone has their own traditions and family foods that they like to eat.
People normally go back to sleep and wake up for their normal duties: school, college, university, and work etc..
After the normal daily duties we tend to practise Islam, and cook for iftar. 
The opening of the fast is named ‘iftar’ and people traditionally open the fast with some dates and water.

12. How many hours is a typical fast in the UK?
Currently in the UK the fast is around 19 hours.

13. Is Ramadan same each year?
Ramadan is different each year as it is around 10 days earlier each year because of the moon.

14. Why are there disagreements about when Ramadan starts and ends?
The disagreements are normally about the sightings of the new moon. Each new moon is a new month in the Islamic calendar so the new moon will mark the start of Ramadan. However not everyone has a telescope in their back garden to spot the moon, or sometimes the weather isn’t on our side so we all have to rely on Muslim scholars to sight the moon.

15. How do you celebrate the end of Ramadan?
During the end of Ramadan there is intense worshiping we as Muslims do which is known as ‘Laylat al-Qadr’’ or ‘the Night of Destiny’ which may fall on any of the following nights according to the Islamic calendar 21, 23, 25, 27, 29. This is a night which falls during the last ten nights of Ramadan and it is very special. We as Muslims believe that on this night the mercy and blessings of Allah are generous, sins are forgiven and dua (supplication) are accepted. The annual destiny is revealed to the angels who come to earth.

Then Eid al-Fitr is celebrated which marks the end of Ramadan. This includes giving and receiving new clothes, gifts and money. Muslims attend an early morning Eid prayer which officially marks the end of Ramadan and them celebrating Eid al-Fitr.
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There you have 15 of the most frequent questions I get asked! If you have any more questions about Ramadan then please feel free to ask!

I would love to know in the comments below, if you enjoy learning about other religions, cultures and traditions.

Until next time, take care and keep smiling<3!



  1. Wow, the fasting hours are quite long in the UK, we fast for 15 hours where I live. But it's okay, all ajir inshAllah :) "Not even water?" hehe the age old question, definitely heard/read that before! Wishing you a blessed Ramadhan, I can't believe that more than a week has flown by! xxxxxx

    1. The fasting hours are currently very long in the UK. But, Ramadan always seems to fly past and it's super sad because it's such a blessed month. xx


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