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03 June 2016

When Does Ramadan Begin and End?

Muslim Hands
When Does Ramadan Begin and End?

When does Ramadan Begin?

This year, Ramadan will begin on Monday 6th June and continue for 30 days until Tuesday 5th July.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. As the Islamic calendar is lunar based, Ramadan traditionally begins with the sighting of a new moon. The advantage of the lunar based calendar is that the observation of the months is easily possible for all people. On the observation of the new moon, the lunar month will be either 29 days or 30 days depending on the angle and the height at which the new moon is sighted:

'They ask you about the new moons. Say: these are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.' (Qur'an 2:189)

Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. Many Muslims (except children, the sick and the elderly) abstain from food, drink, and certain other activities during daylight hours:

'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. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.’ (Qur'an 2:185)

Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date within the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year. As the Gregorian solar calendar differs from the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan moves approximately 11 days every year on the Gregorian calendar. The date of Ramadan may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.

When does Ramadan end?

Ramadan ends when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted again, marking the new lunar month’s start. Eid-al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

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Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.