The holiest month of the year is fast approaching, but when will Ramadan 2018 begin?
Based on current predictions, the 1st of Ramadan is most likely to be 16th May here in the UK. But why is there uncertainty about the exact date?
The ninth month of the lunar calendar, Ramadan is when the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (saw). In celebration of this, Muslims around the world embark on a month of fasting and sacrifice, regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
'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)
The Muslim lunar calendar consists of 12 months, six of which have 29 days and six of which have 30 days. As a result, the lunar year is 354 days long, meaning the start of Ramadan varies by around 11 days each year. Also, since the sighting of the new moon varies from country to country, the dates of Ramadan can differ all around the world.
The start of Ramadan is ultimately determined by looking toward the sky on the 29th day of Sha’ban (the eighth month) to see if the crescent of the new moon is visible. If the crescent can be seen then it means Sha’ban was 29 days long and the month of Ramadan has begun. If no crescent is seen then Sha’ban is 30 days and Ramadan will begin the following day.
At Muslim Hands, we know how incredibly important the month of Ramadan is to Muslims everywhere. So much preparation is required leading up to the fast, and the month itself is usually very hectic indeed.
This Ramadan we’ll try to help you get the most out of this month of great blessing with some useful tips about fasting, guides to help students and school kids make it through exams, recipes for breaking your fast and much much more.
Keep an eye on our blog, and social media and let us help make your Ramadan a truly blessed one.