The most blessed month of the year is almost here!
Based on current predictions, the 1st of Ramadan is most likely to be 6th May 2019. For those of you who don't know why there's uncertainty about the exact date, here's a quick explanation:
The Islamic lunar calendar consists of 12 months. Since the Islamic calendar follows the cycles of the moon, the number of days in each month vary, depending on when the new moon is sighted. Six of the months have 29 days and six of them 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.
Moreover, since the sighting of the new moon varies from country to country, the dates of Ramadan can differ by a day or two across the world.
Ramadan is the ninth month of this lunar calendar. Every year, Muslims determine the start of Ramadan by looking towards 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.
Why is Ramadan important?
Sawm (fasting) is the fourth pillar of Islam, and it is compulsory in Ramadan. During Ramadan, the first verses of the Noble Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saw), which is why Ramadan is also known as the month of the Qur'an. It is a time for drawing closer to Allah (swt) and strengthening our relationship with the Qur'an.
'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)
At Muslim Hands, we know how incredibly important the month of Ramadan is to Muslims everywhere. It is a time for increasing our good deeds and 'resetting' ourselves for the year ahead, and we want to take advantage of every moment.
This Ramadan, we’ll try to help you maximise your rewards, with posts about the benefits of different days, motivational tips, unique Sadaqah projects, Sunnah recipes for Iftar and Suhur and much more.
Keep an eye on our blog and social media and let us help you make this Ramadan your best one yet.