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“Ramadan is the (month) in which the Holy Qur’an was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong)” [Al-Quran 2:185]

The above verse from the Quran highlights the virtue of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan 2024 is almost around the corner. It is a time for the believers to make conscious efforts to become closer to Allah (SWT).

Ramadan is one of the most significant months of the Islamic calendar – it is an opportunity to reap the blessings and rewards that this auspicious month brings to all. In Ramadan, the believers strive hard to engage in righteous deeds as rewards are multiplied in the noble month. Charity is at the heart of the Muslim community and increases manifold in Ramadan, with Muslims donating their Sadaqah, Fidya, Fitrana, and Zakah generously.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the fourth pillar of Islam. All able Muslims are required to observe fasting throughout Ramadan. This means abstaining from food, drink and immoral activities from dawn to sunset. This is a time for reflection and contemplation as well as a time for giving, with Zakat-al-Fitr being the compulsory charity to be given before Eid prayer.

As the Islamic calendar goes by the sighting of the moon, Ramadan falls roughly 10 days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar, depending on moonsighting at the time. It lasts 29 or 30 days, which is determined by moonsighting again.

During the summer months, Muslims in the UK fast between 18 and 20 hours a day (depending on their location). In the winter months, Ramadan means considerably shorter fasting days, comprising eight hours.

Ramadan holds a special significance in Islam because this is the time when the Holy Qur'an was first revealed to the Prophet (PBUH). It is widely believed that this happened on the 27th night of Ramadan, which is known as Laylat-al-Qadr, or the Night of Power, although some scholars believe this could have happened on any of the odd-numbered nights among the last 10 nights of Ramadan. The Night of Power is the most popular time for Muslims to make their charitable payments, such as Fitrana and Zakat, as this night comes with increased rewards and blessings - multiplied by rewards of a thousand months.

When is Ramadan 2024 in the UK?

As the Islamic calendar is lunar, the dates of Ramadan rotate by approximately 10-11 days every year.

In 2024, Ramadan is expected to begin around 10 or 11 March, depending on moonsighting. Eid-al-Fitr is expected to start on the evening of 9 or 10 April, with the possible variation of a couple of days as the exact date is subject to the official sighting of the moon.

Rules Around Fasting in Ramadan

Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an:

"Oh, you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness" [2:183]

While fasting during the hours of daylight is compulsory, those participating in the fast should still eat at least two meals per day in order to remain in good health. Suhoor should be eaten at dawn to begin the fast, whereas Iftar should be eaten to break the fast at sunset. Believers are advised to carefully consider the nutritional benefits of the food they are choosing to eat. Traditionally, the day’s fast is broken with a glass of water and a handful of dates in line with the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) before the Iftar meal.

Things That Invalidate the Fast

Some of the things that invalidate the fast include eating or drinking deliberately, intimacy between couples, vomiting deliberately and cupping. This calls for expiation or Kaffarah, with details below.

Exemption from Fasting in Ramadan

Ramadan is surrounded by certain rules and some exceptions. Allah (SWT) has granted exemptions to those who are unable to fast. People meeting the following criteria are granted exemption from fasting in Ramadan:

  • A child who has not yet reached puberty.
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding or menstruating women.
  • Those suffering from a chronic illness.
  • Those who are travelling.

Those who are unable to fast during Ramadan are required to make up for it later in the year, with the exception of minor children. Meanwhile, the adults or elderly who are unable to fast even at a later date are required to pay Fidya.


The believers who are unable to fast due to ongoing illness must pay Fidya – a donation to feed a needy person for each missed fast. This is roughly estimated to be £5 per day, £150 for missed fasts of the whole month.

Kaffarah – Expiation for Breaking a Ramadan Fast

To deliberately break a fast of Ramadan without a valid reason, one must either fast for an additional 60 consecutive days or donate to feed 60 needy people.

Eid Celebration

The end of Ramadan is marked by the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, a joyous occasion when Muslims enjoy a nice meal, exchange gifts and spend time with family and friends. On the day of Eid-al-Fitr, Muslims wake early, take a shower and dress in their finest clothes to attend the prayer place for Eid prayer. After Eid prayer, the believers congratulate each other with greetings of ‘Eid Mubarak’.

Joining Muslim Aid for your Ramadan Donations

You can transform lives on a global scale by giving your donations to Muslim Aid. The end of Ramadan and Eid celebrations require all Muslims to pay Zakat-al-Fitr. Extend your generosity this Ramadan and give what you can. With your Ramadan contributions in 2024, Muslim Aid can reach out to many individuals and families struggling to survive on a daily basis. Donate to Muslims Aid today and secure your reward with Allah (SWT).

We are a faith-based British international charity that provides help to people who are victims of natural disasters or conflict or suffering from poverty, hunger, disease, homelessness, injustice, deprivation or lack of skills and economic opportunities.

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