The auspicious month of Ramadan is a time for reflection, contemplation, and celebration. To help you prepare for a blessed month this Ramadan, we have provided the key dates to be aware of below.
The Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon, commonly known as the lunar cycle. As a result, the Holy month of Ramadan falls approximately 10 days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar. The Ramadan start date for 2023 is expected to begin on Wednesday 22 March, following the sighting of the moon over Mecca. Lasting for 30 days, Ramadan will end on Friday 21 April, with the celebratory days of Eid al-Fitr starting on Saturday 22 April or Sunday 23 April.
When does Ramadan start? Wednesday 22 March.
How long is Ramadan? 30 days.
When does Ramadan end? Friday 21 April.
When Is Laylat al-Qadr? On or around Monday 17 April.
When Does Eid al-Fitr Start? Saturday 22 April.
Sawm is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and the Arabic word for ‘fasting’. Although fasting occurs elsewhere in the Islamic calendar, it is primarily associated with the month of Ramadan for the month-long fast. Fasting is a key part of Ramadan, and all those of able body and sound mind should fast during this Holy time. Sawm takes place every day from sunrise to sunset and our Ramadan timetable of daylight hours makes it easier to prepare. It is essential to familiarise yourself with the fasting times as anyone who is still eating their Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) at the completion of the Fajr (call to prayer) is disqualified from that day’s fast.
The sunset and the start of Maghrib prayers mark the end of the day's fast. It is traditional to break the fast by eating dates, a proven healthy snack, before Iftar (evening meal), which is normally eaten with friends and family.
Eid al-Fitr, meaning ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’, is the important holiday that follows the month of Ramadan. Celebrated for up to three days, Eid al-Fitr does not begin until the sighting of the moon, although it is expected to start on Saturday 22 April or Sunday 23 April 2023. It is a time for great feasts, the giving of gifts to children and spending time with those dearest to you. Check with your local mosque for confirmation of dates and any community activities that are taking place near you.
Before the end of Ramadan and the special Eid al-Fitr prayer, all Muslims should make Zakat al-Fitr, a charitable contribution traditionally of a staple food item. Intended to help those less fortunate to enjoy the celebration of Eid al-Fitr with their friends and loved ones, you can donate Zakat al-Fitr through Muslim Aid, and we will distribute food items to those most in need.
You can donate Zakat al-Fitr any time throughout the month; however, like Zakat, many people choose to make their donation on Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Power), which falls in the last 10 days of Ramadan. The Night of Power is a special time in which rewards are multiplied.
Refer to our Ramadan calendar 2023 to help you plan the best time to make your donation.
This year, for just £5 per person, you can donate your Zakat al-Fitr to Muslim Aid, and we will provide a nutritious meal for someone less fortunate living in poverty. Please give generously this Ramadan and help us to provide for communities around the world.
Ramadan Mubarak from all of us here at Muslim Aid.