The holy month of Ramadan is on the horizon again. And if your main points of reference for the month are fasting and praying, you’re probably not alone. Continue reading to discover more about Ramadan, including Ramadan facts for kids and facts about Ramadan food.
1. Dates are popular during Ramadan
Eating dates is a popular way to break Ramadan fasts. Legend has it that the Prophet Muhammad ate dates to break his fasts, on account of their health benefits. They’re high in natural sugars, fibre, nutrients, and vitamins. Even better, they’re excellent for your digestion.
2. The fourth pillar of Islam includes observing Ramadan
The Five Pillars of Islam are acts that are essential to life as a Muslim. The fourth pillar of Islam is Sawm which is the month-long fast during Ramadan. The other four pillars are:
- Shahadah – the declaration that Allah is the only God.
- Salat – the five daily prayers.
- Zakat – acts of charity.
- Hajj – the pilgrimage to Mecca.
3. Ramadan can affect the economy
During Ramadan, Muslim-majority countries often shorten workdays to allow for additional prayer time. Consequently, Ramadan usually results in a month of inflation, i.e. prices go up.
4. Ramadan means heat
Ramadan translates to English as ‘burning or scorching heat’ which is an ode to when it was first observed. It comes from the Arabic word ramaḍān, literally meaning “the hot month,” from ramad, meaning “dryness.”
However, Ramadan isn’t tied to a particular season.
That’s because the start of Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar. Consequently, Ramadan moves back about 10 days every year relative to the Gregorian calendar.
5. Many Muslims will pay Zakat al-Fitr during Ramadan
By the end of Ramadan, adults who have leftover food must pay Zakat al-Fitr. It’s a contribution of approximately £5 per person to support others in need.
6. Fidya and Kaffarah
If a Muslim is exempt from fasting, such as due to illness, they can make up the days later in the year. If they can’t, they must pay Fidya which is a daily charitable donation used to feed someone else.
Whenever a Muslim intentionally breaks the Ramadan fast, they must fast for an additional 60 continuous days. If they cannot fast for 60 days, they must pay Kaffarah. Although similar in principle to Fidya, Kaffarah is considerably higher.
|Did you know? Any fast that is unintentionally broken is still valid, i.e. there’s no fidya or kaffarah to pay.|
7. Ramadan has several different spellings
It’s true. Ramadan is also spelt Ramazan, Ramzan, Ramadhan or Ramathan.
8. Kids don’t have to fast
Children should only fast during Ramadan when they’ve reached puberty. However, some kids will partake in sporadic fasting to prepare for full adult participation.
9. Vimto sales increase during Ramadan
Many Muslims enjoy a glass of Vimto when they break their fast. Every year, 35 million bottles of Vimto are also sold in the Middle East alone, with the majority happening during Ramadan. Discover Azimo’s guide to Ramadan recipes to see what meals Muslims eat during the holy month.
10. Muslims also celebrate the Laylat Al Qadr during Ramadan
During the last 10 days of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Laylat Al Qadr, the holiest night of the year. It commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.