Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and a time when Muslims across the world will fast (do not eat) during the hours of daylight. Muslims believe that the gates of Heaven (Jannah) are open and the gates of Hell (Jahanam) are locked for the duration of Ramadan.
Muslims celebrate the time when the verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Ramadan is a time of worship and contemplation. A time to strengthen family and community ties.
Every Muslim is expected to fast from sunrise to sunset. Muslims must not eat or drink during daylight hours. During Ramadan Muslims get up early before dawn (Fajr) and have a light meal. This time is known as Suhoor.
At the end of each day (Maghrib), Muslims traditionally break their fast with a meal called the iftar. Following the custom of Prophet Muhammad, the fast is often broken with dates, then followed by a prayer and dinner.
The Muslim year is a lunar (moon) year, so Ramadan moves forward by ten or eleven days each year. The day Ramadan begins is decided by the sighting of the new moon.
Ramadan concludes with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.
Find out more about the Muslim faith