In the Muslim calendar, Ramadan is the ninth month of the year. While many people around the world use the Gregorian calendar (the solar calendar starting with January), other people follow different calendars. – The Muslim calendar, for example, follows the moon instead of the sun! Like the solar calendar, it has twelve months, but the months have different lengths, names, and start and end dates!
The month of Ramadan is special for Muslim people. Muslims believe that it was during the month of Ramadan when Allah, the God of the Islamic religion, first revealed parts of the Quran (the Islamic holy book of scriptures) to the Prophet Muhammad, the special man whom Muslims believe was chosen to share and teach Allah’s message. The actual day on which the first verses are believed to have been revealed is the 27th of Ramadan, which is called “Laylat al-Qadr,” or Night of Power.
Muslims observe the month of Ramadan with special prayer, reflection, readings of the Quran, and fasting. – Adult Muslims who are able refrain from eating, drinking, and other nonessentials between dawn and dusk every day, breaking their fast in the evenings with prayer followed by a special meal known as the “iftar,” and preceding next day’s fast with a pre-dawn meal known as the “suhoor.”
At the end of the month is the Muslim holiday “Id al-Fitr,” the Fast-Breaking Feast. It’s considered a major religious holiday in which people pray, dress in fine clothes, share gifts and treats, give to charity, and more!