Allah (SWT) has granted us the opportunity to experience another Ramadan. Alhamdulillah!
During this blessed month of worship, let’s make the most of the endless blessing available to us by giving generously. Donate your Zakat, Sadaqah or your Zakat Ul Fitr through ILM and we will use your donations to support those most in need this Ramadan and throughout the year.
We’ve created a short guide to refresh your memory about the blessings and importance of the holy month of Ramadan.
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is the month of Ramadan. It is considered the holiest month of the year because it is when Allah (SWT) first revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The night in which this happened is called Laylat Al-Qadar which translates as The Night of Power, and it is believed this night falls on an odd night in the last ten days of Ramadan. Some believe that a few verses were revealed on this night, whereas others believe the entire Qur’an was revealed.
Muslims throughout the world observe Ramadan by fasting and abstaining from things considered to be impure for the mind and body. Those partaking in Ramadan abstain from food, drink and impure thoughts between the hours of sunrise and sunset, allowing them instead to focus on prayer and connecting with Allah (SWT) through the Quran.
The act of fasting allows the individual to understand the pain and suffering of millions around the world who live their lives in poverty and famine, leaving the participant feeling more grounded and grateful for all that Allah (SWT) has given them.
During Ramadan, it is not permitted to eat after sunrise or before the sun has set. Breaking the fast is done with dates and is followed by the Iftar meal, and the meal before sunrise is called the Suhoor. These two meals should be nutritious and balanced in order to provide enough energy and nutrients for the day. A copious amount of water should also be consumed during this time in order to nourish the body.
There is more to Ramadan than just fasting – it’s a highly spiritual time during which you work to become a better Muslim by abstaining for all impure activities and thoughts in order to lament your dedication to Allah. This means between the hours of sunrise and sunset, you should not smoke, argue, swear, fight, gossip or engage in sexual relations.
The religion of Islam is made up of essential pillars which every Muslim must follow, and one of those pillars is Sawm which means fasting during Ramadan.
Although fasting is a core practice for Muslims, there are some who are exempt from fasting during Ramadan. They are:
If a woman starts menstruating or a person becomes ill and unable to fast during Ramadan, they may postpone their fasting for a later date, or they may pay Fidya.
Whilst there are those who are exempt from fasting, they must make a contribution called Fidya. Fidya is a monetary donation made to pay for two meals for a needy person every day. Fidya is typically less than £5 per day, so your donation is likely to cost less than £150. Fidya is only applicable to those who miss the fast for a valid reason i.e. those who are listed as exempt.
If you intentionally break the fast during Ramadan without a valid reason you must pay Kaffarah. This can either be done by fasting for an additional 60 days per missed day of fasting, or you must make a donation to feed 60x people two meals a day per missed day as fasting.
Ramadan starts with the sighting of the moon and ends with the sighting of the moon. When the new moon has been observed to signify the beginning of the tenth month (Shawwal), Muslims celebrate the end of the fast with Eid-al-Fitr. This is a three-day celebration which entails friends and families coming together to pray, feast and exchange gifts.
It is customary to wear either new or your best clothes, and it is forbidden to fast during this time.
The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, and the commencement of Ramadan happens the morning after the crescent moon is sighted. Some Muslims choose to wait until religious leaders have seen the crescent moon with their own eyes before beginning Ramadan, whilst others use science-based calculations to estimate the start date because weather and geography can sometimes interfere with when/if the crescent moon can be seen.
Ramadan is observed from the sighting of the moon which means the dates vary by roughly 10 to 11 days each year. It is expected that the 2023 Ramadan UK period will fall on Wednesday 22nd March and come to an end on Thursday 20th April. These dates may slightly change based on moon sightings.
Some Muslims choose to begin fasting when the moon has been spotted in their local area, but others may choose to start when the moon has been observed above Makkah.
Eid al-Fitr celebrations are due to commence on Friday 21st of May.
Much of Islam is rooted in supporting those less fortunate, and as such, there is much charity work in Ramadan that is undertaken, along with acts of self-reflection and self-improvement.
Allah is the one who provides us with our wealth and our fortune, and He can take it away in equal measure. It is for this reason we are reminded to be compassionate and to be grateful for all He has given us whilst ensuring we do everything we can to support those less fortunate than ourselves.
Whilst abstinence from food and sinful acts brings us closer to and makes us more empathetic towards our brothers and sisters who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances, during Ramadan, every Muslim must pay Zakat ul-Fitr (also known as Fitrana). This donation is made so that those who are in need may have the means to join in the Eid-al-Fitr celebrations at the end of the fast and enjoy a nourishing meal.
Fitrana must be paid prior to Eid prayers at the end of Ramadan, with many people choosing the Night of Power because the rewards from Allah are greatest at this time. The value of Fitrana is equal to the amount required for basic household staples like wheat and flour. This changes year on year.
Every Muslim is required to pay Zakat ul-Fitr and, if a dependent cannot do so, the head of the household must make the donation on their behalf.
Zakat ul-Fitr is not to be confused with Zakat. Zakat is the third pillar of Islam and must be paid by all adult Muslims who surpass the nisab threshold. It can be paid at any time of the year, but many choose to pay it in the last ten days of Ramadan because it is said the rewards are greater than that of a thousand months. Zakat ul-Fitr must be paid by everyone and must be paid at the end of Ramadan before the Eid ul-Fitr celebrations, although it can also be paid on the Night of Power.
You may donate both your Zakat and your Fitrana through ILM and we will use your donations to support those most in need this Ramadan and throughout the year.