Muslims around the world anticipates the coming of Ramadan or Ramadhan this year. It is considered as one of the most important celebrations in Islam, being a holy month.
Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic (or Hijrah) calendar. For Muslims, Ramadan is a holy month dedicated to prayer, Qur-an recitation, introspection and fasting during the sunlight hours. It is during this month of the Islamic calendar when Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) is said to have revealed the Qur-an, Islam’s holy book which contain teachings of Allah (S.W.T.).
It is likewise a sacrificial month because Muslims fast from dawn until sunset daily for 29 to 30 days. They refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. They should also refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting. Spiritual rewards for fasting are also believed to be multiplied within the month of Ramadan.
This year, Ramadhan is estimated to be starting from May 15, 2018. Since Islamic calendar is a lunar one, the first day of Ramadhan immediately falls after the sighting of astronomical new moon.
The first day of Ramadhan is declared a holiday in most parts of the world where Islam is a major religion. In the Philippines, it is usually declared it as a special non-working holiday in some areas, particulary in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and select provinces and cities in Mindanao.