Ramadan begins today and we wish all our community who are celebrating Ramadan Mubarak. We have put together this article to tell you a little more about Ramadan and how you can support friends.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a month focused on fasting, prayer, reflection and community. It is observed by Muslims in the 9th month of the Islamic calendar from one crescent moon sighting to the next.

For all adult Muslims, with some exceptions, fasting must take place from sunrise to sunset). It’s not only food and drink that Muslims refrain from but also tobacco products, sexual relations and sinful behaviour.

Aside from fasting, Muslims observing Ramadan also increase in spiritual devotional acts such as prayer, giving charity and strengthening family ties. Muslims, are encouraged to share their food with friends, family and neighbours and to reach out to those who may be fasting alone, to share their Ramadan experiences.

It's a time of celebration and joy, to be spent with loved ones. At the end of Ramadan there’s a big three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

If you want to wish your Muslim friends or acquaintances a happy Ramadan or happy Eid al-Fitr, you can just say, "Happy Ramadan!" or "Happy Eid!"

If you want to show them you made an effort to learn more about their religion, the standard greetings are:

  • Ramadan/Eid kareem, which means "have a generous Ramadan/Eid”
  • Ramadan/Eid Mubarak, which means "have a blessed Ramadan/Eid"

Celebrating Ramadan during COVID-19

Ramadan may look a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Places of worship may be able to welcome back limited numbers for Ramadan this year. Please take a look at this handy Safe Ramadan Guidance to keep you and your loved ones safe during this time.

The British Islamic Medical Association ‘Fasting and Covid Vaccinations’ Q&A document states that receiving a COVID-19 vaccine does not invalidate the fast and includes useful advice for fasting patients and adverse effects following vaccination.