“Ramzan” or “Ramadan” is taken from an Arabic word “Ramad” that means “scorchedness of the earth due to excessive heat”. And the festival of fasting stands true to its name as it is observed in the hot month of May. Also, it is surprising to see that the period of fasting remains same throughout the world.
Fasting in Ramadan
Muslim fasting is an opportunity to practice abstinence from the appetites that drive their existence. But it is voluntary fasting observed from dawn to dusk in the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar. Dates for the Ramadan fasting are set according to the Hijri calendar and Muslims across the observe fasts on the set dates.
History of Ramadan
The start of Ramazan fasting can be traced back to the Islamic New Year of AD 622. It was the time when Prophet Muhammad migrated from Makkah (Mecca) to Yathrib that is now known as Medina and established the first Muslim community of Ummah with his followers.
The Hijri calendar has 12 months (354 to 355 days) in a year and it moves back 11 days each year as compared to the universal Gregorian calendar based on solar movement. And for this reason, the first day of Ramadan changes according to the Hijri calendar.
Rules for fasting
Observance of fast strictly follows the movement of celestial bodies – sun and moon. Hilal is the new moon in Arabic and it has a specific importance in this holy month. The fasting follows and concludes on the sighting of this new moon. It takes a period of 29 to 30 days in completing its cycle.