The Holy Month – Five Facts!

Sanah Butt

What if we told you that fasting is not unique to the religion of Islam?

Fasting is a universal institution practiced since ancient times in various forms and ways, however nowadays in some religions, it has become a purely symbolic practice. In Islam, the prescribed form of fasting is for the ultimate purpose of nurturing and developing righteousness.

You’ve probably heard a lot about this Holy Month and may even have witnessed people fasting around you – however, there’s always something new to be learned!

Here’s a quick rundown on a few facts about Ramadan that you may not have known.

Let’s dive in!


Fact 1: It’s not just about abstinence from food!

You wouldn’t be the only one if you believed that the month of Ramadan was just a time when Muslims abstain from food and drink. That would be because in our day to day lives, this is all we see. The withholding of physical nourishment is within itself an arduous task but it is in a sense, intensive training in the valuable lessons of steadfastness and endurance. It is a time of giving in the way of God Almighty that only helps you harness a greater degree of control over your soul.

“The purpose of fasting is not to starve. If one could enter Paradise by starvation, then in my view, disbelievers and hypocrites would be ready to do so, as it is not so difficult. In reality, the challenging thing is moral and spiritual transformation. People starve themselves for the most trivial of matters; prisoners go on hunger strikes; Brahmans famously stop eating when they are not listened to. Thus, it is nothing extraordinary to remain hungry, nor is it the purpose of Ramadan. Ramadan’s actual purpose is to abstain from everything for Allah during this month and fasting is a way of expressing that one can leave every right for Allah. Eating, drinking, conjugal relationships between a husband and wife, etc. are all rights of a person; whosoever leaves these rights, shows that they are ready to leave their rights for Allah.”1

During the month of Ramadan, the observance of fasts is mandatory for every adult Muslim man and woman who is healthy, not traveling, and able to fast. Such people can complete their fasts later in the year. Those who are suffering from a chronic illness or are physically weak are directed to offer fidya (feeding of the poor) as compensation during the rest of the year. The same applies to a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding and exempt from fasting. This is stated in the Holy Quran by Allah the Almighty:

“And whoso among you is sick or is on a journey [shall fast] the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast [only] with great difficulty is an expiation – the feeding of a poor man.”2

The carrying on of one’s normal life does not halt, however, the concentration and emphasis placed on spiritual values intensify, with all bodily faculties under stricter control. For example, not only vain talk but too much talk is abstained from to allow for greater time and concentration on God’s attributes and creation. This deeper reflection and commitment is at par, if not slightly above, the commandment of abstaining from food.

To support this, we need only to look to the words of the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He has said:

“Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.).”3

Fact 2: The Holy Quran was revealed during Ramadan.

Most people know that the Holy Quran is the central religious text of Islam, revealed by God Almighty. But, did you know that it was in the blessed month of Ramadan that it was actually revealed?

“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was sent down”4.

During the life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) each year during Ramadan, the Angel Gabriel used to recite the hitherto revealed Quran with him once, with the exception of the last year of the life of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him). At this time the Holy Quran had been revealed in its entirety and he had received the glad tiding of ‘…This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as religion…’5. According to a tradition related by Hazrat ‘Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) in the Ramadan of the year of the Holy Prophets passing, the Angel Gabriel recited the Holy Quran twice.

And, thus it is recommended that a Muslim try and complete the recitation of the Holy Book at least once during the blessed month of Ramadan.

More specifically, the link between the Holy Quran and the month of Ramadan is such that both serve the ultimate means to attain the true blessings of this month, and for those who aim to harness the benefit of this Holy Month, the rewards are very high. His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Protector) the fifth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, explains that ‘the reward for fasting is very high…this is for those who pay the dues of the correlation between fasting and the Holy Quran, and those dues are to read the Holy Quran whilst fasting, to reflect over it, to listen to or to read its commentaries…’6 This ultimately illustrates, no fast is ‘complete’ without the recitation of the Holy Book.

The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (on whom be peace) sums it up beautifully, ‘The root of worship is in the recitation of the Holy Qur’an because if the words of the Beloved are read or listened to, they certainly stir love in a true lover and exhilarate ardour.’6


Fact 3: There is a specific way to keep a fast!

Understanding the purpose of this month, the importance of prayer, and the recitation of the Holy Quran is the key to a successful Ramadan. But what about the actual fast?

Let’s break down a typical day of fasting.

The day starts before dawn, with time spent in prayer and supplication. This is followed by sehri – which literally means ‘Of the Dawn’, so sehri is the ‘Meal of the dawn’, the meal you consume before dawn in order to fast for the day. One is encouraged to “eat sehri because there are blessings in eating sehri7. The Holy Quran provides parameters for Sehri in the following verse, “And eat and drink until the white thread becomes distinct to you from the black thread of the dawn,”8 meaning, food can be consumed until the night becomes distinct from the light of the sun on the horizon. With the end of sehri, a fast begins, after which the individual refrains from all food and drink until the end of the fast.

As mentioned before, the normal daily routine does not stop, however, emphasis is placed on spiritual and moral rejuvenation. Greater attention is paid to prayers being read at their appointed times, and time is spent in recitation and understanding of the Holy Quran.

A fast ends with the aftaar, the evening meal with which Muslims end their fast. This takes place at the time of sunset. According to the sayings of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) it is essential that one should break their fast immediately after sunset. Prolonging it beyond this point is not acceptable. The Holy Prophet said: “My people will adhere to good as long as they hasten to break their fast [at the fixed time].9


Fact 4: Why is the month of Ramadan considered the holiest in the Islamic calendar? 

Ramadan is a month of blessings, provided that the reality of fasting is understood and one fully benefits from it.

A narration of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him is, that, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven.”10

Similarly, the Prophet also famously said, “Fasting is a shield; when one of you is fasting, he should neither behave in an obscene manner nor foolishly. If a man fights or abuses him, he should say ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’11

The fast is a shield against all forms of evil when observed properly. The emphasis on moral and spiritual values and concentration on them are intensified, and everything is subordinated to the main purpose of fasting. The purpose of fasting is to refrain oneself from all physical gratification, even those normally permissible, to achieve a greater spiritual enlightenment. This can only be achieved when one is able to completely devote himself or herself to attaining the pleasure of Allah. The hearing, the sight, the tongue, the mind are all under stricter control.

A narration of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is that: “Allah The Almighty says that all the deeds of a man are for his own sake except the fast. ‘The fast is kept for My sake alone, and I am the reward for it.”12.

What this means is that Ramadan is aimed at enabling an individual to focus on his or her relationship and connection with Allah, everything is done for Allah!

Explaining this, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Protector) stated, “…turning your attention purely towards Allah Almighty, abstaining from even the lawful things purely for His sake, tolerating hunger and thirst for His sake, paying greater attention towards the worship of Allah Almighty than before and paying particular attention towards fulfilling the rights of His servants – when one fulfills these injunctions, this, in essence, is true Taqwa [righteousness] and this is the very purpose of Ramadan and fasting. When a person observes the fast and passes through the month of Ramadan with this objective and for this purpose and does so with pure intentions then this will not bring about a temporary transformation. Rather, it will be a permanent change.”


Fact 5: The Holy Month of Ramadan culminates in the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr

Eid-ul-Fitr is literally the ‘feast of breaking the fast.” It marks the end of the Holy Month and serves as a celebration for the achievements of those who make the spiritual journey that is Ramadan.

The day of Eid should begin with morning prayer and recitation of the Holy Quran. However, it is forbidden to fast on this day. Eid prayer is then observed in congregation in a mosque or at home.

When celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr one should keep in mind the lessons learned from the month of Ramadan.

It is narrated that the Messenger of Allah, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), never proceeded [for the prayer] on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr unless he had eaten some dates13 and interestingly he used to eat an odd number of dates.

And, did you know that when returning home after the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer, the Holy Prophet would take different routes home?

It is narrated by a companion of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), On the day of Eid, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to return [after offering the Eid prayer] using a different route from that which he went by14.

His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the 5th Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, addressing his community, touches on the importance of Eid in light of a Muslim’s wider obligations to society. He says: if Ahmadi Muslims wish to celebrate Eid in the true sense, then where they seek to attain the blessings of true Eid by bringing about a moral reformation, they should also make every effort to free the world from injustices and should engage fervently in prayer to free the Muslim world from the disorder and troubles it is engulfed in.”15



About the Author

Sanah Butt

Sanah Butt is an Associate Editor with and host of the Muslims Down Under Podcast. She is a newly admitted legal practitioner and has a keen interest in working on matters that truly help humanity. She is an accomplished public speaker and has a strong focus on community engagement, empowering women and people of diverse faiths and backgrounds. In her spare time, she enjoys writing on matters related to important aspects of faith and specifically on women of faith.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy (“Policy”) describes how the Website Operator (“Website Operator”, “we”, “us” or “our”) collects, protects and uses personally identifiable information (“Personal Information”) you (“User”, “you” or “your”) may provide on the website in the course of accessing and using our services (collectively, “Website” or “Services”).


It also describes the choices available to you regarding our use of your Personal Information and how you can access and update this information. This Policy does not apply to the practices of companies/partnerships or otherwise that we do not own or control, or to individuals that we do not employ or manage. The website is directed to users in Australia only.

About the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Assocation (“the Management Association”) promotes social, moral and spiritual well-being. The Management Association is committed to the propogation of the true teachings of Islam through peace and harmony. To promote ‘Love For All and Hatred For None’ and to establish open and honest communication, the Management Association manages and oversees the True Islam domain and the Muslims Down Under platform (“True Islam” and “Muslims Down Under”). True Islam is website domain controlled and managed by Muslims Down Under. Muslims Down Under is an online platform aimed at tackling extremist ideologies and removing misconceptions related to Islam and Muslims.

Automatic collection of information

Our top priority is user data security and, as such, we exercise the no logs policy. We process only minimal user data, only as much as is absolutely necessary to maintain the Website or Services. Information collected automatically is used only to identify potential cases of abuse and establish statistical information regarding Website usage. This statistical information is not otherwise aggregated in such a way that would identify any particular user of the system.

Collection of personal information

You can visit the Website without telling us who you are or revealing any information by which someone could identify you as a specific, identifiable individual. If, however, you wish to use some of the Website’s features, you will be asked to provide certain Personal Information (for example, but not limited to, your name and electronic mail address). Any information you knowingly provide to us, for example through any online forms you fill in on the Website, is stored with Muslims Down Under. The information collected may include the following:

  • Personal details such as name and country of residence.
  • Contact information such as email address, residential address, and phone numbers.


You can refuse to provide us with your Personal Information but then you may not be able to take advantage of some of the Website’s features. Users who are uncertain about what information is mandatory are welcome to contact us.

Storing personal information

Muslims Down Under will retain and use your Personal Information for the period necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements (“retention period”) unless a longer retention period is required or permitted by law. Muslims Down Under may use any aggregated data derived from or incorporating your Personal Information after you update or delete it, but not in a manner that would identify you personally. Therefore, the right to access, the right to erasure, the right to rectification and the right to data portability cannot be enforced after the expiration of the retention period.

Use and processing of collected information

In order to make our Website and Services available to you, or to meet a legal obligation, we need to collect and use certain Personal Information. If you do not provide the information that we request, we may not be able to provide you with the requested services. Some of the information we collect is directly from you via our Website. Any of the information we collect from you may be used for the following purposes:

  • Send administrative information
  • Request user feedback
  • Improve user experience
  • Enforce terms and conditions and policies
  • Protect from abuse and malicious users
  • Respond to legal requests and prevent harm
  • Run and operate our Website and Services

Any information collected through webforms will be provided to the Management Association. This information is stored for the purposes as mentioned above and is used only to facilitate further correspondence between you and our platform. As a user you may object to this use but doing so may result in your webform request not being processed.

Processing your Personal Information depends on how you interact with our Website, where you are located in the world and if one of the following applies: (i) You have given your consent for one or more specific purposes; (ii) Provision of information is necessary for the performance of an agreement with you and/or for any pre-contractual obligations thereof; (iii) Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which you are subject; (iv) Processing is related to a task that is carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in us; (v) Processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party.

Muslims Down Under will not sell or rent any Personal Information provided to us. Personal Information collected through consent or otherwise will remain in data storage related to this Website only.

Note that legally there is some information we are allowed to process until you object to such processing (by opting out), without having to rely on consent or any other of the following legal bases below. In any case, we will be happy to clarify the specific legal basis that applies to the processing, and in particular whether the provision of Personal Information is a statutory or contractual requirement, or a requirement necessary to enter into a contract.

Use and processing of collected information

Depending on your location, data transfers may involve transferring and storing your information in a country other than your own. You are entitled to learn about the legal basis of information transfers to a country outside your own, and about the security measures taken by us to safeguard your information. If any such transfer takes place, you can find out more by checking the relevant sections of this website or inquire with us using the information provided in the contact section.

The rights of users

You may exercise certain rights regarding your information processed by us. In particular, you have the right to do the following: (i) withdraw consent where you have previously given your consent to the processing of your information; (ii) object to the processing of your information if the processing is carried out on a legal basis other than consent; (iii) learn if information is being processed by us, obtain disclosure regarding certain aspects of the processing and obtain a copy of the information undergoing processing; (iv) verify the accuracy of your information and ask for it to be updated or corrected; (v) under certain circumstances, to restrict the processing of your information, in which case, we will not process your information for any purpose other than storing it; (vi) in certain circumstances, to obtain the erasure of your Personal Information from us; (vii) receive your information in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format and, if technically feasible, to have it transmitted to another controller without any hindrance. This provision is applicable provided that your information is processed by automated means and that the processing is based on your consent, on a contract which you are part of or on pre-contractual obligations thereof.

The right to object to processing

Any requests to exercise User rights can be directed to the Owner through the contact details provided on this website. These requests can be exercised free of charge and will be addressed by the Owner as early as possible.

How to exercise these rights

Any requests to exercise User rights can be directed to the Owner through the contact details provided on this website. These requests can be exercised free of charge and will be addressed by the Owner as early as possible.

Privacy of children

We and Muslims Down Under do not knowingly collect any Personal Information from children under the age of 13. If you are under the age of 13, please do not submit any Personal Information through our Website or Service. We encourage parents and legal guardians to monitor their children’s Internet usage and to help enforce this Policy by instructing their children never to provide Personal Information through our Website or Service without their permission.

If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 13 has provided Personal Information to us through our Website or Service, please contact us. You must also be at least 18 years of age to consent to the processing of your Personal Information in Australia.


Muslims Down Under offers electronic newsletters to which you may voluntarily subscribe at any time through this Website. We are committed to keeping your electronic mail address confidential and will not disclose your electronic mail address to any third parties except as allowed in the information use and processing section or for the purposes of utilising a third-party provider to send such emails. We will maintain the information sent via electronic mail in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

You may choose to stop receiving the Muslims Down Under newsletter or marketing emails by following the unsubscribe instructions included in these emails or by contacting us. 


The Website uses “cookies” to help personalise your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

We may use cookies to collect, store, and track information for statistical purposes to operate our Website and Services. You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. To learn more about cookies and how to manage them, visit

Do Not Track signals

Some browsers incorporate a Do Not Track feature that signals to websites you visit that you do not want to have your online activity tracked. Tracking is not the same as using or collecting information in connection with a website. For these purposes, tracking refers to collecting personally identifiable information from consumers who use or visit a website or online service as they move across different websites over time. How browsers communicate the Do Not Track signal is not yet uniform. As a result, this Website is not yet set up to interpret or respond to Do Not Track signals communicated by your browser. Even so, as described in more detail throughout this Policy, we limit our use and collection of your personal information.

Links to other websites

Our Website contains links to some websites that are owned and controlled by Muslims Down Under, and also to other websites that are not owned or controlled by us. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other websites or third-parties. We encourage you to be aware when you leave our Website and to read the privacy statements of each and every website that may collect Personal Information.

Data breach

In the event we become aware that there has been unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, or loss of, any Personal Information collected by the Website. We reserve the right to take reasonably appropriate measures, including, but not limited to, investigation and reporting, as well as notification to and cooperation with law enforcement authorities. In the event of a data breach, we will make reasonable efforts to notify affected individuals if we believe that the unauthorised access to, or unauthorised disclosure of, or loss of, any of the Personal Information is likely to result in serious harm to the user to whom the Personal Information relates to, or if notice is otherwise required by law. When we do, we will post a notice on the Website and send you an electronic mail.

Legal disclosure

We will disclose any information we collect, use or receive if required or permitted by law, such as to comply with a subpoena, or similar legal processes, and when we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect our rights, protect your safety or the safety of others, investigate fraud, or to respond to a government request.

Changes and amendments

It is at our discretion to update this Privacy Policy from time to time and will notify you of any material changes to the way in which we treat Personal Information. When changes are made, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page. We may also provide notice to you in other ways at our discretion, such as through contact information you have provided. Any updated version of this Privacy Policy will be effective immediately upon the posting of the revised Privacy Policy unless otherwise specified. Your continued use of the Website or Services after the effective date of the revised Privacy Policy (or such other act specified at that time) will constitute your consent to those changes. However, we will not, without your consent, use your Personal Data in a manner materially different than what was stated at the time your Personal Data was collected.

Acceptance of this policy

You acknowledge that you have read this Policy and agree to all its terms and conditions. By using the Website or its Services you agree to be bound by this Policy. If you do not agree to abide by the terms of this Policy, you are not authorised to use or access the Website and its Services.

Contacting us

If you would like further information about this Policy or wish to contact us concerning any matter relating to individual rights and your Personal Information, you may send an email to