Ramadan fasting hours around the world
Ramadan is one of the holiest times of the year for Muslims around the world.

The world’s 1.9 billion Muslims are currently observing Ramadan, one of the Muslim world’s holiest months. For Muslims around the world, this is a time of solemn reflection, prayer, family, community, and fasting from sunup to sundown. 

But non-Muslims might not know what Ramadan is, when and how it is observed, or why Muslims fast during this time. 

Here’s what you need to know about Ramadan.

What Is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and commemorates Muhammad’s first revelation, when he was visited by the angel Jibreel (or Gabriel), who revealed the earliest scriptures to Him. Ramadan is one of the mandatory Five Pillars of Islam, alongside faith, daily prayer, almsgiving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. 

Muslims are expected to fast during this holy month. They enjoy a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, and then do not eat or drink anything (including water) until after the sun sets in the evening. Then they eat a meal called iftar. Iftar traditionally includes dates in honor of Muhammad breaking His own fast with three dates. This is often a large family affair, a social gathering in celebration of faith and community.

Muslim family enjoying sundown Ramadan feast
Many Muslims break their fast after sundown with family.

Fasting is believed to free the soul of worldly desires, and refocus energy into Muslim values like discipline, family, charity, and empathy for those who are less fortunate.

Not all Muslims are expected to fast during this time. Exceptions are made for the elderly, ill, breastfeeding mothers, menstruating women, prepubescent children, and those who are traveling.

Additionally, Muslims are expected to avoid sex, tobacco products, and sinful behavior like lying during this time as well.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid, which is often a public holiday in Muslim majority countries, a day best enjoyed with family and friends. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, and Muslims can return to their regular eating and drinking habits.

When Is Ramadan?

Because Ramadan is tied to the cycles of the moon, the dates in which it is observed change every year. In 2023, Ramadan begins on the evening of March 22nd and concludes on the evening of April 21st. 

How Long Does Fasting Last?

The average fasting time tends to be between 14 and 15 hours.

However, sunlight hours vary depending on hemisphere and proximity to the equator, meaning that Muslims close to the equator may only be required to fast for as short as 10 hours, while Muslims in far northern latitudes – where daylight hours can reach up to 20 hours – may be fasting far longer. 

Depending on the year, Muslims in Greenland and Iceland, for example, might be fasting 21 hours!

Ramadan fasting hours around the world

Thankfully, it is agreed that Muslims in areas where the sun barely sets can use Mecca’s fasting hours if they’d like.

Concerns About Commercialization

Up until now, Ramadan has managed to avoid the wave of commercialization that has affected other major religious holidays like Christmas. However, some worry that could be changing. 

This year, more mainstream retail stores were offering Ramadan goods than ever before – sparking concerns that the holy month could be heading toward a commercialized future. 

For example, big box retailer Target created a Ramadan and Eid holiday collection and has it on display this year. They hope to capitalize on a growing customer base of Muslims, experts say.  

“There was a strategic move of these corporations to tap into the buying power of the (Muslim) community that they’ve been kind of ignoring for a while,” said Liz Bucar, religious ethicist at Northeastern University.

However, not all Muslims see this as a bad thing. Ramadan-themed items being displayed on store shelves means greater representation for their faith, and could lead to people gaining a better understanding of Islam, they point out. 

Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan is one of the holiest times of the year for Muslims, and is a celebration of the values they hold most dear. It is a time of faith and family, a time to strip away the worldly temptations and grow mentally and spiritually.

To all observing this year, we say Ramadan Mubarak!

53 comments

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    Well, it's another one of those religions that is all relying on faith. Know what I mean? Just like Christianity, Mormonism, Hinduism etc., all having their religious observances stemming from their own truth.

    🦁♥️

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      @Lionheart Yes but this is the same God as the Christian God. Take a look at the crazy things the Muslims do every year with this secretly filmed video.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7q_LcqbvKI&t=181s&ab_channel=VICE

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Thank you, Douglas. That was very educational. 🤗

        🦁❤️

        1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

          @Lionheart Glad you enjoyed it. I thought it was very informative and learned Muslims have crazy beliefs just like every other religion.

          1. Angela Guyton-Cyril's Avatar Angela Guyton-Cyril

            Thank you as a Muslim I can’t afford to make the trip. It was nice to see the film

    2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      And who's to say Lion that their or Christianity's Deity is wrong? The only ones who are sure are the ones who have died and they are not coming back and letting us know one way or the other. And by you implying that they are wrong you are doing the same thing that they are, you are taking it all on FAITH as nobody has any proof that their religion is the correct one, so all you can do is go by FAITH.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        You still have me wrong, Daniel. I’m not categorically saying those that believe their Christian deity, are wrong. There are some parts of it that I like to think might be true, but I guess we’ll never know in this lifetime, assuming that is, there is another lifetime after this one 🤷🏼.

        My current thinking is, that if any of the supposed worlds deities needs human beings to defend and promote their existence, it’s enough for me to think they are more than likely not real.

        The same goes for fairies. I lean towards thinking fairies are not real for similar reasons. How about you?

        🦁❤️

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          No Lion, I have you pretty much figured out

          1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

            So, do you have faith, Daniel, that fairies, elves, and gnomes et al, are also real? If not, why not?

            🦁❤️

            1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              same question right back at you Lion. Do you agree that there may be a deity and if not then why not?

              1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

                I see you didn't answer my question, Daniel, but to answer yours, I have no reason to believe things exist such as Deities, Fairies, Gnomes, Elves, Sasquach, The Loch Ness Monster, the Tooth Fairy etc, until I see demonstrable evidence to prove that they do.

                Equally, regarding deities, I don't believe in Thor, Mars, Apollo, Vishnu, Ganesha, Shiva, et al, and if you don't either, you and I are very similar, it's just that I don't believe in one more god than you possibly do.

                🦁♥️

            2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

              do you agree Lion that there may be a deity, and if not then why not. Same question right back at you

        2. Ahmed Abduljabar Al-Hujazi's Avatar Ahmed Abduljabar Al-Hujazi

          One aspect of Islam that is often not voiced, because it is well known among Muslims, is prayer, which in the case of Islam is reciting the words of God as they were relayed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. Does God need our prayers? No. God has made it an obligation because it is beneficial for mankind and not that He is in need of our prayer or our recognition. So that is the answer to your implied question. Does God need our prayers or defense? The answer is no.

          1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

            Joseph Smith had a conversation with an angel, or so we are led to believe.

            As we have no idea at all that angels are real, or even any god, I'll assume that it's all fable, along with other religions with no demonstrable evidence.

            🦁♥️

  1. Sharrell Ronald Taylor's Avatar Sharrell Ronald Taylor

    Yes I agree that there God is the same God of Christian people. However you look at this, you mustn’t ignore the fact that their religion has been around a lot longer than modern Christian religions or even the first Christian church. I again remind you all. We are all equal, we just have different views on how we worship. Peace be unto us all. Amen

  1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

    Islam is just another Satanic Evil Religion who's soul purpose is to keep millions blinded from receiving the new birth

    1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

      How do you know that your religion isn't the evil one? It sure seems like so many Christians' sole purpose (and maybe their soul's purpose too) is to hate those who do not conform to their belief system.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Dont know. I am not Muslum so I have no say on how its celebrated.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      @Daniel Gray You should spend a few minutes and see what it's like. This is one of the largest religions in the world.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7q_LcqbvKI&t=29s&ab_channel=VICE

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        I agree it is the second largest religion in the world by Christianity is a whole lot larger. Muslums/Islam is 1.8 billion people, Christianity on the other hand is close to 3 Billion people and is growing by leaps and bounds in Africa and South America. So what did I say that is wrong?

        1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

          @Daniel Gray You said you don't know how it is celebrated. I posted the video so you could learn.

          You need to fact check your claim about Christianity and Muslims. Christianity is growing only where people are uneducated and can be tricked into believing in mythical creatures. You failed to mention Christianity is on the decline in Europe, US and Canada.

          You also failed to mention the Muslim religion rapidly growing and the number of Muslims is getting close to the number of Christians.

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            I appreciate it but the only thing I need to know about Islam is that it and Judaism and Christianity all start with a central figure..Abraham. And they deserve respect until such time as they prove they dont.

            1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

              Interestingly, there is still no solid demonstrable evidence that Abraham ever existed. The stories written about that character are interesting though. I wonder how much of it, if anything, is true. 🤔

              🦁❤️

              1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                And Lion there still is no validated evidence that proves he didnt exist. So whats your point exactly? You seem to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to disprove religions.

              2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

                I am not trying to disprove religions, I'm trying to see how others have come to the illogical conclusion, with no evidence at all, as to why they believe their religion, or god, is real. So far, no one seem able to prove their god is real. So until they do, I'm going to assume that Shiva, Vishnu, et al, isn't real, along with all the others gods people like to believe in, even yours.

                Why should anyone believe anything with no evidence to support it. If I'm on a jury and someone is pleading they didn't commit the crime, and someone defending the alleged criminal says they feel it in their heart that he's innocent, but all the solid evidence supports that they did it, I'm going to go with the evidence all day long.

                🦁♥️

              3. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                Please just stop Lion, your post in the thread about the Bible being possibly being banned in Utah clearly shows you are not being truthful. You stated that the bible was fictional, now if that is not attacking a religion or trying to prove its not real then you could have fooled everyone in this thread. Just admit you dont like religions and get it over with, then we can deal with your posts knowing that. But to make snarky statements and implications is beneath you

              4. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

                I don’t ever remember saying bibles were possibly being banned in Utah, Daniel. In fact, quite the opposite, they use the KJV in the LDS church.

                I do of course lean towards the claims listed in the Bible being fictional, unless you want to seriously believe in a woman being turned to salt, a man walking on water, a virgin being impregnated by a deity, a talking snake, and a talking donkey, Adam & Eve, a man parting the Red Sea, and so many other illogical tales.

                If you genuinely want to believe those stories, Daniel, you are more than welcome to. Many do!

                🦁❤️

              5. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                reread your posts lion.

              6. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

                Reread your own.

                🦁❤️

              7. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                I just did and my pots make far more sense Lion then you saying in one that you are not suggesting there isnt a deity and then in the very next one claiming there is no proof, or in essence saying that there isnt one.

                Cant have it both ways Lion, either admit you dont believe in a deity as I have been politely saying about you, or stop trying to imply that they are not real. This isnt rocket science here its one or the other

            2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

              @Daniel Gray Oh my you've got it wrong, very wrong. Sad you don't want to know about other religions. Very narrow minded. All religions started with God.

              How can any Christian religion deserve anyone's respect?

              If I tell my wife if you don’t love me I’m going to set you on fire am I a loving good husband?

              So if God sends us to hell, he never loved us to begin with.

              Thank about it.

              1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                There is no need to think about it. I know that Islam exists and is the 2nd largest religion in the world at present. Just because I know it exists does not mean I have to know everything about it. I stand by what I am saying, they deserve respect and people do not need to attack them unless they have done something to deserve being attacked for. Whats wrong with that answer?

              2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

                @Daniel Gray People deserve respect, not their religion. How much respect would you have for a religion that's collected over $200 Billion dollars from their followers to feed the hungry, house the homeless and provide aid to those in need and then only spend $500 Million while pocketing the rest keeping it a secret for 25 years from the government and church members.

                Do you have respect for the people giving the money to the church? And what about the their church for hiding $200 Billion dollars from church members. A religion that lies and deceives it's members and violates US laws in my opinion doesn't deserve any respect.

              3. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                No YOU have it wrong. A religion deserves respect until it proves that it does not. I dont need to know how the jewish religion works as I look at their deeds. I know islam exists, BUT in saying that I have absolutely no respect for the form of islam that the Taliban practices nor the form of Islam that is practiced in Iran. You commit a crime, yes expect to be punished...but to cut off your hands? Think your mother or sister disgraced you? then leave and have no contact with them, but that does NOT give you the right to murder them (honor killings) You see a woman and you would like to date her, then ASK her. DO NOT find an Imam and marry her for a night of sex and then divorce her the next day. Stay away from Goats and small children of both sexes. I have the utmost disrespect for anyone, regardless of religion status, who does things like this and thinks its ok.

              4. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

                @Daniel Gray How do you know what religions deserve respect and which ones don't?

                Why do you respect Christian religions where children get molested and young girls get rapped by pastors, priests and bishops? Christians also want control of women's bodies telling them what the can do and not do with their bodies. Remember Muslims are worshiping the same God as Christians. So why respect for Christians and no respect from Muslims?

              5. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                Can you read? I go by the deeds they do. For Instance, the Islamic Temple in Toledo Ohio, they help the neighbors, have food drives, preach peace between religions, have weekly talks with Jewish and Christian leaders to stop any upcoming differences that may crate a problem. Help the elderly and so on and so forth. people like that deserve respect. Its not as hard as you want to make it out to be.

              6. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

                @Daniel Gray You know you don't have to be religious to help people and do good deeds.

                Can you tell me how there can be peace between people of different religions when each religion claims their religion and God is the one true God that everyone should follow.

                I thought in your last post you had no respect for the Muslims because of honor killings.

                If you attend their events would you ask why in the Quran teach Muslims to use .

                Surah 3:151: "We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve all non-Muslims...."

                Surah 2:191: "And kill them (non-Muslims) wherever you find them … kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers (non-Muslims)."

                Surah 9:5: "Then kill the disbelievers (non-Muslims) wherever you find them, capture them and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in each and every ambush …"

                How can they promote peace when they are instructed told to convert people to Islam or kill them. Same thing the Christians did.

                Like all Christians religions they teach hate, intolerance and submission. Why would anyone want to part of any organization that teaches that?

              7. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                Never said you did. I said if you do good deeds (help people) then you deserve to be respected. I dont care if you are religious or not.

                What you are not seemingly understanding is people who do good deads are remembered and respected LONG after they have shaken off the mortal coil. For Instance Gandhi was not religious and yet people still talk about him. Mother Teresa was religious and people still speak of her in glowing terms.Nobel was not religious, but there is an award named after him.Poe was not religious but he is named as one of the greatest gothic writer ever.Mendelson and Beethoven and Bach not one owas religious and yet they are remembered for composing some of the most beautiful music ever. DiVinci WAS religious and he completed some of the most revered art works in history. Tesla was not religious and his benefit to mankind is immeasurable . He invented the Electric light you use now (AC not the Edison DC one) he invented the radio and the telephone (Bell got the patent first)the tesla coil (a staple even today in electronics) the remote control, wireless communications, neon lighting, robotics, induction motor, the Xray/shadowgraph, hydroelectric just to name a few.

                All of the above people are remembered for their good deeds to people no matter if they were religious or not. Unlike you who seemingly cant stop attacking Christians and lying about them. Care to guess who is going to be remembered longer? people like you who lie and attack others like you are doing against christians, or the people who actually did good things for others? Hint? It wont be you. Think on that for a while.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I'm fine with every religion there has ever been, and are yet to come. Whatever works for it's members. We're all children of the same universe. I think of myself as an interfaith minister, and minister and counsel in regard to the faith of others, and never my own. A little while ago I sent a text to a good, Muslim friend wishing him and his family a happy and prosperous Ramadan. And to all our fellow ministers who are Muslim I Say "Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Kareem"!

    1. Mokgatle Reuben Khuduge's Avatar Mokgatle Reuben Khuduge

      I am fine with everything that is done at Islamic House because both Islamic Religious Denominations and Christianity came from the ancestries of Abraham through Ishmael and Jacob. If we talk about Mahomad we talk about the descendant of Abraham through Ishmael and when we talk about Jesus Christ(The Messiah) we talk about the descendant of Abraham through Jacob who is known as Israel. (Reuben Khuduge from Johannesburg South Africa)

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    In Wicca we believe that our religion is only right for Wiccans, and we never seek to convert anyone. It can only be an inner calling that leads us to it. And by far most people are not meant to be Wiccan, but fit in well with the religions they are called or lead to. There is no one right religion for everyone.

    1. Rev. Jonathan Peebles's Avatar Rev. Jonathan Peebles

      Unlike Christians I was told most Muslims don't condemn other beliefs. However I think like them they are sexist somewhat but I am a feminist....

  1. Rohan Alexander's Avatar Rohan Alexander

    Ramadan Mubarak to the billions of Muslims celebrating around the world!

  1. Michaela Dorman's Avatar Michaela Dorman

    Oh my word, 21 hours of fasting? I can barely fast 21 minutes!

  1. Rev. Jonathan Peebles's Avatar Rev. Jonathan Peebles

    what about the Jewish God? I think you missed that

  1. Jimmy Moon's Avatar Jimmy Moon

    Allah is short for Satan.

    1. Michael Hunt's Avatar Michael Hunt

      Allah has the same number of letters as Satan so it's definitely not shorthand lol. In all seriousness though, Allah is just God in a different language than English. Your attempt to demonize a whole religion is hateful bigotry that does nothing but divide and segregate humanity.

  1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

    Try reading the Bible, it's the most incredible book ever written straight from the mouth of God. Read all the other major religious books, they're all authored by Satan to keep you blinded ! Do you actually think our creator would leave us clueless ?

    1. Rev. Paige's Avatar Rev. Paige

      Daniel- yes we are clueless.

    2. Angela Guyton-Cyril's Avatar Angela Guyton-Cyril

      You don’t know what you didn’t know until you realize that you didn’t know it. You don’t have the right to force feed anyone your religion. People will find a higher power that is great for them not you

    3. Angela Guyton-Cyril's Avatar Angela Guyton-Cyril

      You don’t know what you didn’t know until you realize that you didn’t know it. You don’t have the right to force feed anyone your religion. People will find a higher power that is great for them not you

    4. Johnnie Roberte Lambert's Avatar Johnnie Roberte Lambert

      Read it. Don't believe it.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Yep, me too, Johnnie. I found the same thing with the Bible ,and the Book of Mormon.

        🦁♥️

Leave a Comment

When leaving your comment, please:

  • Be respectful and constructive
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Avoid profanity, insults, and derogatory comments

To view the full code of conduct governing these comment sections, please visit this page.

Not ordained yet? Hit the button below to get started. Once ordained, log in to your account to leave a comment!
Don't have an account yet? Create Account