Believed to be the month that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed, Ramadan is the holiest and ninth month of the Islamic — or Hijri — calendar.
During this month, which lasts between 29 or 30 days depending on moon phase sightings, Muslims must abstain from all food or drink from sunrise (fajr) to sunset (maghrib). It is also a time when Muslims strengthen their faith through prayer, increased recitation of the Quran and charitable work.
Piety increases further during the final 10 days of Ramadan, when Laylat Al Qadr — the night the Quran is believed to have been revealed — is thought to fall. It is traditionally celebrated on the 27th night of Ramadan but its exact date is unknown. The rewards for acts of worship carried out on this night are said to be more than the rewards of 1,000 months of worship.
The Hijri calendar is based on moon phases with months of 29 or 30 days while the Gregorian calendar is calculated by the movement of the sun and has 30 or 31 days per month. This means that Ramadan falls approximately 10 days earlier, against the Gregorian calendar, each year. In 2021, Ramadan was called on April 12.
As the length of each day of the year varies slightly, based on the rising and setting of the sun, the fasting period for Muslims during Ramadan and prayer timings also change.
Every year, during the holy month, Muslims will begin and break their fasts at slightly different times each day. As we approach the summer equinox and daylight hours lengthen, Muslims will steadily increase their fasting time by approximately 44 minutes between the first and last days of Ramadan.
Muslims are obliged to pray five times a day — farj, dhuhr, asr, maghrib, isha — but during Ramadan, an additional extended evening prayer called taraweeh is performed after isha.
Below are the prayer timings for the month of Ramadan in the UAE in 2022: