This year, Ramadan will begin in the UAE on March 23. The official date was determined by the country's moon-sighting committee on Tuesday night.
What is Ramadan?
Considered the holiest month in Islam, Ramadan is when healthy Muslims must abstain from food, drink or medicine from sunrise (fajr) to sunset (maghrib). Once the sun sets, Muslims break their fast with a meal referred to as iftar.
Believed to be the month the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed, Ramadan is a time when Muslims strengthen their faith through prayer, recitation of the holy book and charitable work.
How long does Ramadan last?
It typically lasts between 29 to 30 days, depending on the moon phase sightings, as the Islamic — or Hijri — calendar is lunar. This also means Ramadan moves up the Gregorian calendar by about 10 days each year. In 2022, Ramadan was called on April 2.
How long must each Muslim fast each day?
With the month falling earlier this year, Muslims can expect to fast for a slightly shorter time than they did last year, but the days lengthen towards the end of the month, as we approach the summer.
This year, Muslims in the UAE will begin the month by fasting around 14 hours and 45 minutes. The fasting time will steadily increase as Ramadan goes on — by the last day of the holy month the fast will be about 46 minutes longer than it was on the first.
What time do Muslims pray during Ramadan?
Prayer is one of the five pillars of Islam and Muslims are obliged to pray five times a day: fajr, dhuhr, asr, maghrib and isha. During Ramadan, an additional extended evening prayer called taraweeh is performed after isha.
Here are the prayer timings for the month of Ramadan in the UAE in 2023: