According to the Koran, Muslims are required to practice special religious devotion during the ninth month of the Islamic year, the month during which Muhammad is said to have received the first of the Koran's revelations (during the night between the 26th and the 27th). This period is better known as the Ramadan. Literally translated, the word Ramadan means "the hot month".  The Ramadan is considered the holy month of fasting and is ordained by the Koran  for all adult Muslims . 

The beginning of the Ramadan coincides with the first day following the first sighting of the moon.  (For example, in North America in the year 2001, the Ramadan moon was first sighted in Tucson, AZ on the evening of Thursday, November 15. Although there were some questions as to the validity of this sighting report, the Islamic Shura Council of North America (who is the authority in the United States) agreed with the report and proclaimed Friday, November 16 to be the first day of Ramadan in North America in 2001.)

During Ramadan, Muslims fast each day from dawn to sunset and recite the Koran at least five times during each given day. The end of Ramadan is followed by great festivities and is celebrated by all Muslims with special prayers.

 

Countries that observe Ramadan nationally:
1.  Afghanistan 11. Guinea 21. Mauritius 31. Syria
2.  Azerbaijan 12. Guinea-Bissau 22. Morocco 32. Tanzania
3.  Bahrain 13. India 23. Niger 33. Tunisia
4.  Benin 14. Indonesia 24. Pakistan 34. Turkey
5.  Central African Rep.  15. Iran 25. Saudi Arabia    
6.  Comoros 16. Israel 26. Senegal    
7.  Croatia 17. Jordan 27. Sierra Leone    
8.  Egypt 18. Lebanon 28. Singapore    
9.  Eritrea 19. Malaysia 29. Sri Lanka    
10.  Gabon  20. Mali 30. Sudan    


Other important Dates to the Islam are:

Event 2001 CE 2002 CE
Waqfatul-Arafat (Saudi Taqweem)    March 4, 2001 (Sun) February 21, 2002 (Thu) 
Eid-al-Adha (10th Zul-Hijjah) March 6, 2001 (Thu) February 23, 2002 (Sat)
1st Muharram (New Year Begins) March 26, 2001 (Mon) March 16, 2002  (Sat)

Day of A'ashurah (10th Muharram) 

April 4, 2001 (Wed) March 25, 2002 (Mon)

Milad-un-Nabi (12th Rabi-al-Awwal)

June 4, 2001 (Mon) May 25, 2002 (Sat)
Isra/Me'raj (Night after 26the Rajab) October 14, 2001 (Sun) October 3, 2002 (Thu) 
Nisfu Sha'ban (15th Sha'ban)  November 1, 2001 (Thu) October 22, 2002 (Tue) 
1st Ramadan (Fasting Begins)       November 16, 2001 (Sat) November 6, 2002 (Wed) 
Lailatul-Qadr (Night after 26th Ramadan) December 12, 2001 (Wed) December 1, 2002 (Sun)
Eid-al-Fitr (1st Shawwal)  December 16, 2001 (Sun)  December 6, 2002 (Fri) 

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