Abrahamic / Middle Eastern Islam Important Information About Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month Share Flipboard Email Print Muslim Girl / Getty Images Islam Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr Important Principles Prayer Salat Prophets of Islam The Quran Hajj and Eid Al Adha By Huda Islam Expert M.Ed., Loyola University–Maryland B.S., Child Development, Oregon State University Huda is an educator, school administrator, and author who has more than two decades of experience researching and writing about Islam online. our editorial process Huda Updated March 29, 2019 Muslims around the world anticipate the arrival of the holiest month of the year. During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims from all continents unite in a period of fasting and spiritual reflection. Ramadan Basics A Muslim man reads the Quran during Ramadan, London. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Each year, Muslims spend the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observing a community-wide fast. The annual fast of Ramadan is considered one of the five "pillars" of Islam. Muslims who are physically able to are required to fast each day of the entire month, from sunrise to sunset. The evenings are spent enjoying family and community meals, engaging in prayer and spiritual reflection, and reading from the Qur'an. Observing the Fast of Ramadan The fast of Ramadan has both spiritual significance and physical effects. In addition to the basic requirements of the fast, there are additional and recommended practices that allow people to gain the most benefit from the experience. Special Needs The Ramadan fast is vigorous, and there are special rules for those who may find it physically difficult to participate in the fast. Reading During Ramadan The first verses of the Quran were revealed during the month of Ramadan, and the very first word was: "Read!" During the month of Ramadan, as well as other times during the year, Muslims are encouraged to read and reflect on God's guidance. Celebrating Eid al-Fitr At the end of the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world enjoy a three-day holiday known as "Eid al-Fitr" (Festival of Fast-Breaking).