Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The month of Ramadan lasts for 29 or 30 days, depending on the year. The celebration of Eid al-Fitr or Hari Raya Aidil Fitri in Malaysia marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the next lunar calendar.
Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam that shapes the life of a Muslim. Fasting does not only mean refraining oneself from food and drink but also from evil actions, thoughts and words. The physical fast takes place on a daily basis for the whole month of Ramadan, from daybreak till dusk. Other than fasting, prayers are important and Muslims are encouraged to attend the mosque for special services. Nightly prayer called ‘Tarawill’ are common during Ramadan. Muslims are also encouraged to be charitable or give ‘zakat’, which is also one of the five pillars of Islam.
The end of Ramadan (June 14, 2018) is marked by the holy day of Eid al-Fitr, which begins on the first day of the Islamic lunar calendar of Syawal.