|This article forms part of the series
|Vocabulary of Islam|
|Profession of faith|
|Prayer · Alms · Fasting|
|Pilgrimage to Mecca|
|Prophets of Islam|
|Caliphs · Shia Imams|
|Companions of Muhammad|
|Mecca · Medina · Jerusalem|
|Najaf · Karbala · Kufa|
|Kazimain · Mashhad · Samarra|
|Hijra · Islamic calendar · Eid ul-Fitr|
|Eid ul-Adha · Aashura · Arba'in|
|Mosque · Minaret · Mihrab · Kaaba|
|Functional Religious Roles|
|Muezzin · Imam · Mullah|
|Ayatollah · Mufti|
|Interpretive Texts & Practices|
|Qur'an · Hadith · Sunnah|
|Fiqh · Fatwa · Sharia|
|Sunni: Hanafi · Hanbali · Maliki · Shafi'i|
|Shi'a: Ithna Asharia · Ismailiyah · Zaiddiyah|
|Others: Ibadi · Kharijite · Murjite · Mu'tazili|
|Sufism · Wahhabism · Salafism|
|Non-Mainstream Sects / Movements|
|Ahmadiyyah · Nation of Islam|
|Zikri · Druze|
|Babism · Bahá'í Faith · Yazidi|
Ramadan or Ramadhan (Arabic: رمضان ) is the ninth month of the Islamic year. Siyam or Saum ("fasting" in English) is the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam and involves fasting during Ramadan.
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Because the Islamic calendar has no correction for the fact that the lunar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Ramadan migrates throughout the seasons.
- 2004 – First day: October 15, 2004; last day: November 13, 2004
- 2005 – First day: October 4, 2005; last day: November 2, 2005
- 2006 – First day: September 23, 2006; last day October 22, 2006
What is prohibited?
The prohibitions only extend during daylight hours. Traditionally this begins at dawn from the moment a white line can be seen at the horizon and ends at sunset, when the sun's disk sinks below the local horizon. These times are known as Fajr and Maghrib, respectively.
The Siyam are intended to teach the believers patience and self-control, and to remind them of the less fortunate in the world. The fast is also seen as a debt owed by the believer to God. Faithful observance of the Siyam is believed to atone for personal faults and misdeeds, at least in part, and to help earn a place in paradise. It is also believed to be beneficial for personal conduct, that is, to help control passions and temper. The fast is also meant to provide time for meditation and to strengthen one's faith.
Fasting in other religions
The Christian Lent and the Jewish Yom Kippur are also times of fasting. These relate to that be mentioned in Quran 2:183, ".. Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you..", fasting is prescribed to Muslims as it was prescribed to those before you, e.g. Christian and Jewish, although the fasting's practice of each religion might be different one another.