New Moon - Ramadan & Laylatul Qadr - Night of Power

While the month of Ramadan is most widely known as the month that the Qur’an was first revealed to humankind. The Night of Power describes the exact night that the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). more information at Islamic Relief org uk

The Islamic calendar is lunar, each period of time starting and ending with the new moon. The year is 354 days thus shorter than the solar 365 days, which means that Ramadan occurs earlier each year compared to Universal Time.

Ramadan is set every year by moon 'sighters' who face west, with a clear view of the horizon, watching for the new moon crescent to set after the sun. In Saudi Arabia, statements of people who have spotted the moon are recorded and the Judicial High Court decides when Ramadan should begin.

Ramadan is the 9th month and Muslims fast (not eating or drinking) during the daytime. In some places drums are an early wake up so that people can have the pre-fast meal before dawn and again at dusk to announce the end of the fast for that day. Special lights and may be lit. Extra prayers are recited - sunrise prayer, Fajr, to the sunset prayer, Maghrib.

In many countries shops and restaurants stay closed for the day and open all night. A time for relatives and friends to gather and feast.

This is a time not only to cleanse the body through fasting, but to focus the mind on spiritual matters. Looking within and practicing self discipline for personal development, and charitable acts and donations are important aspects of the time.