Ramadan is a time for reflection, self-discipline, and spiritual growth for Muslims around the globe. During this time, Muslims engage in a variety of acts of worship; including fasting, prayer, and acts of charity, to deepen their connection with Allah ﷻ and enhance their personal development in their faith.

As part of this spiritual journey, it is essential to understand the language and terminology associated with Ramadan:


The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root word “ramad,” which means scorching heat or dryness. 

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it is the month in which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset every day.


Sawm refers to the act of fasting during the month of Ramadan. 

Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours, with the exception of those who are exempted from fasting, such as the elderly, pregnant women, and those with health conditions.


Iftar is the meal that Muslims consume to break their fast at sunset. It is an essential part of the Ramadan experience, and it is often shared with family and friends.


Suhoor or Sehri, is a customary meal consumed by Muslims before dawn during Ramadan, after which they fast until after sunset. It is eaten by Muslims to sustain themselves throughout the day while fasting and is an essential part of forming one’s intentions of fasting before the morning prayer.

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said 

“Whoever does not form his intention to fast before to fajr, his fasting will not be accepted.”

Bulugh Al-Maram


Tarawih is a special prayer that Muslims perform during Ramadan. It is an additional prayer that is performed after the Isha prayer and consists of 2 – 20 rak’ahs (units of prayers)

Laylat al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr is the Night of Power or the Night of Decree. It is considered to be the holiest night of the year, and it is believed to be the night on which the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ .

Laylat al-Qadr falls on one of the odd nights during the last ten days of Ramadan.


Zakat is an act of charity that is required of all Muslims who are able to give. It is a specific percentage of a person’s wealth that is given to the poor and needy.

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr is the festival that marks the end of Ramadan. It is a time of celebration and feasting, and it is an opportunity for Muslims to reflect on their achievements during the holy month.

Language is Important

Understanding the language of Ramadan is an essential part of fully embracing the holy month. By understanding the meanings and significance of the words associated with Ramadan, Muslims can deepen their spiritual connection and gain a greater appreciation for the teachings of Islam.

As the Quran says, 

“Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as guidance for mankind, and as clear signs that show the right way and distinguish right from wrong” 

Quran 2:185

So, whether you are a seasoned Ramadan observer or a newcomer to the faith, take the time to learn the words and meanings that define this holy month. By doing so, you can fully embrace the spirit of Ramadan and grow closer to Allah ﷻ.

Written by Izzah Adnan