As wars, unrest and political dramas tear countries apart, Muslims across the world cannot wait for to sight the crescent moon of the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and embrace Ramadan (also spelt Ramazan or Ramzan or Ramzaan), the month of healing, which is a time of communal harmony, reflection, spiritual quest while fasting from dawn to dusk, intense recitations of the Holy book Quran and ignition of compassion through almost daily acts of charity. The month of Ramadan is usually 29 or 30 days long, depending on the moon sighting and fasting in Ramadan is mandatory for all adult Muslims unless they are sick, travelling, are having their menstrual cycle, are pregnant, diabetic or elderly.

Ramadan timetable 2024: When is Ramadan 2024? Date and time, when does iftar start (Photo from freepik)
Ramadan timetable 2024: When is Ramadan 2024? Date and time, when does iftar start (Photo from freepik)

the word Ramadan is derived from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, which means ‘scorching heat’ and it is one of the five pillars of Islam that include – Shahada (profession of faith), Salat (Prayer), Zakat (Almsgiving), Sawm (Fasting) and Hajj (Pilgrimage). The meal that is consumed before commencing the fast is called sehri or suhoor and iftar is the meal with which the fast is broken after the call to the evening prayer of Maghrib is heard.

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Here’s all you need to know about the Ramzaan date, history and significance, time of sehri and iftar and all about Muslim celebrations.


The Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon, commonly known as the lunar cycle and as a result, the Holy month of Ramadan falls approximately 10 days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar. This year, Ramadan is expected to commence on Monday March 11 or Tuesday March 12, 2024, subject to the sighting of the moon in Mecca.

Usually, the crescent of Ramadan is first sighted in Saudi Arabia and some parts of India along with some Western countries and then usually a day later in the rest of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries.

Time: When does Iftar start? Ramadan 2024 timetable for sehri and iftar

Here are the expected timings of ‘sehri’ and ‘iftaar’ in India:

Time: When does Iftar start? Ramadan 2024 timetable for sehri and iftar (Islamic Finder)
Time: When does Iftar start? Ramadan 2024 timetable for sehri and iftar (Islamic Finder)

History and significance:

Ramadan is believed to be the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s (Praise Be Upon Him) first revelation as it was during the night of Laylat al-Qadr in Ramadan that God revealed the verses of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad for the first time. As per the scriptures, Muslims believe that all the devils are locked up with chains in hell during Ramadan and no one can disturb those who are busy praying to Allah as the gates of Jannah (Paradise) are opened and the gates of Jahannum (hell) are locked up along with the devils.

Thawab’ is what the spiritual rewards of fasting are known as and it is believed that these rewards multiply during the period of Ramadan where Muslims stay away from food and drink, smoking, sexual activities and any sinful behaviour, and instead focus more on prayer, self-reform, charity and taqwa, which is heightened awareness of God. Suhoor/suhur/sehri is the predawn meal before the call for the morning pray, Fajr and iftar is the nightly feast that breaks the fast after the evening prayer, Maghrib.


During Ramadan, Muslims pray to Allah and observe fasts, which are called sawm or roza in India and Pakistan, as a symbol of devotion towards the Almighty. For the time period of this month, Muslims let go of worldly pleasures and extravagant behaviour and spending and observe the fast along with their friends and family.

They wake up in the early hours of the morning to eat Suhoor or Sehri, a meal which comprises of foods such as dates, fruits, milk, sweet vermicelli etc. Then till sunset they do not eat anything, observing their fast nor do they drink water or anything else during this time period.

In the evening, the rozedaar or the fasting Muslims break their fast with dates or if dates are not available, anything sweet or simply water is consumed to break the fast. This is marked by the Maghrib prayer and it is believed that even Prophet Muhammad broke his fast with dates-according to some legends, he had three dates and some water.

After this there is iftar, a meal that includes all sorts of delicacies such as kebabs, tikkas, biryani, nihari and also desserts such as sheer khurma (a milky pudding that is made with vermicelli and saffron), kheer, phirni, shahi tukda, khlaja baklava or khlaja pheni. Post this, they pray Maghrib salat.

Special evening prayers called taraweeh are held during which portions from the Quran are recited. During the end of Ramadan, intense prayers take place during the Laylatul Qadr or the Night of Power, which is believed to be the holiest night of the year.

It generally falls on the 27th day of Ramadan and is a commemoration of the night when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhamad. The end of Ramadan is marked by Eid-ul-Fitr. Shawwal is the starting of the next month, and translated it means, ‘festival of breaking of the fast.’


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