What do Ramadan Mubarak and Maradan Kareem mean, how are the greetings different and when should you say them?

AS we enter the month of Ramadan you may be hearing "Ramadan Kareem" and "Ramadan Mubarak" a lot.

The phrases have different meanings and are used at different times.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is a period of fasting observed by Muslims across the globe to celebrate "the best of times".

It celebrates the first time the Koran was revealed to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief.

Fasting is only obligatory for healthy adult Muslims, anyone who is suffering from an illness, travelling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating are exempt from the practice.

The fasting period, during which Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink, is from dawn to sunset and Muslims engage in increased prayer activity.

Muslims often try and practice an increased self-discipline during the month of Ramadan.

In 2018 it starts on the evening of May 15 and ends in the evening of June 14

What are the greetings in Arabic and English?

Ramadan Mubarak translates to mean either "blessed Ramadan" or "happy Ramadan".

Ramadan Kareem means "may Ramadan be generous to you" but there is some debate as to if it should be used during Ramadan.

The greetings are different as Ramadan Mubarak offers a blessed or happy Ramadan to the person it is exchanged with.

Whereas Ramadan Kareem has debate around its use as it asks Ramadan to be generous to the other person.

Saudi Arabian scholar Sheikh Al-Uthaymeen told the Express: “It should be said ‘Ramadan Mubarak’, or whatever is similar to it, because it is not Ramadan itself that gives so that it can be kareem (generous), in fact it is Allah who placed the grace in it, and made it a special month, and a time to perform one of the pillars of Islam.”

Ramadan Mubarak is the most commonly used of the two as it was originally used by the prophet Muhammad

However, others believe using Ramadan Kareem is fine because they say the phrase represents the blessings that Allah gives his followers during the month.

Both greetings can be used throughout the whole month of Ramadan but Ramadan Murbarak tends to be the more commonly used of the two.

What do you say at the start of Ramadan?

Typically, the start of the month is welcomed with greetings such as "Ramadan mubarak!"

On the last day of Ramadan, which is Eid-al-fitr, the greeting changes to “Eid Mubarak.”

The last day of Ramadan in 2020 will be 23 May.

 

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