Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslin Calendar (lunar), during which Muslims will fast during the hours of the day (no food, or water, or tobacco or sexual relationships) for 28 consecutive days, from sunrise to sunset, and the fast is obligatory for every adult Muslim (exception is made for the sick, the travelers, children and pregnant women).

With the arrival of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate one of the most important and special event for them. “The Night of Power”. The night in which the Sacred Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, and thus began his mission as a Prophet of Allah. Together with the Feast of the Lamb, this is a deep-rooted religious act. With the passing of time, it has become a tradition which has very strong popular support.

In every city of Morocco everyone complies with the prohibitions set upon them during Ramadan. In Asilah, due to the fact that it is a tourist city, the non-Muslims can carry on with their lives as normal, though, on some occasions, the sale of alcohol in authorized restaurants is restricted; other restaurants take advantage of this opportunity to go on their annual holidays.

During this month, everyday life undergoes a profound and visible change. Business and industrial activity slows down during fast, the sales of food products rise (the supermarkets, the markets, the souks are swarming with women shopping and nothing stays the same after the breaking of fast. Before the breaking of fast everybody is in a hurry and nervous. Afterwards, the streets are empty and after the first and abundant meal they fill up again with families taking a stroll and enjoying the first hours without sun.

In the year 2010, Ramadan will start on August 11th and will end September 9th. It is, without a doubt, the best time for those travellers wishing to visit Morocco and willing to experience the deep change that takes place in the habits and customs of the population during the time of fast and after the sirens herald the end of fast.

Although Moroccans love going to the beach, they will not go, during the month of Ramadan (even if it falls in August) because, during the day hours, they must avoid any vision that might disturb or corrupt their sexual fast. Thus, the beaches, otherwise full of  people on the hottest days, are almost deserted, except for the presence of some non Muslin tourists.

When does it begin?.The fasting begins with the sighting of the Moon at the end of the “sha´ban” (the eight month of the Islamic lunar calendar). The Prophet says (PB): “Begin the fast on sighting the moon and break the fast likewise at its sight. If the moon is obscured from you, due to an atmospheric cause, then finish the month of Ramadan by counting thirty days. Likewise, at the beginning of the month of Ramadan one should count thirty days of “sha´ban” if the moon is not visible”.

The pillars of fasting: The pillars of fasting in Islam during Ramadan or other months are the following: 1) abstaining from all the things that nullify fasting (drink, food or sexual intercourse) from dawn till sunset. 2) having the intention of fasting. One must have the intention of doing so, present in the mind and in the heart, without having to say anything with the tongue (of articulating anything specific), and it must be before the “fayr” (the start of the time of the first prayer of the day) and it can be recited daily or for the whole month from the beginning.

Who must fast?: Fasting is compulsory for every, sane and healthy adult Muslin, male or female. As for the woman, she must not be menstruating nor having post-natal breeding. Therefore, fasting is not compulsory for the insane, for minors, or for the woman who is menstruating or is having post-natal breeding, who is pregnant or is a nursing mother and fears for the life of her child, or for the elderly weak.

Fasting for children under age of puberty is not compulsory, but Muslims advise the parents to encourage them to do so, so that they get used to its hardships and when they are older they can fast without much difficulty. Naturally, they must be physically fit and can fast without any adverse consequences.

Who are allowed to break the fast in Ramadan and pay the compensation?:

- The elderly weak whose health can deteriorate.
- The person who is chronically ill and can´t make up for the days she missed fasting.
- The persons who have hard jobs and can´t find any other job less hard, as for example the blacksmith.

All the above mentioned cases are obliged to give food, as compensation, to a poor person every day he did not fast and does not have to make up for it.

Who are allowed to break the fast during the Ramadan and have to make up for those days they missed?:

  • The sick whose health can deteriorate with fasting and there is hope of a recovery from illness.
    In those cases when a severe hunger or thirst can cause real physical enjury.
  • As for the traveler, he is allowed to break his fast when he travels the same distance that allows him to shorten the obligatory prayers and recite them all together. That is, the Duhur with the Ásr2 and 2 Rak’ats instead of 4 and 4; the Magrib prayers with Ísha´s 3 and 2 instead of 3 and 4 Rak´ats.

In the following cases fasting is forbidden and one has to make up for the days they missed fasting:

Fasting is prohibited for women who are menstruating or having post-natal breeding, as well as prayers, and they have to make up for the days they missed but not the prayers (the dervish has to make up for the days she missed fasting).

Duties that have to be observed while fasting:

- As-suhur: to partake of predawn meals, always before the Fayr, however small were the food or drink taken, even if it were a little drink, the time extends from midnight until the moment of the prayer, before the first light of the dawn, with the intention of fasting present in the mind, because the “suhur” is a blessing and Prosperity as the Messenger of Allah says (s.a.w.)
- To break fasting immediately after sunset and at the beginning of magrib´s prayer: as the Prophet says:”Men will be in the right as long as they don´t delay the breaking of the fast after sunset”.
- To pray and implore at the moment of breaking the fast:for example, the Prophet said (s.a.w.): “The thirst is quenched, the veins were hydrated, and so received the reward with God´s permission”.
- To abstain from everything that morally contradicts fasting: because fasting is a great school of discipline and doctrine, spiritual as well as moral, because it is not just limited to abstaining from eating or drinking, but also from every bad word, bad act or bad thought. The person who is fasting, if he is insulted or attacked should be lenient with the aggressor, and should avoid all kind of obscenities.
- The use of the “siuák” during fasting: it is a chip of wood from a branch of a very special tree that is found on the Arabian peninsula and has many beneficial effects for the teeth, the gums and the mouth. It is used as a toothbrush.

Be generous: a Muslim must be always generous but more so during the month of Ramadan
Increase your reading of the Sacret Qur’an: during the Ramadan, the month in which the Qur’an was revealed. It should be recited  more frequently than in the other months. Besides, the Prophet said: “Fasting and the Secret Qur’an will intercede in favour of the servant on the Day of Judgment”
Increase the practices: specially on the last ten days of the month of Ramadan,as the Prophet used to do.

Things and acts that are allowed during the time of abstinence:

- Bathing, taking a shower, swimming as long as one does not swallow anything through the mouth or the nose.
- To put the Kuhl or eyewash in the eyes, whether as drops or cream, etc. The Khul is a type of natural face mask (black natural dust) and is used on the edges of the eyelids, either as treatment for some eye disease or as beauty treatment.
- The kiss: kissing another person, like a man kisses his wife or vice versa, but without reaching orgasm or ejaculating semen.
- Injections, whether intramuscular, subcutaneous or intracutaneous injections, as long as they are not nutritional (solely medicinal and not nutritional).
- Vein puncture (bleeding) used as treatment for some diseases.
- To rinse the mouth with water or to inhale water through the nose during the ablutions and spitting it out again, with the purpose of cleaning the mouth and the nostrils.
- To swallow unavoidable things such as one`s own saliva, or the dust (in some jobs).
- The use of suppositories, whether anal or vaginal.
- The use of eau de Cologne, perfumes and make up.
- To eat, to drink and to have sexual intercourse from the time of breaking fast (sunset) till abstinence (sunrise).
- It is allowed to delay the “Gusl” (the main ablution) till after sunrise for those women who were menstruating or having post-natal bleeding and were free of it the previous night.  

 Things and acts that invalidate the fast and make it necessary to make up for the missing fast:

- To eat and to drink intentionally. However, to eat and to drink without realizing that it was a fast doesn´t invalidate it, but once she realizes this she has to abstain and finish the day fasting.
- Intentionally vomiting. If he vomits unintentionally, he doesn´t have to make up for it.(his fast is still intact) .
- Menstruation or post-natal bleeding, even if it begins at the end of the day (before sunset) one must make up for it.
- Intentional masturbation, either by hand or by any other mean, hugging, kissing or caressing his wife.
- To have the intention of having breakfast, even if one hasn’t had any food or drink that break the fast.
- To eat, to drink, or to have sexual intercourse, believing that the sun had set, or that the sun had risen, but later on he realizes that it was not so. In the case of having sexual intercourse during abstinence, fasting of that day is annulled and it is necessary to do what in Islam is known as “kaffárah”.

The “kaffárah” consists of fasting during two consecutive months (if it were posible), or providing food for 60 poor persons if he cannot fast, or to set free a slave if he cannot fast or provide food for 60 poor persons. If a married couple has sexual intercourse voluntarily, both of them have to do “kaffárah”. However, in the case of a woman been forced by her husband, she doesn´t have to do “kaffárah”. If he commits the same act another day, he will have to do another “kaffárah”, and in the event of doing it twice the same day he has only to do one “kaffárah”, as each day is considered to be independent from the others.

To recuperate for the fasting days missed during the month of Ramadan:

One has a lot of time at his disposal to make up for the fasting days missed or annulled during the month of Ramadan, (from  the time when the actual month of Ramadan finishes till the beginning of the next one), and so, he doesn´t have to do it immediately after the said month.

One has to make up for the fasting days missed during the month of Ramadan, but it doesn´t have to be done on consecutive days (in the event that there is more than one day): it can also be done on alternative days.

Should the month of Ramadan of the following year arrive without having made up for the missing fast days, the person will fast that month and will make up the missed days later on. Should he die and had missed fast days of Ramadan, these could be made up either by his “ualy” (a relative in charge of doing so) or by one of his inheritors. In this context fasting is different from prayer, because prayer cannot be made up by any other person.

The night of the decree (Lailat-ul-Qadr):

The arrival of the month of Ramadan brings with it one of the most important and special events, not just real but also symbolic, to the Muslims: Lailat-u-Qadr, the night of the decree. This is the night in which Muhammad received his first revelation of the Sacred Qur’an, and thus began his mission as Prophet and Messenger of Allah. This fact on its own is cause of great rejoicing for Muslims.

There are two types of fasting:

Compulsory fasting (Fard). The fasting during the month of Ramadan.
The fasting of the “Kaffàrah”
The fasting of “Nadr” or the promises that one makes to oneself  before God.
The voluntary fasting (Nafl)


During the whole month the Muslins observe the fasting (sawm) with celebrations and related rituals.

On the 10th of Ramadan Jadiya died, wife of the prophet Mahamma and first Muslim.
On the 15th of Ramadan Husayn ibn Ali was born, son of Ali ibn Abi Talib the first Muslim.
On the 17th of Ramadan the battle of Badr took place, between the first Muslims and their enemies of the Mecca.
On the 21st of Ramadan Ali ibn Abi Talib the first Muslim and fourth Caliph died.
On the 27th of Ramadan, according to tradition, the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad. In its memory, the Night of Destiny is celebrated in Islam.

According to the Islamic tradition, other revelations took place during the month of ramadan: on the 2nd day, the Torah was revealed to Moses; on the 12, the biblical teachings of Jesus (Isa), and on the 15th the psalms of David.


The feeling of nervousness of  the last hours previous to the break of fast (sunset) makes it advisable not to drive along secundary roads. Accidents multiply.