How do I wish someone happy Ramadan 2023?

Ramadan 2023 starts on the evening of March 22, as Muslims in the UK and around the world observe their holy month. 

It is a time of worship, fasting, prayer, charity, community spirit and spiritual development.

During the month, practicing Muslims refrain from eating and drinking anything from dawn until sunset. 

They will have a pre-fasting breakfast before the sun is up, and a post-fasting dinner at night time.

For non-muslims, there are plenty of ways you can support friends, family and co-workers who are practicing fasting for Ramadan.

Here are the ways you can wish people a happy Ramadan, plus the things you should avoid saying to someone fasting during the month… 

Each year, Muslims in the UK and around the world celebrate Ramadan. Pictured: Muslims sharing a meal after prayer on Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan in May 2022 in Basra, Iraq

How do I wish someone happy Ramadan?  

During the month of Ramadan, many Muslims wish each other ‘Ramadan mubarak’ which means ‘blessed Ramadan’.

Another term which is often used during the month is ‘Ramadan kareem’ – translating to ‘generous Ramadan’. 

Both of these phrases derive from Arabic origins, while other nations with a high Muslim population throughout Asia and Africa have their own dialects to wish people a happy Ramadan.

When the end of the fasting month is reached and Eid approaches, the greeting changes to ‘Eid mubarak’, which means ‘blessed Eid’.

Things you SHOULDN’T say to someone fasting for Ramadan

‘What a great way to lose weight’

Ramadan isn’t about losing weight to shape up for your summer holiday, it’s a religious period marking the ninth month of the Islamic year.

Observing the period of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and fasting is intended to strengthen “taqwa”, which can be translated as God consciousness. 

In addition to boosting spiritual discipline, abstaining from food and drink reminds the one fasting to be grateful of God’s bounties.

‘Come to a lunch meeting!’ 

While some muslims practicing Ramadan might not mind attending a lunch event for work, it can be offensive to insist on asking someone who is fasting to attend an event centred around food during daylight hours.

Ibrahim Hooper from the Council on American-Islamic Relations explained to Business Insider that many Muslims are happy to answer questions about Ramadan from people who are curious to learn, however it is important not to overstep the mark.

‘Why aren’t you fasting?’ to a woman  

There are lots of reasons why people might not be fasting for Ramadan, including health conditions which make some muslims exempt, so overall, it is best not to pry too much if you notice someone isn’t practicing the fast.

In particular, some women do not fast while they are on their period, which may well be something they wish to keep to themselves.

If you notice someone you know who would usually fast is not doing so, it is best not to ask the question, to avoid veering into sensitive territory.

‘Can you not even drink WATER?’ 

As part of the fast, muslims refrain from lots of things including food, drink and sexual relations.

This includes all drinks, as well as water. While it likely wouldn’t cause offence to ask someone this question, many muslims practicing Ramadan have likely been asked this question dozens of times before.