Useful Phrases For Ramadan In Arabic, Indonesian And Turkish

If you’re not very familiar with Ramadan, these phrases can be a great place to start learning.
The waxing crescent moon, which marks the beginning of the month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is a holy month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It is important to Muslims all over the world, and many observe it by fasting from sunrise until sunset. People who observe the fast may wake up before dawn to eat early, before abstaining from food and water until sunset. Then, at sunset, Muslims will break their fast, which is an occasion for family, friends and the community to get together. After the end of Ramadan is a major Muslim holiday: Eid al-Fitr, or “Holiday of Breaking the Fast,” when people gather to celebrate with food.

Because the month of Ramadan is based on the Islamic, or Hijri, calendar, it doesn’t align exactly with any specific month on the Gregorian calendar. It’s instead based on the phases of the moon, and only has 354 or 355 days in its year. That means that Ramadan moves forward each year. In 2024, it is expected to begin the evening of March 10 and extend to April 9, while in 2025 it is expected to begin March 1, and then February 18 the year following.

If one of your family members, friends or someone in your community is practicing Ramadan this year, we’ve collected a few phrases you can use in Arabic, Indonesian and Turkish. It’s important to remember that Islam is one of the largest religions in the world — with close to 2 billion adherents — and so not everyone may be observing the month in the same way (and there are many more languages spoken in the Muslim world than just these three). Still, these phrases are a good way to recognize an important time of year.

Arabic Phrases For Ramadan

Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the Muslim world, and it’s the language of the Holy Qur’an. Because of that, even non-Arabic speaking Muslims will know at least some of the language, and it’s very commonly used in greetings for Ramadan. Here are a few of those phrases, written in both the Arabic script and in its Romanization.

  • افطار (“Iftar”) — This phrase means “break fast” but don’t let the resemblance to English “breakfast” fool you, this refers to the meal eaten in the evening after the sun goes down. While the exact foods eaten during iftar vary from country to country and person to person, one of the most common things to find are تمر, “dates.” The date has a long association with Ramadan, both for religious and practical reasons (their sugars and vitamin content make for a healthy way to break the fast).
  • رمضان مبارك (“Ramadan Mubarak”) ‏— This phrase means “Blessed Ramadan,” and is said to greet someone who is observing Ramadan.
  • ‏رمضان كريم (“Ramadan Kareem”) — A similar phrase, “Generous Ramadan” is used to wish someone a generous and fulfilling month of Ramadan.
  • تقبل الله (“Taqabbal Allahu”) — This is a common phrase to say during Ramadan, and it means “May God accept your fasting/prayers.”
  • ‏كل عام وأنتم بخير (“Kullu ‘am wa antum bi-khayr”) — This phrase translates to “May every year find you in good health.” It is a greeting commonly said on Eid — the holiday right after Ramadan ends — which is a day dedicated to celebrating the efforts people made during the month of Ramadan, essentially wishing good health and prosperity. A slightly shorter Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, which is a way of saying Happy Eid!

Turkish Phrases For Ramadan

Islam is the most practiced religion in Turkey, and so there are a number of phrases in Turkish that are used around Ramadan. It’s worth noting that in Turkish, the fasting month is written as Ramazan.

  • Iftar — This word is taken from Arabic, and it refers to the breaking of the fast that happens at sunset.
  • Hayırlı Ramazanlar — While you may hear Ramazan mübarek or Ramazan kerim, which are Turkish versions of the first two Arabic phrases above, this phrase meaning “Auspicious Ramadan” is a more distinctly Turkish greeting during the fasting month.
  • Ramazan ayımız mübarek olsun — A more formal phrase, this means “May our month of Ramadan be blessed.”
  • Allah kabul etsin — Literally “May God accept” but this phrase in the context of Ramazan means “May God accept your fast.”

Indonesian Phrases For Ramadan

Indonesia is another country with a largely Muslim population, and it has its own set of phrases associated with Ramadan.

  • Buka puasa — This short phrase means “to open the fast” and is the Indonesian name for the iftar (the meal eaten after sunset).
  • Selamat menunaikan ibadah puasa — “We wish you a happy fasting month.” This phrase is usually used in the days preceding the beginning of the month of fasting.
  • Selamat berpuasa — This is just a shorter version of the phrase above, so it’s used in the same way.
  • Marhaban Ya Ramadan — This translates to “Welcoming Ramadan.” This is a very commonly used phrase, similar to saying “Happy Ramadan!”
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