Ramadan and Christmas: What are the similarities and differences?

Ramadan and Christmas are the two most famous periods in religious calendars and they have some similarities and differences.  Ramadan is a month of fasting while Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth, Ramadan is celebrated at different times of the year while Christmas is fixed.   Ramadan is a time for introspection and Christmas is a time for family.

We list in the table below some more similarities and differences:

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Why is Ramadan observed?

Ramadan is observed for a full lunar month and is a time for fasting and prayer for Muslims, following the command of Allah in the Quran which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad.  It has been practiced for over 1400 years.

a holy book, ramadan and christmas

Why is Christmas celebrated?

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus by Christians who see him as the Son of God and a gift to mankind.  It has been observed for around  2000 years.

How are Ramadan and Christmas similar and different?

Ramadan Christmas
Celebrated by MuslimsCelebrated by Christians and many non-Christians
A month of fasting to gain nearness to AllahCelebration of the birth of Jesus
Celebrated at different times of the year following the lunar calendarSet time of the year in December
Each person reflecting on the sins committed and asking forgiveness for them   Thankful that sins are automatically forgiven by Jesus’ sacrifice
A time for introspectionA time for family
A time for giving charity to the poorA time for giving to family and friends  
A spirit of compassionA spirit of compassion
The masjids are full throughout the monthThe churches are full on Christmas Day but the shops are full until then  
A time to connect with the LordA time to connect with family
A month of fastingA time to eat, drink and be merry’
Self restraintOver indulgence
Extra effort for worshipExtra effort for giving gifts
Decrease in food intakeIncrease in alcohol intake

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