Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic Hijri calendar and is significant for being the month in which the Qur’an was revealed. The word Ramadhan occurs only once in the Qur’an. (2:185). In the same Ayat (2:185) it has the first mention of the word ‘Qur’an’ in the Mushaf. As the Qur’an was revealed in Ramadhan, it is interesting to note that the very month the Qur’an was revealed, (it’s mention) is the first time the word Qur’an is also used.
Ramadhan is taken from the word ramad which means that which is intensely or vehemently heated by the sun. And the word ramdhaa means the intense heat of the sun. [The Arabs used to say about] the sheep that they were ‘burned (ramidat) while they were grazing under the scorching heat of the sun to the extent that their livers became damaged (by the intense heat of the sun). Ramadhan was named such because it burns the sins of the believers. (Mufradat al-Qur’an by Imam ar-Raghib)
The first ayah of Qur’an revealed to the Prophet (saw) began in the month of Ramadhan, and specifically on Laylatul Qadr (link to page related to Laylatul Qadr). Additionally, the entire Qur’an descended from the preserved tablet to the lowest heaven during the month of Ramadhan, prior to being revealed to the Prophet (saw) in stages, over a period of 23 years.
With Qur’an being intrinsically linked with Ramadhan, it has been referred to as the month of Qur’an, as well as the month of fasting by the early generations and the connection with the Qur’an should be made stronger through increased recitation and reflection.
Ibn ‘Abbas narrates, saying, “The Messenger of Allah (saw) was the most generous person, and he would be at his most generous in Ramadhan because Jibril would come to him every night and he would study the Qur’an with him. Truly, when Allah’s Messenger (saw) would meet Gabriel, he would be more generous than a fleeting wind.”
Fasting was initially prescribed (2:183) in 2AH, before the battle of Badr, with the instruction of three days in every month, with the goal of gaining Taqwa, approximately a year later, the obligation of fasting the month of Ramadhan was revealed, along with the permissible exemptions for not fasting.
As Ramadhan is only mentioned once in the Quran, we learn some of the blessings of the blessed month through the narrations of the Prophet (saw):
“Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadhan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
“When Ramadhan enters, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the devils are chained.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Additionally, as with other acts of worship, guidance on how best to perform fasting has also been delivered through the Prophet (saw):
“Fasting is a shield; so when one of you is fasting he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice in anger. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: “I am fasting!”” (Muslim)