The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.[Quran 2:185]
It is believed that the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan which has been referred to as the “best of times”. The first revelation was sent down on Laylat al-Qadr (The night of Power) which is one of the five odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. According to hadith, all holy scriptures were sent down during Ramadan. The tablets of Ibrahim, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and the Quran were sent down on 1st, 6th, 12th, 13th[note 2] and 24th Ramadan respectively.
According to the Quran, fasting was also obligatory for prior nations, and is a way to attain taqwa, fear of God.[Quran 2:183] God proclaimed to Muhammad that fasting for His sake was not a new innovation in monotheism, but rather an obligation practiced by those truly devoted to the oneness of God. The pagans of Mecca also fasted, but only on tenth day of Muharram to expiate sins and avoid droughts.
Abu Zanad, an Arabic writer from Iraq who lived after the founding of Islam,in around 747 CE, wrote that at least one Mandaean community located in al-Jazira (modern northern Iraq) observed Ramadan before converting to Islam.[not in citation given]
According to Philip Jenkins, Ramadan comes “from the strict Lenten discipline of the Syrian churches”.[dubious ] However, this suggestion is based on the orientalist idea that the Qur’an itself has Syrian origins, which was refuted by Muslim academics such as M. Al-Azam.