There are two common greetings that are used during the holy month of Ramadan – Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Kareem.

They have slightly different meanings, and some Muslims prefer one of the greetings over the other. 

Ramadan Mubarak means to have a ‘blessed Ramadan’.

Ramadan Kareem is to wish someone a ‘generous Ramadan’, loosely translating to ‘may Ramadan be generous to you’.

Recently, scholars and Muslims generally have been moving away from using Ramadan Kareem, and using Ramadan Mubarak instead. There is a belief that the phrase Ramadan Kareem is inappropriate, as some Muslims feel that it goes against the teachings of Islam, as Ramadan itself cannot be generous. Only God is. Thus, when one says ‘Ramadan Kareem’, the response is ‘Allah Akram’, meaning, ‘God is more generous’. Al Kareem is one of the 99 names of Allah. According to Islamic teachings, ‘Allah is Al Kareem, meaning the one who is the most generous, bountiful and esteemed. He is The One whose kindness knows no bounds and continually gives precious gifts to whomever He wills. He is gracious in giving and forgiving’. Muslims refrain from using any of the 99 names of Allah to describe or name a person or anything besides Allah.

However, others argue that Ramadan Kareem is acceptable because it reflects the blessings that God gives to his followers during the month Ramadan.

Whether it’s Ramadan Kareem, Ramadan Mubarak or even Happy Ramadan, all Ramadan greetings are welcome!