The pronunciation and spelling of the word which is closest to the Arabic pronunciation is Ramadhaan. The month of Ramadhaan for this Hijrah year 1418H is expected to commence on 30 or 31 December 1997, as will be established by sighting of the moon. Allah has said in surat al-Baqarah, 2:189 (interpretation of the meaning):
"They ask you [O Muhammad ] about the new moons. Tell them they are signs for people to mark fixed periods of time and for the pilgrimage..."
so that they may fix their times of worship and other appointments.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:
"Begin fasting after sighting the moon."
One should note in comparing and contrasting the beginning of the month of Ramadhaan for this Hijrah year with the Gregorian date at that time. We will begin the Holy month of Ramadhaan in shaa' Allaah while the Christians will be celebrating New Year and Christmas. While we will be refraining from eating and drinking, in worship and obedience to the Lord of the worlds, they will be involved in the worst of all sins and malpractice. So Muslims should be warned against participating with them, and be sure to distance themselves from their imitation. May Allah guide us and you to the best.