During the Holy Month of Ramadan, all Muslim faithful around the world who are in good shape are required to fast. The long fast during the month of Ramadan is done from dawn ’til dusk.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the the Islamic calendar; Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.
The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ,which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is fardh (“obligatory”) for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding. Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory (wājib) during the month of Sha’aban, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina. Fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with natural phenomenon such as the midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca.
DO’s and DON’Ts during the holy month of Ramadan
- No eating, drinking or smoking in public.
- Dress more modestly taking care to cover the shoulders, knees and chest area.
- Don’t play loud music in your home or car.
- No public displays of affection.
Things That Are Different:
- Some businesses change their opening hours.
- Some shops may close in the afternoon (1pm onwards) but most also stay open to later times.
- Rush hour time changes from 6pm till 2pm as most offices close at that time.
Tips for non-fasters:
- There are restaurants and cafes that have a special licence open during the day for non- fasters and these will be screened off from public view so it is still possible to eat outside your home. Most hotels have an outlet open during the day too.
- If you work most offices will implement an area for eating and drinking – don’t have coffee or water at your desk as it may disturb your colleagues.
- If you are pregnant you are exempt from fasting but it is polite to still be discreet. Same with children – they do not have to fast too but it is always best to be discreet.
- Your car is classed as a public place so definitely no smoking in there.
- You can also use restrooms in malls etc. to take a drink.
- Try and be patient with people who are fasting – it is tough and it is hot here. Ramadan is a time of peace and you should not shout or show anger.
- The roads do tend to become a little faster than normal just before Iftar time as people are rushing home to break their fast – take care or avoid driving at this time.
It is important to be aware and be knowledgeable about these things. Have a blessed Ramadan to all!
// List of things that you could do during the month of Ramadan.