This was my first ever close experience with Ramadan and in the land of Dubai. So this article talks on everything about Ramadan Kareem.
The ninth month of the lunar calendar is marked by all Muslims over the world through a complete fast from dawn untill the sunset for the entire month. That is abstaining from the consumption of food, drinks, tobacco till the day light.
Ramadan is an arabic word , it’s the name of the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar.The word Ramadan stems from the Arabic word Al Ramad which means intense heat and dryness. The meaning also conveys the inner hardship felt by those who fast and also refers to burning away negativity.
This includes every part of the human body described as “Sawm”in Arabic that means “To Refrain”. So that not only applies to not having food & drinks during sunlight but one has to avoid looking at unlawful things ( referred as Haram ), never saying harsh words or using ill language or slander , not gossiping or listening to gossip, not going to illicit places.
The intend is to educate and purify soul , adherence to the rituals is an act of obedience. Fasting is one of the 5 pillars that teaches self discipline, sacrifice, humility and the importance of giving to those less fortunate.
So basically can be looked at the Muslims on the journey of self reflection that removes bad habits, strengthens family bond and encourages forgiveness through Islamic guidance and increased prayers.
So while I spoke of 5 pillars of Islam let’s go one by one for all
- Shahada ( Affirmation) : It’s the belief and a proclamation that there is no God but Allah. And Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) is the messenger of God.
- Salah ( Praying ): This 2nd pillar of Islam mandates 5 prayers a day facing the Kaaba in Makka. The times of the prayer are announced over loud speakers from the mosques.
- Zakat ( giving of aims ) Each Muslim is required to give or do charity in any form either by giving money or assets to the poor and needy . Zakat purifies the wealthby blessing it.
- Sawn ( Fasting ) that’s the closest thing we have know the Ramadan as, Fasting is observed as an obligation. And Muslims are required to refrain from eating or drinking anything from dawn to dusk. And that included the Saliva as well, they can’t gulp the saliva also.
- Haj ( pilgrimage) This is not achieved by all, all Muslims who are able , physically, and financially go to Makkah for Haj at least once in a lifetime. And this is like one of the most desirable thing for Muslims.
Preparing for Prayers
To Perform the Salah meaning prayers ,Muslims first have to do the ablution called wudu, one must wash and rinse the following
- Head and ears
After the feet are washed,one can start praying five times a day. And this 5 times a day prayers are obligatory.
I saw this word while I have stayed in Dubai hotels – Qiblah marked on the ceiling , indicating a direction.
In Salah , all Muslims worldwide face the Kaaba in Makkah, Saudi Arabia that’s where they go for Haz.The qiblah is the direction pointing to the Kaaba , a cube shaped building that is believed to be built by Prophet Ebrahim. And Muslims stand in rows behind the imam to offer prayers to leaders facing the Qiblah.
Rules of Fasting
- Muslims who are unwell or traveling are excused from fasting
- Cursing , cribbing ,lying ,backbitting may not break the fast but is not allowed.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding little ones or having their mensuration cycle are also exempted
- Those fasting must also abstain from sexual intercourse or smoking.
- In case someone skips a day or two of fasting then they must also make up for the day missed by selecting equal number if days to fast.
- Perfumes, brushing teeth ,eye drops do not break the fast.
- Miswak – made of twig of tree is recommended for brushing teeth.
- Care needs to be taken so that one does not swallow anything while brushing the teeth.
Guide for Non Muslims
This was my first time in a Muslims land during Ramadan , have seen over 30 Ramadan in my own country but never had a closer experience of Muslim culture than this one.
- Eating , Drinking or Smoking in Public or in car is not allowed. The designated areas are marked for non Muslims to have food and those areas are curtained or closed so that nothing is visible from outside during the Fasting hours
- Most of the Hindus are invited by the Muslim friends for Iftar parties that’s called the sunset meals
- Modest clothes are recommended in public . Shoulder and knees are to be covered. Avoid transparent clothes
- Listening to loud music is also to be avoided.
- Public display of affection such as kissing or hugging should be avoided.
- Wish your Muslim friends Ramadan Kareem when you meet them.
The restaurants let’s you eat inside during the day and after 7:30 all these places open up.most of the places host special iftar parties at a great price.
- You can’t drink in public and same is applicable for all kind of liquids including water.
- Water and food if carried in hand should be covered.
- Few Restaurants and coffee place let’s u eat inside but then all windows are covered
So if you happen to be in this land please take care of these things while you enjoy everything about this place.