Ramadan, called رَمَضَان in Arabic, is a month of fasting observed by the Islamic community worldwide through the exercise of great discipline (such as abstinence from food and drink) and devotion to prayer.
With 76.9% of the people in the UAE known to be Muslim, Ramadan is a big event that is recognized not only culturally but also by law. According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, normal working hours are reduced for the private sector during Ramadan.
With Ramadan coming this April 2, there are several ways to observe and celebrate it with your friends and family.
Practice Fasting in Ramadan
During Ramadan, anyone able and of the expected age (usually 14 and above) is encouraged to fast.
This means abstinence from different kinds of food and drinks from sunrise until sunset. Before sunrise, it is expected that Muslims eat a meal before fasting called a Suhur, Sahari, or Suhoor. At the end of the fast at sunset, the Iftar is held. Both the suhoor and iftar serve as substitutes for the traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
But fasting doesn’t just include your daily consumption. It means abstaining from negative behaviors too like partaking in vices or something simple as getting angry or having a fight. This shows that fasting is also a time for peace.
Have Meals with Friends and Family
It is customary to celebrate Ramadan with others and also to encourage them in the practice of self-reflection and discipline.
Because you have to get up early to eat before the fast at sunrise, it is good to have it with friends and family. Make sure to have enough fiber-rich food such as vegetables and whole grains. Get enough protein, too, to help keep yourself from getting hungry throughout the fast. The same bonding with others at the table is held at the iftar, the end of the day’s fast.
Rest and Prayers
Since work hours will be reduced for the period of Ramadan, there will be a lot of time to be spent bonding with family and friends on top of the prayers. Ramadan is a time of peace and religious observance.
During this period, many usually gather in mosques after nightfall to engage in a special prayer known as the Tarawih prayer or night prayer.
Engage in Charity for Ramadan
Ramadan is also a time to be looking out for your fellow brothers and sisters in need. Should there be an opportunity to help someone, don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand! The days of Ramadan become more blessed as you care for others.
Eid al-Fitr is an important religious holiday and starts at the end of Ramadan (it is held between May 2 – May 3). It is an occasion held to celebrate the end of Ramadan, the breaking of the fast.
Houses are usually decorated during these times and Muslims are encouraged to dress up in their best for the morning of the event. During this time, everyone hugs and greets each other with the phrase “Eid Mubarak” meaning a “Blessed Eid.”
It is also during the time of the Eid Al-Fitr that there would be a sighting of the crescent moon. So make sure to mark your dates when to go on sightseeing!
To Sum It Up
Ramadan is a special period for the Islamic community. Don’t miss out on what goes on from observing fasts to praying and celebrating with friends and family. Ramadan is a time of self-reflection, meditation, and bonding with others.