Some of the festivals celebrated in the Islamic community are Eid-Al-Adha, Eid-Al-Fitr and Maulid Al-Nabi. The most important of them all is Eid-Al-Fitr which falls in the month of Ramadan. Many people around the world get together on this day to celebrate by breaking fast and reciting the Quran. Let’s find out more about this wonderful day and what it holds.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan (Ramazan) month is part of the lunar calendar followed by many Arab countries worldwide. This month is the most auspicious and important as it is when the Almighty revealed the holy Quran to the prophet Muhammad. He was given the Quran as “a guide for the people”. Reciting this alongside following the five pillars of Islam is believed to help people lead a prudent and mindful life.
Why is it important?
As we all know, in the 7th century, God unveiled the Holy book of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad. This was done so the Muslims could have a guide to righteousness and fulfilment in their life. It is believed by many that reading the Quran is one of the ways to get closer to God. It also includes following the “five pillars of Islam” that help people evolve alongside helping others do the same.
How is Ramadan Celebrated around the World?
Over 2 billion Muslims worldwide celebrate the month of Ramadan every year. The entire month is filled with the reading of the Quran, fasting, charity work, also known as Zakat and other religious activities. The end of the crescent moon, which usually falls on the 27th day, is when the festival ends. On this “Night Of The Power”, people get together and break their final fasts along with huge Eid feasts and prayers.
How Many Traditions are Involved in Ramadan?
Traditions are involved in Ramadan:
During this time, Muslims involve themselves in religious events and gathers. One of the oldest traditions is fasting. This is done daily with only two meals before sunrise and after sunset. It is believed that fasting helps us understand the importance of basic needs and their value.
Going to Mecca at least once in a lifetime is known to be sacred. As the month holds significance to revelations, the Hajj (visiting Mecca) is a way of showing solidarity and submission toward God.
People also organise and attend events. Huge events are conducted in regions like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Iran, etc. In each region, events are organised either to help other people (Zakat) or for the declaration of faith (Shahadah).
What do People do during Ramadan Throughout the Month?
The festive month includes various ways of contributing well to society and evolving as a human being. They include prayers, Sadaqah, Zakat, etc.
Even though Muslims pray five times a day almost every day, during the season of Ramadan, they do the same along with a special prayer called “Tarawih”. At nightfall, fellow worshippers gather in the Mosque. This prayer is supposed to wash away the past sins when done with faith.
2. Sadaqah & Zakat
The act of kindness and charity is never small or big. Even simple acts can mean the world to others. One of the reasons to fast during this time is to feel and relate to the less fortunate. After being in a similar situation during the fast, many people tend to connect and give back to the underprivileged. It can be anything from donations of food, clothes, toys, etc. Sharing your privileges with people who can not afford them is all that matters.
Mosque or Masjid is one of the few places where people from Islamic culture pray. As we already know that this festival is about praying alongside fellow believers together. Praying in such a manner is believed to make the prayer special.
” Praying in congregation is 27 times more fruitful than Solat (prayer) done individually.”
So particularly during the night, there will be a special prayer held, known as Tarawih. Even if people don’t pray five times a day in the Mosque, they tend to attend at least a few of the Tarawih prayers in the Masjid. Find out the most beautiful 5 Mosques to Visit in UAE & KSA During Ramadan.
The meal before sunrise is known as Sehri or Suhoor. This meal is consumed to help you sustain yourself throughout the day without becoming sick or ill. So this meal should include foods that have high protein, fibre, water. You must avoid oils, greasy dishes and sodium foods as they tend to cause thirstiness and upset stomach.
People generally say Dua for Suhoor before they start eating. Even though the prayer is not widely common, it is done chanted by the people who wish to do so. People can eat Sehri food till the “white thread” of dawn is visible. Once that is done, the fasting begins as a devotion to the almighty. Check for healthy meal tips by Rezeem
Once the sun sets in the month of Ramzan, people who were fasting the entire day begin to break their fast. This mainly includes foods such as dates, which is recognised as the food eaten by Prophet Muhammad to break his fast. Before eating, people usually say a Dua for breaking fast and end it with “Bismillah”. The prayer conveys your thankfulness for God’s support during the fast period. You can also order your Iftar to home from popular destinations or from the best food delivery platforms.
Things You Must Do During Ramadan 2022
Ramadan is all about cherishing and reconnecting with the Almighty. Besides this, it is also the perfect time to help your children and family learn more about their culture and religion. You can do that with the following ideas;
1. Home Decor
Ramadan decor is done to bring joy and high spirits within the family and community regarding the festival. It is essential to do this for the right reasons instead of peer pressure. In the Arab world, the Ramadan month is usually welcomed with the cleansing of the entire house and putting up the Ramadan decorations. You can use traditional Ramadan lanterns, lights, banners, etc. People also prefer purchasing new Ramadan furniture, dining sets, electronics, etc. Find more Ramadan Home Decor ideas
2. Ramadan Gifts
Showing your appreciation and love towards your family and friends is a good way to spend Ramadan. On this festival month, many Muslims exchange gifts as a way to show their love. You can see Ramadan gift baskets, perfume sets, furniture, electronics, sweets, luxury eatery, and others as presents. Some people also prefer making presents by hand like Ramadan greeting cards, decorations, wall hangings, etc.
3. Ramadan Family Iftar Parties
After saying a small Dua for breaking the fast, the entire family or friend group usually gets together to break their fast with huge feasts. Many families come together in one place and celebrate Ramadan Iftar parties. At the end of Ramadan, which is “Eid”, the biggest party of the month is thrown to enjoy this joyous occasion called Eid party.
One of the most important things when it comes to Ramadan grocery shopping is to plan ahead. Make a list of everything you do beforehand. Go through your fridge, consult your family members and write down all your essentials. If you find it difficult, you can read Rezeem’s blog article “Ramadan Grocery Shopping Tips, Plan & Purchase“.
Dates are the preferred foods to break the fast. Once that is done, people enjoy their Ramadan feast, including food items like kebabs, samosas, haleem, biryani, soups, fattoush, and more. But it is crucial to have a good Ramadan diet plan. Because of fasting, the stomach can get sensitive. As Muslims only consume two meals a day, not having unrequired or harmful foods is important. It is preferable to eat food with less grease, zero carbonated drinks, no caffeine and low sodium dishes. Check our tips to stay nourished
6. Classes for Kids
With children being so in tune with technology these days, why not help them learn more about their culture? Many online websites and mobile apps such as Lamsa and Rawy Kids offer such services. These apps are filled with Arabic stories and cultural content. Which not only helps them learn but also enjoys the videos’ colourfulness.
7. Ramadan Events & Tourism
In the month of Ramazan, the day does not involve many activities or events. But once the night falls, the streets are decorated with Fanoos lanterns, Bastas(street food vendors), night markets, and much more. Besides these tourists can also visit malls, historic centres like A Balad, restaurants, etc. Find out more about the events during Ramadan in GCC at “What are must visit sites during Ramadan in the Middle East”.
8. Clothes for Family & Near Ones
Purchasing Ramadan new clothes is a well versed custom for every festival. The public usually buys trendy “influencer Ramadan edits” for Iftar parties or gives clothing as a Ramadan gift. This year, you can purchase sustainable fashion for yourself or as a Ramadan present for your loved ones. Store such as The Giving Moment, COS and GAP. You can here find some of our Ramadan Edits Suggestions
9. Cruelty-free Makeup
Halal makeup or cruelty free beauty products are very popular these days. This is due to the advantage of keeping them during prayers and religious acts. You can see brands like Sephora, Faces Beauty, Victoria’s Secret and others launching such products. Find out more about what Ramadan makeup you can use this year at “40 Best Vegan and Cruelty Free Makeup Brands & Skincare Products“
Things not to Do during Ramadan for Muslims
There are many things that Muslims must not do or say during Ramazan month. This helps to make prayers more pure and fruitful. Some of them are:
1. Eating Food
The few hours of a fast is meant to remind Muslims of the less fortunate and the need to be thankful. Eating food is not completely prohibited. You can have two meals: Sehri (before sunrise) and Iftar (after sunset).
Even in regular day to day life for the public of Islam, alcohol is not allowed. It is considered even more of a taboo during the festive month.
There is no official statement stating the ban on cigarettes during fast. Many people believe smoking to be wrong because “Muslims shouldn’t be addicted to anything”, which technically includes smoking. This also has harmful effects on fasting as scientists have proven that smoking can cause less intake of Iftar or Sehri food.
4. Having Liquids
One should not consume any form of food or liquid during the fast period. As the whole idea is to be deprived of basic needs like food.
5. Language We Speak in
It is not appreciated during Ramadan as well as regular times to swear in public. It also includes talking about any temptations that will affect people’s Roza.
6. Any Sexual Activity
People can have sex during the month of Ramzan except for the period of fast. As we already know, the reason for Roza is to resist their natural needs. So individuals can eat, sleep, have intercourse after the fast.
Tips for Non-Muslims to Follow During Ramadan
Tip 1: No Eating, Drinking or Smoking!
Non-Muslims do not have to fast in Ramadan. Although, they are not allowed to eat, drink, chew gum and smoke during the fasting hours.
Tip 2: Engage in Any Aggressive Behaviour
Try not to aggravate a situation with aggressive behaviour. As many Muslim community people participate in religious acts in the month, such behaviour is not accepted.
Tip 3: Play or Listen to Music in public
As listening to music is considered a part of the pleasure, it is not allowed for Muslims. It means people of other religions are also not allowed to play loud music. They can listen to it with earphones or inaudible sounds.
Tip 4: Wear Appropriate Clothing in Public
People, especially women, cannot wear inappropriate clothing, including coverage of knees, shoulders and cleavage.
Tip 5: No Swearing
Swearing is generally considered blasphemy. But in Ramzan, it is taken to be extra offensive.
Tip 6: Try Not to Refuse Invitations to Iftar or Gifts
If you are given a gift or invitation, try and accept it. It is a very sacred thing for Islamic people. Though it is from a stranger, it is good to accept.
Tip 7: Avoid Public Display of Affection
Public display of affection is not allowed for everyone. It includes hand-holding, kissing, and any inappropriate touching.
Changes You Observe During Ramadan in Most Countries in the Middle East
1. Working Hours
The public tends to fast during the entire month of Ramazan. Which means they have to break their fast as soon as the sunset. Considering this reason, many offices and schools allow an early start and an early end to workdays.
2. Opening Hours of Restaurants
People who fast follows the ritual of eating Sehri before sunrise. To be part of this and aid in this religious act, many restaurants open early and do not close until late into the dawn.
3. Opening Hours of Grocery Shops and Malls
The Majority of the grocery stores and malls in the Middle East will be open 24/7. Besides these, other businesses open from as early as 9 AM to as late as 3 AM.
4. Parking Timings
Many regions, including Sharjah and Dubai, offer free parking during the Taraweeh prayer. It is only allowed for the parking places near the Mosque. People will be charged regular parking from 8 AM to midnight.
5. Fasting and Driving Behaviour
Because many people will be fasting during the daytime, a large sum of restaurants will be either closed or open later in the day.
One of the times you can notice huge traffic on streets is after sunset as people rush to home or Mosque to break their fast. Prayer time is also one the top as many people travel to a nearby mosque to pray.
6. Availability of Taxis
The availability of taxis is not affected as much during the day. But in the evening, it is challenging to find taxis due to the Iftar time and rush.
Sales & Gift Vouchers During Ramadan
1. Special Souk Shopping
Souk markets are the go-to places when it comes to binge shopping. During the festive season, you can find special Ramadan Souk markets all around the Middle East. When it comes to UAE, Saffron Souk is a must visit place. They have everything from baby clothes to furniture and more. Similarly, you can find night markets with food stalls, clothing shops, games, cultural events, and more. Some of the other best Souks in the Middle East are Souk Al Mubarakiyah, Spice Souk, Gold Souk, Old Bazaar and Souk Jara.
2. Special Discounts on Malls
Besides the regular discounts provided by online stores, malls in the Middle East have retail stores that host huge sales that go upto 90%. Malls such as The Dubai Mall, Alhamari Tower & Mall in Kuwait, Red Sea Mall in Jeddah and many others have such amazing offers in branded stores. Here people can find luxury labels like H&M, Noon, Ajmal, Bloomingdale’s, etc. So shop all your Ramadan essentials and special Eid collection right here!
3. Discounts During Online Shopping
The best part about Ramadan online shopping is the huge price drops on all products. You can shop for Ramadan home decor, furniture, lights, fashion, beauty, electronics, etc. All these can be seen at a discount of upto 95% at stores like Noon, 6th Street, Amazon, Cartlow, Azadea, Namshi and Sephora. Along with such incredible Ramadan offers, the retailers also provide cashback offers, free shipping, express delivery, and Ramadan gifts.
4. Exclusive Discounts at Coupon Sites
On websites such as Rezeem, you can find exclusive Sivvi codes, Carrefour promo codes and NowNow coupon codes that can save you upto 40% on your purchase. The exclusive codes ensure flat discounts without any delay or false information. All you have to do is use Noon discount codes from Rezeem and apply at the checkout page to get additional savings!
5. Win Voucher through Ramadan Contests
To make this event more special, many stores such as Noon, VogaCloset and Amazon offer unique chances to win discounts. You can win anything from free $100 vouchers to iPhone and more. Find out about all these at your one-stop destination, “Rezeem”.
What can you not wear during Ramadan?
Modest clothing is especially crucial to wear during the month of Ramadan. Both men and women must follow this style of clothing. Women must have their bodies covered, including knees and shoulders. Swimwear such as bikinis on public beaches is allowed.
Can you have a shower while fasting?
People are allowed to shower during fasting as long as they do not swallow any water during their shower.
Does listening to a music break your fast?
Listening to music does not break your fast. But as the main reason to fast is to spend the entire month dedicated to God, engaging in entertainment tends to be distracting.
Can I brush my teeth with toothpaste while fasting?
Ramadan month is all about remembering God and praying to him. It would not be good to do so without maintaining hygiene. You can brush your teeth, but do not swallow the paste or remanent at any cost.
Who cannot pray during the holy month of Ramadan?
Some people exempt from fasting are pregnant women, sick individuals (mental or physical), older adults, pre-pubescent children, and women in their menstrual period.
What is the best Ramadan diet plan for weight loss?
The best way to lose weight in Ramadan is to plan out your meals. Make sure you are taking equal quantities and qualities of food. It must include protein, carbohydrates, water and fibre. You should avoid sugar, oily foods, salt, large portions of food, etc. Along with these, you can also add small workouts and a balanced liquid intake.