Soon, we will be observing Ramadan in the UAE. This period marks the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. During this time, Muslims practice fasting from sunrise to sunset.
Based on Islamic belief, Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. For Muslims around the world, fasting during this period is considered as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Meanwhile, non-Muslims should also give importance to Ramadan by being aware of some dos and don’ts.
Guidelines to Observing Ramadan
During Ramadan, here are some of the things that you can DO:
DO – Use Ramadan greetings.
It is customary to use greetings like “Ramadan Kareem” as well as “Ramadan Mubarak” during this period. These indicate greetings of blessings and prosperity to the recipient.
DO – Respect your Muslim friends and colleagues.
Be mindful of your Muslim friends and colleagues who are fasting. During this period, it would be wise to eat and drink in a separate area, in consideration of their practice.
DO – Accept invitations to Iftar.
During Ramadan, Iftar is the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset. If you get invited to Iftar, it would be polite to accept the invitation and bring a small gift for your host.
DO – Dress appropriately.
In an earlier post, we have talked about the Dress Code in Dubai, which we should consider especially during Ramadan. When going to malls, parks, and other public places, both men and women should wear clothes covering their shoulders and knees.
Meanwhile, see to it that you DON’T do the following things during Ramadan:
DON’T – Eat, drink, or chew gum in public during the day.
Even if you are not fasting, you should be considerate of those who are. During this period, avoid eating, drinking, or chewing gum in public during the day. To be sure, check with your office about their rules during Ramadan.
DON’T – Smoke in public areas.
During this period, smoking is not allowed in public areas. Once again, check with your office about their rules to be sure, since most buildings have public smoking areas outside.
DON’T – Play loud music in public.
For Muslims, Ramadan is a period of reflection and contemplation. Hence, it would be wise to keep music down, especially in public. When playing songs in your house or in your car, be sure to keep the volume down.
DON’T – use offensive gestures or language.
Generally, you shouldn’t be using offensive words or gestures anytime, but this becomes even more important during Ramadan. Let us speak with politeness and respect at all times.
Ramadan is one of the most significant events in the Islamic calendar. By being mindful of the dos and don’ts during this period, we can show our respect to Islamic culture and practice. More importantly, we can express our solidarity with our Muslim friends and colleagues.