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Celebrating Ramadan: A Special Spiritual Occasion for Muslims

Updated on July 9, 2013
Ramadan Kareem is a greeting that means "Have a generous Ramadan".
Ramadan Kareem is a greeting that means "Have a generous Ramadan". | Source

Introduction

Ramadan is known to be a holy month of fasting of our Muslim friends and neighbors. However, Ramadan is more than that. It is about prosperity in the spirituality of the Muslims. It is an annual observance that happens on the ninth month of Islamic calendar which starts and ends depending on the crescent of the moon. Ramadan 2013 will start 10th of July till 7th of August.

Cultural Aspects

There is no symbol for Ramadan as written in the scriptures. Traditionally, displaying lanterns has become a symbol of this event.

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Activities of Muslims During Ramadan:

Muslims observe this sacred month annually. They have a lot of activities mainly fasting. Other than that, they indulge themselves to improve their spiritual aspects. They have activities such as giving, praying, and so on.

1. Fasting

No drinking, eating and sexual interactions during daytime. Daytime means the part of a day that the sun is up. Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes are strictly prohibited during this time. Most of them refrain from wearing make-up(especially lipstick) which somehow gives a taste that might tempt them to eat Some avoid to wear perfume too. When the sun sets, it’s the only time they can eat and drink. Most Muslim countries are strict on the residents at this time that drinking and eating are punishable by law.

2. Praying

Muslims normally pray 5 times a day. During Ramadan, it’s a chance for them to have devotional time. They pray and read Quran more intensively. Silence is spent in praying and reciting Quran. The family pray together as the parents teach their sons and daughters.

3. Charity

Ramadan is a season of sharing and giving. Some famous restaurants and establishments hold a charitable event this year like artworks sale where in all or a percentage of the proceeds are intended to charities. They gave their customers a chance for sharing their blessings. Some shops make a marketing strategy of letting their customers donate their old product (e.g. eyewear) then they will receive a high discount for buying a new one.

Some Muslims gave their colleagues (whether Muslim or Non Muslim) dates to eat. The first thing Muslims traditionally eat to break the fast is dates.

An advertisement of an optical shop promoting charity during Ramadan 2013.
An advertisement of an optical shop promoting charity during Ramadan 2013. | Source

4. Living in peace

It is more evidently practiced at this time for silent surroundings. Words are carefully said and people live in harmony. They refrain themselves for any kind of misunderstanding because it is a sacred time. Saying harsh words are not good at this time. They are focused in modulating everything they do.

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5. Family Bonding

It is a time to reunite with family and relatives. They share and give gifts to their loveones. They gather together for Suhoor and Iftars. Suhoor is a pre-fast meal while Iftar is the breaking of the fast. Ramadan sale or mid-year sale can be seen mostly in the market place since a lot of Muslims spend more in giving during this season. Most of the companies are in sale of up-to 70% discount.

Sweetened dates from a Muslim colleague who just have had a vacation in Saudi. Dates is one of the components in an Iftar meal during Ramadan.
Sweetened dates from a Muslim colleague who just have had a vacation in Saudi. Dates is one of the components in an Iftar meal during Ramadan. | Source

Ramadan Guide for Non Muslims

When you are a non Muslim residing in a Muslim country there are some guidelines that you need to follow.

Avoid eating and drinking in public

Eating and drinking in public during daytime of Ramadan is prohibited by law in most of the Muslim Countries. As a show of respect to our Muslim friends and neighbors, we should at least be aware of this. Avoid tempting them too so they can easily fulfill their fasting.

Wear long and conservative clothes

Women, avoid showing too much skin in public that will attract and caught the men's attention. Remember to avoid being a temptation. During this month, physical intimacy is strictly prohibited.

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Respect Silence

Muslims spend most of their time praying during Ramadan. We can show respect to them by not playing music aloud. Avoid shouting. Putting the volume of television in moderation. With these simple acts, they really appreciate a less sound pollution.

Be Patient

Our Muslim colleagues might look tired and weak during this time. Try to understand them to continue the work efficiently and effectively.

Shop at night time

Most of the shops starting from cold stores within the neighborhood to famous shops inside the malls are close at daytime. However, shops are open at night time till 1 am. Dining in and delivering food orders in restaurants have night timings too.

Trivia about work timings

Bahrain Labor Law No. 36 of 2013.

Article 51 states that a Muslim worker shall not be employed during the month of Ramadan for more than six hours in every day or thirty six hours a week.

Deal with change in business hours

Companies have different policies pertaining to business hours in office. Most of the companies let there employees-Muslims and Non Muslims to work only 6 hours straight each day within the Ramadan month. By law, Muslims are

So if you have to set a meeting and deal with an urgent matter, better ask your client or supplier's timing in their

Make a Wish

Wish is greeting your Muslim friends and colleagues a "Ramadan Kareem", which means "Have a Generous Ramadan".

You can greet them by sending greeting cards electronically via email or any social media like facebook.

Companies send wishes to public thru radio, television, magazines and billboards.


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A greeting card to wish your Muslim friends a "Ramadan Kareem"
A greeting card to wish your Muslim friends a "Ramadan Kareem" | Source

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    • Maricarmjolo profile image
      Author

      Maricar M. Jolo 4 years ago from Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      oh really? :D Thanks, I will update my hub.. Especially that Ramadan will start not today as what the calendar mentioned.. but Ramadan will start tomorrow according to my Muslim colleagues :D Wish you a Ramadan Kareem!

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Impressive hub on Ramadan. Voted up.

    • Maricarmjolo profile image
      Author

      Maricar M. Jolo 4 years ago from Jubail, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Thanks!

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 4 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      This is a well written Hub and contains valuable information. Unfortunately many people do not understand the many positives of the Muslim faith, and the beautiful lives of followers. Thank you.

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