The ninth month of the Islamic Calendar is Ramadan. The Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and is a time for fasting and charity. Ramadan is a time of prayer and spiritual cleansing. Ramadan is the holiest month of the Islamic Calendar as it is believed that the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan.
Ramadan For Muslims
Adult Muslims who are physically capable re required to Fast from sunrise until sunset throughout Ramadan. Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking and smoking during the fast. Sinful Speech and behavior are also not allowed during Ramadan.
Muslims with Health Problems and illness, Pregnant Women are not obliged to fast upon the instructions of a Health professional. Children are not obligated to fast.
5 daily prayers are prayed every day in addition to Tarawih Prayers daily and after Isha Prayers in mid-evening during Ramadan.
The Reason for Fasting
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and by observing the fast The soul is spiritually cleaned by cleansing impurities through fasting and prayers. Ramadan also focuses on Charity, Sacrifice, and Empathy.
Fasting also promotes Charity and Coming together of the Community and special initiatives by the government and many organizations promote charity throughout the community as a means of sharing the Ramadan Spirit to the less fortunate.
A Day during Ramadan for Muslims
A typical day during Ramadan for Muslims starts at Suhoor, The Early Meal before dawn. During daybreak, Muslims observe the Siyam or the Fast. As the Sun sets Muslims to break the fast with the Iftar.
During the evening the night prayers, Isha, and extended night prayers are offered the Taraweeh.
Changes in Work Hours and Business Hours on Ramadan
The Working hours during Ramadan is shortened by two hours and is enforced by Federal Law no.8 of 1980. Work Schedules are reduced to allow Muslims to devote the afternoon to prayers and reading the Holy Quran.
The Business hours of most Restaurants changes and generally adhere to the time of fasting. Most Restaurants are closed during the day and are open at evenings.
Most groceries and Malls open at their usual time and mall hours are extended during Ramadan.
Traditions During Ramadan
Tents near Mosques. Open fields and in front of houses are commonly seen during Ramadan. The Tents highlight the sense of community and reflects the spirit of charity and sharing as people from different backgrounds, status, and financial backgrounds sit together to break the fast.
Ramadan For Non-Muslims
During Ramadan, Non-Muslims are asked to respect the fasting Muslims by observing strict rules and policies.
Non-Muslims are not required to observed Fasting but are prohibited from eating, drinking and smoking in public during fasting hours. Drinking water and even chewing gum is strictly prohibited. At work, Non-Muslims have special rooms to eat discreetly away from fasting Muslims
Listening to Loud Music in public and other forms of entertainment is prohibited to avoid disturbing the solemn prayers.
Non-Muslims are asked to avoid wearing revealing clothes and to dress appropriately
When visiting malls and public places during Ramadan. Non-Muslims are required to dress more modestly during Ramadan.
It is considered appropriate professional etiquette to adjust and shorted business hours with Muslims to respect them during fasting. It is best practice to schedule important meeting earlier in the day and avoid scheduling business calls during lunch and the afternoon.
Excessive display of public affection is not allowed during Ramadan and is considered disrespectful and indecent. Kissing, excessive body contact such as hugging and cuddling is highly discouraged.
Non-Muslims are expected to be on their best behavior at all times and refrain from rude speech or rude signs. Drinking alcohol and wandering around Drunk in the streets is strictly not allowed especially during Ramadan.
Non-Muslims are required to refrain from making jokes and discussing negatively religion and Islam, Discussing Negative views about the country and most importantly against the royal family.
Non-Muslims are encouraged to uphold the Ramadan Spirit by being charitable and friendly to the less fortunate.
Things to Consider during Ramadan
Parking and Public Transportation
During Ramadan, there is a shift in schedules and Timing with Parking for your Ezhire vehicle and changes in schedule for Public Transport. To avoid inconvenience with public transport it is best to rent an EzHire vehicle during Ramadan.
For Private vehicle Parking, Drivers can park free near Mosques and Paid parking times is split from 9am to 2m and 9pm to 2:30am
For Public Transportation, Bus services are generally suspended in between 6pm and 8:30pm but each State has several different schedules so it is wise to consult when traveling public transport during Ramadan.
For Private Vehicles driving during Ramadan, it is important to be extra careful especially when driving during peak hours with your Ezhire Vehicle as most people are tired and exhausted from fasting and due to lack of sleep.
Taxis will be harder to hail during the evening as most drivers are breaking fast.
Accident occurs more during Ramadan than any other time of the year so it is wise to take extra precaution when driving and plan trips to avoid peak hours.
Restaurants and Eating in Public
Most of the Restaurants will be closed during fasting hours but a few are open especially to those who cater to Non-Muslims and Restaurants do serve food to be eaten privately or at home.
Most nightclubs will be closed for Ramadan, however, some Bars and Pubs are open and will only serve alcohol during the evening. Loud Music is not allowed even in the bars. Great care is to be taken when consuming alcohol as appearing drunk or under the influence in public is considered a crime.
Even in your eZhire vehicle or a Private car eating is not allowed and if you are seen public it is considered a crime.
Being Invited at an Iftar
It is common practice to invite Non-Muslims to break the fast as a means of sharing the Ramadan spirit so always be prepared, bringing gifts is not required but is appreciated and bringing a box of dates is always a good idea.
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