Ramadan

Ramadan: is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 to 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating and drinking[1] and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God. Muslims fast for the sake of God (Arabicالله‎, trans: Allah) and to offer more prayer than usual. Compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving backwards by about eleven days each year depending on the moon; thus, a person will have fasted every day of the calendar year in 34 years' time. Muslims believe Ramadan to be an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Islamic prophetMuhammad. (Wikipedia)

So in other words, Ramadan is a month long holiday when Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink during daylight hours. Now that's commitment. But once the sunsets, families come together for a big feast. My dietician told me that there is an increase of patients every night in the ER, during the month of Ramadan, for excessive eating. Alcohol is not served during any holiday in Oman, which means for the next month, we'll only be able to drink the alcohol that we have in our fridge. I'll expound on the whole alcohol thing in Oman in a later blog. It is illegal to eat, drink or smoke in front of a Muslim during Ramadan. From what I've heard, if you are caught eating, drinking or smoking in public, you may have to pay a fine. I've also heard that in some cases people are put in jail until Ramadan is over. Even chewing gum is not allowed! Many restaurants are closed during Ramadan. The restaurants that are open maybe screened off to outside view. 

Ramadan starts on August 1st and I look forward to reporting back to you of what we learn during the next 30days. 

I was forewarned about the massive amounts of people in the super markets the days approaching Ramadan month. Today Ash and I went and it was like a typical Oman shopping experience but on steroids. I swear that the people here shop in herds. 3 women will decide to go shopping together but they all want to push their shopping carts side by side. It's nearly impossible to get around. They say that the Hypermarkets are quieter during the Ramadan months ... God knows that I need this time. Maybe for once I won't mind going food shopping. 




3 comments:

  1. Wow this is really interesting, I've heard of the holiday Ramadan but didn't know anything about it, thanks for sharing. I can't believe it's illegal to drink, eat or smoke in front of a Muslim during Ramadan, makes me appreciate our separation of religion and government! How can you tell if the person's a Muslim anyways? So basically, don't eat drink or smoke outside your home? I'm looking forward to hearing more about your experiences with this.

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  2. I like, and Im sure you appreciate, that they seem to have a lot of english translations on the signs. What happens if you're caught eating in front of a muslim??? im nervous.

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  3. I just edited my blog to answer some of these questions. Krissy, a lot of the times you can tell who is Muslim by the way they are dressed. But sometimes this is not the case so that is why it's best to just not eat, drink or smoke in public at all!
    And Nicky, everyone pretty much speaks English here, which is nice. And if you're caught eating in front of a Muslim, you could be fined or put in jail until Ramadan is over.

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