5 things to keep in mind during the Holy Month of Ramadan
Few things to be aware of…
The Holy Month of Ramadan has officially begun and it is a time for reflection, spirituality, giving back to the community, and celebration. For some, it may be your very first Ramadan in the Middle East, and even if it isn’t, there are a few things to be mindful of whether you are partaking in fasting or not.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
This is the holiest month of the year for practising Muslims
Ramadan is one of the most spiritual times of the year for practising Muslims. It is important to note that when dressing up for that iftar or suhoor (or when you’re heading out in general), to dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing clothing.
Eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours isn’t prohibited anymore, but should be done with caution. Avoid dancing in public or listening to very loud music as this may be considered disrespectful.
Embrace the spirit of Ramadan
This is one of the most vibrant times of the year, so be sure not to miss it. Immerse yourself in the culture, and accept any gifts or invitations to iftars as this is one way of showing respect and friendliness. Greet your neighbours and learn about those around you as this is a time for community and coming together. It is within the spirit of Ramadan to arrive at your friends and family with gifts, whether it’s a small box of dates and chocolates or a bottle of Vimto. Don’t show up empty-handed.
Stay safe on the roads
The general consensus is that driving on the roads during Ramadan can be a rather daunting feat. It is good to keep this in mind when travelling home from work. Many of the drivers around you may be dehydrated, and severe dehydration can lead to confusion. So be extra aware of the drivers around you.
If you are fasting, feel dehydrated or tired, avoid driving or stop on the side of the road where it is safe to rest.
Be mindful of your language
Ramadan is the holiest month of the year and it is a very spiritual time for those practising so it is important to be mindful of swearing, and being blasphemous. This can also mean being aware of the kind of questions you ask people. Some may be happy to answer your questions that you have about this time of the year but be conscious of being offensive or ignorant. Getting into arguments or fights goes against the very core of Ramadan.
Remember to practice tolerance
Being ‘hangry’ is not a new concept and while this is the month of peace and serenity, sometimes people can experience mood swings or fits of outrage due to lack of sustenance. Please remember to be tolerant of your fellow colleagues and friends who are fasting as it takes plenty of self-control to not only fast but to be aware of those around you when you are hungry and dehydrated. And of course, if you notice a colleague struggling, offer a helping hand.
Also, you are probably already well aware of this, but the private and public sectors’ working hours have changed during the Holy Month. It is also important to note though, that there are many others who are working regular hours or more during the Holy Month. This includes those who work in hospitality, retail, our hard-working taxi drivers and more. Be mindful and treat these hard workers with patience and kindness.
Note: In case you missed this, however, private-sector employees in the UAE will have their work hours reduced by two hours throughout Ramadan. While federal government entities will work from 9am to 2.30pm from Monday to Thursday, and for three hours from 9am to 12pm on Fridays.
Images: Unsplash and provided