Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It’s the month of fasting, spirituality, patience, sympathy and mercy. Muslims all over the world will fast from dawn to dusk.
Moreover, all the Muslims are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke or do sexual activity during the mentioned time from sunrise to sunset the whole month.
Ramadan’s main purpose is to teach Muslims giving and caring for the ones who are in need. Fasting Ramadan is also one of the 5 pillars of Islam, the 4 pillars are testimony of faith, prayer, charity, and performing pilgrimage, that’s why it’s a holy month.
Another reason is that Ramadan represents the period when the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (BPUH)!
Ramadan is the time of intensive worship; Muslims do their best to spend all the holy month reading the Holy Qur’an, giving charity and get close to God by sacrificing one’s own desires. It is the best time to see real Muslims; they devote their time and sacrifice their own desires to obey God’s orders. They do all the good deeds and charity is a main factor of the holy month.
Charity is also a main pillar of the five pillars of Islam, as mentioned before. Muslims generously donate money to the ones in need and poor people; they also give away good food to feed the hungry people.
Ramadan has two main meals; Suhur is the one called for the meal before the fasting and the other meal is called Iftar which is at the sunset.
Out of showing respect, here are some tips of what non-Muslims should do and don’t during the holy month:
So, let’s start with the Dos
- Try to understand the spiritual concept of the fasting.
- Say Ramadan Mubarak which means ‘’Ramadan is blessed’’ or Ramadan Kareem which means ‘’Ramadan is generous’’ to Muslims, they really love hearing this.
- Appreciate the low levels of energy from your Muslim colleagues.
- Dress conservatively; both men and women should not wear revealing or tight clothes during the holy month out of showing respect for the fasting Muslims.
- Try to reserve dinner earlier, restaurants become very busy during Ramadan.
- You are absolutely welcome to participate in the charity acts, you will feel so connected with the Muslims by sharing an act of kindness during their holy month and this will allow you to experience what they feel.
- Kindly, eat, drink and smoke privately!
- Avoid driving close to the time of sunset because the traffic will make you insane!
- Accept invitations from your Muslim fellows to share Iftar with them, you will be showered with the blessings and spiritual mood.
- Respect that your Muslim colleagues will leave earlier to go home and prepare Iftar.
- Be a little flexible and considering, they will appreciate it!
- It would be a nice gesture from you, if you do not show public displays of affection (PDA), in front of Muslims and be sure they will appreciate it!
- Receive gifts Muslims offer you.
Now, let’s talk about the Don’ts
- Do not play loud music at any time at your car, office or home during the holy month.
- Do not offer a Muslim food or water, out of generosity, during their fasting hours because they will not accept!
- Do not smoke, drink, eat or chew gums in public places, you are totally free to not be a Muslim, but you are encouraged to show respect and expected to be sensitive!
- Do not swear or shout in public!
- Do not make fun of fasting by assuming you might fast to lose weight, Muslims do not fast, during the holy month, for this concept at all!
- Do not make jokes on fasting at all!
- Do not make long work meetings!
- Do not schedule a work lunch!
- Do not drink alcohol in public or privately in the presence of Muslims.
Non-Muslims will be amazed by the spiritual mood in every place. Muslims go to Masjid (mosques) to pray and read the holy Qur’an. They are so much welcomed to observe and enjoy the holy month with Muslims considering the etiquette related to the holy month.