Ramadan in Riyadh

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

So it is Ramadan, for people who do not know, I am based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Wikipedia.Com describes Ramadan as "the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting.This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths. The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is fard ("obligatory") for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding. Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory (wājib) during the month of Sha'aban, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina.

 While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations; in some interpretations Muslims also refrain from other behavior which could be perceived as sinful such as swearing, engaging in disagreements, listening to music and procrastination. Food and drink is served daily, before sunrise and after sunset. According to Islam, the thawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month they are believed to be multiplied. Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran."

 I have experienced Ramadan in Riyadh for so many years so it's normal for me to observe it accordingly, without difficulty at all. Respect for the culture of our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters are the only ones we can offer at this time of fasting. But for some of you who do not know, Christians fast as well. We fast not only during a certain time but also, for those times that we wanted to offer prayers while fasting. It is such a solemn practice that must be done by all of us. It shows the strength of our faith to God and our belief that through Him, nothing is impossible.

 One of my bosses back in KFSHRC told me, "You should also fast during Ramadan. Not because I want you practice our religion (he is an Imam), more so, this is your opportunity to cleanse and diet. This is a health strategy for most people as they are away from food temptations." He has a point, doesn't he?! How do you like going out during Ramadan? Hmmm, me? I love being out evenings of Ramadan.

Streets feel so lively! I love life! But unfortunately, not everyone shares my opinion. But why sulk when everyone feasts?! Don't be gloomy, enjoy the party! Hahaha! By the way, The Pink Tarha blog posted the Ramadan schedule in Riyadh. Go visit their blog for information.

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