Ramadan celebrations across the globe

19 Jan 2024 - Category: Blog /

Ramadan— a period when the Muslim community all over the world observe fasting from sunset to sunrise. The blessed month of Ramadan is spent praying and giving out money for charity and as gifts. 

Muslims start their fast by eating a pre-dawn meal known as Suhoor and break their fast after hearing the Maghrib prayer at sunset time. The meal enjoyed to break the fast is known as Iftar. 

This is also a period of family gatherings and hosting daawats, Iftar parties or dinners, at home, mosques or nearest community centres. 

For Muslims who live away from home, this is the period when they visit their near and dear ones back home or in their vicinity. 

However, for those who don’t have their loved ones around, the Muslim community makes several arrangements which help other Muslims worship five times a day, and get a lavish meal before dawn and after sunset.

Generally, the preparations for the month-long, day-time fasting begin with pre-Ramadan extensive grocery shopping. 

Ramadan is also a time when Muslim motivational speakers hold talks, seminars and banquets organised by and for the followers of Islam - including converts as well as reverts.

Significance of Ramadan

Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic Lunar Calendar also known as the Hijri Calendar, and is observed by fasting during the day and staying close to the Islamic way of life. 

Fasting (Sawm) is one of the pillars of Islam, therefore, it is mandatory for all Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan.

Fasting can only be missed if the follower is sick, lactating, pregnant, menstruating or under certain other circumstances. 

Imams at local mosques across the globe roll out a Ramadan calendar with accurate prayer times, and Suhoor/Iftar times which enables the followers to stick to a certain time for observance of rituals. 

Ramadan across the Globe

Most Muslim countries allow relaxed working and schooling hours to make the fasting period easier for practising Muslims. The extra hours Muslims get during the day after getting off from work or school early are usually spent praying, reading the Quran also known as Al Quran, or making up for lost sleep.

Most Muslims try their best to stick to Islamic principles and way of life during Ramadan. This includes sticking to all that is virtuous such as abstinence, forgiveness, and helping those in need. 

The Muslim community in the Philippines sticks to propagating the significance of Ramadan and serving Abodo which is a chicken and noodle delicacy along with other eatables and refreshments at Mosques, relished in that region. 

In Pakistan, Muslims enjoy savoury and sweet delicacies packed with a nutritional punch such as fruit bowls (locally known as fruit chaat) and fried vermicelli (locally known as pheni and is enjoyed with warm milk and sugar). 

In the Arab world, mainly the UAE, locals enjoy extravagant meals packed with the goodness of dates, dry fruits, lamb meat and more. 

While in London, restaurants run special events and discounts during this period. There are also special tents, placed all over London where the Muslims can worship during this period.

Iftar Parties

Ramadan is a month-long period when the Muslim community worldwide observes fasting from sunrise to sunset, with just two meals a day — Suhur also known as Suhoor, a pre-dawn meal and Iftar, a meal after the sun sets. 

Over time, these meals have turned into festive gatherings better known as Iftar parties, which include banquets at community halls, private gatherings and more. 

Also, wealthy Muslims generously host pre-dawn and post-sunset banquets for those fasting during this period. London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan also reportedly hosted an event during this period. As one of the most sacred months in Islam, it is observed worldwide with splendour.

Charity is Mandatory

During this period, followers of Islam are required to donate or give Zakat-ul-Fitr or Zakat, in short. 

This requires them to mandatorily donate a part of their earnings to the less fortunate, if they can afford to do so. This is a distinct facet of this religion which requires its followers to give back to the society. 

The final goal is to ensure that no one goes without basic necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. 

So if you live away from your hometown and wish to donate to the society to which you belong, then you need to do it in the best way possible. 

You can do that by picking online transfers that give you the best exchange rates at nominal transaction charges. 

After all, a small gesture goes a long way and for those hailing from Asian countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Morocco great conversion rates can turn their hard-earned money into a loved one’s smile during Ramadan.

Other customs and practices

Besides fasting and charity, Muslims are also required to abstain from sexual activities, anger and other vices. 

Those who follow Islamic traditions very strictly also refrain from entertainment of any form during this period. 

So it’s not uncommon to see the televisions in the Islamic households turned down, or restricted to religious broadcasts only. 

Also, traditional Muslims prefer to break their fast with dates, so don't be surprised if you see enormous date collections all over London during this period.

Across nations, religious leaders and congregations do their best to encourage the followers of Islam to fast. 

From lavish banquets to motivational speeches, this is one period when the entire Islamic community comes together as one. 

Depending on the position of the moon, the religious heads from Mecca — the holy place of the Muslims — declare the Eid-ul-Fitr, a 3-day celebration that marks the end of the month-long fasting. 

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