With barely two weeks to The Holy month of Ramadan, I thought I would write a post on how a normal day is like for me, and more insight into some of the basics of The Holy Month.
What you need to know about Ramadan
Ramadan is the 9th month in the Islamic Calendar. It begins with either the sighting of the crescent moon on the 29th of the previous month, or after 30 days of the previous month. To many people, who do not understand why we don’t have a fixed date, this is the reason. The sighting of the Crescent moon on the 29th of the month indicates whether the month is over or will have 30 days.
Ramadan is not just a month to stay away from food, drink, and intimate relations. It is a time to reconnect spiritually by personal reflection and group remembrance.
There are 2 main meal times in Ramadan – Iftar and Suhoor.
Iftar is when you break the fast and starts when the Azan for the Maghrib (sunset) prayer is called. The basics of an Iftar is just dates, and water. So little is enough to break one’s fast.
Suhoor is the meal that is taken before fasting commences. Eating complex proteins is normally recommended. The food that is taken should be in a way that you have enough energy for your daily chores, and not to such an extent that you have no energy to do anything or feel lethargic about things.
Taraweeh Prayer is another term which is commonly associated with Ramadan – the prayer time of which is normally after the Isha Prayer( which is around 8:00 pm, and tends to last till almost 9:30 -10:00 pm)
Midnight Prayer (Qiyam-ul-Layl) – Towards the last ten days of Ramadan this is another prayer that becomes part of the routine as well. (between 12:30 am – 3:00 am)
Ramadan is a month where nights come alive for prayers.
Here I’d like to share an insight into why it is not recommended to eat more than the need at Iftar times.
What you need to know about Ramadan if you are in Doha
- Whether you’re Muslim or not, working time is shortened for residents during Ramadan.
- It’s illegal in Qatar to consume food or drink in public spaces during Ramadan. Restaurants are normally closed, and open quite close to Iftar times.
Some quick tips for Muslim employees in Ramadan
- Try to be disciplined about your eating and sleeping habits when you are not fasting. Don’t stay up late at night gorging yourself and watching TV/partying (which you should not be doing anyway). Your employer has a right on you–staying up all night and then falling asleep on the job the next day (putting yourself and others at risk in certain jobs) would violate these rights.
- Hydrate well during the night and at suhour and after iftar so that you do not get dehydrated on the job. Severe dehydration can lead to people passing out on the job, etc. and hurting yourself.
- If possible avoid committing yourself to evening functions or to travel away from home for business.
- If possible, don’t schedule yourself during night shifts–because of your need to perform extra prayers.
- Ask if you can schedule more volunteer, charitable work for your company during Ramadan. Many companies allow employees a certain number of paid hours during which they can volunteer to help out their community. Schedule yours during Ramadan for extra blessings.
Very often, the biggest tests during Ramadan come from our interactions with others. The temptation to be rude and ill-tempered towards those that we feel wrong us is another one of the diseases of our soul. We must keep in mind that Ramadan is the month of Mercy and Forgiveness, and those blessings must be applied to both ourselves and others.