Starting today, you will hear the words Ramadhan Mubarak being exchanged a lot as greetings during this season in the Sultanate and in various parts of the world as most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims will observe it.
The ninth month in the Islamic Lunar Calendar is considered as the holy month and Muslims worldwide observe this holy month by fasting from sunrise to sunset for 29 to 30 days.
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadhan is considered as one of the five pillars of Islam.
In many parts of the world, the daytime is calm with people observing their fast which starts at sunrise, those observing the holy month of Ramadhan wake up at dawn and have a light snack called suhoor.
At sunset, they break their fast with another small snack that is known as iftaar.
After sunset, the cities come back alive with not only families coming together to break their fast and often invite their friends and their families to join the festivities.
Muslims in the Middle Eastern region break their fast by eating dates and a little water.
In Egypt, one of the most captivating colours of Ramadhan are the ‘fanous’ or lanterns from old Cairo.
In Iraq, a folk game called ‘Al Siniya’, an Arabic term meaning tray, is often played during the month of Ramadhan. The objective of the game is for players to find the hidden dice under one of the several overturned copper cups on a tray.
Ramadhan, irrespective of country or region is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, good deeds and spending time with family and friends. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline — of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran.