Radiant Ramadan Revelry| Navigating the UAE’s Spiritual Splendor
For Muslims in the United Arab Emirates and other areas of the world, the Holy Month of Ramadan is one of the most significant periods of the year. Ramadan is observed to commemorate the ninth month of the Prophet Muhammad's, Peace Be Upon Him, revelation of the Qur'an. Families observe the Holy Month at this time by fasting, praying, spending time together, and engaging in a variety of community-focused events. The best guide to Ramadan in the United Arab Emirates for both locals and visitors is included here.
Suhoor, Siyam and Iftar
Suhoor is the meal that Muslims have first thing in the morning before beginning their fast. Before the sun rises, Suhoor is observed. During the morning "adhaan," or call to prayer, one should pray and enjoy Suhoor with family. While many Muslims in the United Arab Emirates like to dine out at upscale restaurants or in opulent Ramadan tents before breaking their fast, weekday suhoor is usually spent at home with family.
During the Holy Month, Siyam, which means "to refrain," refers to the hours spent fasting from dawn to sunset. During this period, Muslims are not allowed to eat, drink, or smoke. They must also abstain from all bad behaviors and thoughts. Siyam represents purging one's body, mind, and soul of impurities while directing one's thoughts and deeds toward acts of kindness, prayer, gratitude, salvation, and giving to the less fortunate.
Before prayer time, Muslims break their fast with water and traditional dates at sunset, known as iftar. A wide variety of well-liked iftar foods are then offered, which may be shared with loved ones. Biryani, saloona, samosas, fruits, and rich sweets like kunafa and basbousa are among the popular iftar meals.
Common Words or Phrases Used During Ramadan
For Muslims who are fasting, the words and phrases spoken throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan hold particular significance. Hearing discussions about "Ramadan Kareem" or the terms "zakat" and "salah" is rather common. If you are unfamiliar with Ramadan or Islam, we have put up a useful guide with popular terms for you to become comfortable with. Read our blog post by clicking this link.
The Importance of Charity During Ramadan
During Ramadan, Muslims give 2.5% of their earnings or savings to the less fortunate as part of the annual zakat payment. Furthermore, Muslims place a high value on giving back to the community. They do this by donating food to the mosque, their neighbors, the underprivileged, and those who work important jobs during iftar and are unable to break their fast at home. In keeping with the Ramadan ethos, Muslims should strive to share and give back, putting themselves in the shoes of the underprivileged and performing charitable activities in their communities.
Ramadan Etiquette in the UAE
Giving Muslims your best wishes for Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak is a civil and respectful approach to show them your blessings at this time. It is necessary to dress modestly, therefore be sure to wear loose garments that cover your elbows and knees. Non-Muslims are expected to show respect for individuals who observe fasts by abstaining from food, drink, and smoking in public places. Restaurants will still serve non-fasters their regular fare.
Enjoying the Culture and Traditions During Ramadan
Ramadan visits to the souks and markets are particularly enjoyable for those who want to fully immerse themselves in UAE culture. To find out more about Dubai's history, you may also visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, located in the venerable Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Non-Muslims who would like to attempt a day of fasting are welcome to do so; just remember to fuel your body with a wholesome and nourishing iftar and suhoor.
It is customary to accept an invitation to an iftar; it's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this unique time of year and take in UAE culture. To express your gratitude, bring a small gift, like some dates, for your host. If you want to sample some of the classic Arabic main courses and desserts, you may also go to the neighborhood eateries during Ramadan.
Following the Holy Month of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr is a time to celebrate with loved ones, partake in lavish feasts of traditional fare, don festive attire, and take part in the festivities. Eid is a public holiday that typically lasts three days and is a busy time of year in the United Arab Emirates. The second Eid of the year, Eid al-Adha, falls around seventy days following the completion of Ramadan. It is also a three- or four-day public holiday.
For Muslims, Ramadan is unquestionably a very significant time of year as they give to the needy, purify their bodies and minds, and atone for their sins. If you are a non-Muslim residing in the UAE, be sure to honor this time of year and partake in the customs and cuisine.