Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fasting and the Furious... Ramadan Kareem

Abu Dhabi Playlist: I Wonder - Kanye West

Started Posted at 5am...

August 11th marked the start of Ramadan in the UAE and around the world. There has been a lot of build up to this event, especially between those of us who have never experienced Ramadan in Muslim country. We've continued to discuss what it will be at the office and around us.  Their has been an atmosphere of fear, curiosity, and uncertainty. What will it be like? How will the locals react? What is allowed and not allowed? What can be considered offensive?

For those who are not familar with Ramadan, let me provide a brief explaination of my take on Muslims' Holiest month...

Everyday we fit in many roles, employee, parent, child, student. Most days it is easy to get wrapped up with the day to day activities and forget what is truly important. Ramadan is a time to focus on being a better person, being with family, and above all, re-connecting with God (Allah). The idea is to remove the distractions from the day in order to focus. It is 30 day's of the year where you're priorities should switch. Its not all about what you want but what is important.

Rules of Ramadan: (From Sunrise to Sundown)
1. No Food
2. No Drink (Including water)
3. No Smoking
4. No Swearing
5. No Live Music or dancing
6. No Physically pleasure (Kissing, touching, etc.)
7. Everyone shoule dress conservatively (For women no bare arms or legs, For men, no shorts.)
8. Prayer 5 times a day.

Post continued 6:27pm

Until sundown these rules apply across the country. Work hours are shortened. At my company, the work hours are now 8am to 2pm for fasters, and 8am-3pm for non fasters. At the sundown the party begins.

Iftar is the breaking of the fast. Family gather and feast into the night. Its like a combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and lent. Most of the hotels put up tent where you can celebrate Iftar. Malls and markets are opened until 3am.

In a show of respect and pure curiousity I've decided to participate in Ramdan. This is my second day and as you can tell by my time posts, already a long day. I just ordered food to my room and I'm dreaming about water and salad.

I wouldn't consider myself a religous person. But the idea of trying to be a better person and praticing self control.

And with that it has begun. I hope you all can understand my typing right before I break my fast.

Ramadan Kareem Everyone.


  1. I think you've got the right idea here, giving the Ramadan fast a try, not so much for the religious aspect, but for the exercise in self-control. It's what Lent/Cuaresma should provide for Christians, and not just the sufferings of the "I'm giving up chocolate for Lent" cop-out. Good luck, as 'Ramadan is generous.'

  2. Thanks for the comment Charlie. I've gotten very mixed responses on trying this out.

  3. Eid Sa'eed. I hope your fasting experiences were positive.