Arabic Language Blog

Ramadan Habits Posted by on Aug 23, 2009 in Culture

Today is the second of Ramadan in the Hijri year 1430. Nabeel kindly commented on my previous post and gave a more accurate definition for fasting as “Fasting means willing abstention from eating, drinking and satisfaction of certain demands of the flesh, from predawn to sunset.”

 In fact, this alerted me that I mentioned briefly that Ramadan is a very spiritual time of the year without explaining in which ways. In Ramadan, Muslims should not only give up food and drink, but also give up bad habits and conducts, e.g. telling lies, making jokes at others, gossip, etc. People are ordered to give up any act that might harm others no matter how small. Of course people should do that all year round, but in Ramadan people tend to be more careful about what they say and do, and they tend to pay more attention to worshipping and be more obedient to God’s orders.

People celebrate Ramadan and enjoy it. If you live in an Arab country, you will find a lot of manifestations of these celebrations, often people decorate the mosques with lights, and also decorate their homes and streets. Parents usually buy lanterns for their kids called (فانوس), which are only used in Ramadan. In the past, when I was a kid, we used to put a small candle inside it, but now they all come with a small lamp. We visited relatives and friends and sang special songs for Ramadan, and we used to get a lot of money and candy during these visits. Nowadays, most lanterns come a small microphone that does the singing as well!

Ramadan has its own special foods like (خشاف) which is made up of dried fruits like dates, apricots, prunes, raisins, etc.  soaked with water and milk, and a lot of special patries and sweets like baklava (بقلاوة) , konafa (كنافة) and katayef (قطايف). I will put pictures of them below. Each country has its own special Ramadan foods.

 Ramadan has some very special things, like (مدفع الإفطار) which is a traditional cannon that makes a loud noise at sunset to alert people to the time to break their fast. It is usually shown on television

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  1. Meyra:

    Is it true that nowadays the religious things and the lessons from this month are lost and people now think more of the mountains of food from iftar or the Eid celebration ? As an example, I heard on Ramadan fancy hotels from Lebanon, Egypt etc.have special programs after sunset with belly dancers and orchestras to brake the fast ? This news really made me sad, since I admire the good habits of muslims and their dedication to Islam.

  2. Aziza:

    Ahlan Meyra,
    Thank you very much for your comment. It is true that Ramadan has been commercialized to a large extent, and that people usually have more food than usual, not to mention that special Ramadan feasts. I know that hospitality businesses try to make use of the occasion to make profit by offering large feasts and special entertainment programs. However, I doubt that belly dancing part of it. I have been to some of Ramadan celebrations at hotels in Egypt, and I have not seen any belly dancing. There is singing and music, but no dancing! I do not know whether this has changed over the last few years, but I sincerely doubt it. People are generally more pious in Ramadan,and I do not think that many people would like to watch belly dancers in the holy month of fast and worship. Many people would like to find some entertainment though, and the hundreds of new soaps shown on TV in Ramadan are a good example of it.

  3. nabeel:

    I too sincerely doubt that “Is Ramadan really for enjoyment ?”

    Having diffrent types of Food during ramadan is ok…

    It is mentioned in a Hadith that on the day of judgement, three persons will not have to give an account of the food that they ate, immaterial of what they ate as long as it is halal. They are: the fasting person, the person who makes sehri, and the person who is stationed on the borders of the Islamic state safeguarding it from being invaded by the kuffaar. This is a great concession for these three persons that they have been absolved from giving an account of their eating. It should be borne in mind that despite this concession, one should not spend a lot of money and time in preparing very exquisite meals. Spending a lot of time in preparing delicacies turns one away from the remembrance of Allah Ta’ala and gives impetus to one’s power of committing sins. This should always be borne in mind. One should value the bounties that Allah Ta’ala has blessed one with. The best way of showing gratitude to Allah Ta’ala is that one should obey all His commands and orders.

    As much ti-laawah of the Qur’aan as possible should be made during this month. Such was the habit of our saints. Jibraeel (A.S.) used to recite the whole Qur’aan to our Nabi Muhammad (SAW) in the month of Ramadhaan. In some reports it is stated that Rasulullah (SAW) used to recite and he (Jibraeel) used to listen. From joining these reports the ‘ulama have said that it is mustahab to read the Qur’aan in such a manner that while one recites the other listens. Thereafter another recites while others listen. So recite the Qur’aan as much as possible. Whatever time remains thereafter should not be wasted.

    Rasulullah (SAW) drew our attention to four more things and advised that we should practice them as much as possible. They are the recitation of Kalimah ‘Tayyibah, Istighfaar, begging for Jannah and seeking refuge from Ja-hannam. Therefore it must be regarded an honour to spend as much as available in these recitations. This will be the true appreciation of the teachings of Rasulullah (SAW).

    What is so difficult about keeping the tongue busy with the recitation of Durood (‘salawaat) or
    Laa ilaaha illallaah while being engaged in our daily tasks?

    Also ‘salaatul Ta-hajjud the time is the same as that for sah’ri, salaatul Ishraaq (after sunrise), ‘salaatul Dhuhaa (before noon), ‘salaat Awwaabeen (just after Maghrib)…such nafl prayers as possible should be offered…

    The above mentioned Aamals are somethings in which one should specially engage oneself during Ramadan and also throughout the year too…

    Soon we will enjoy but in “Jannah” inshallah…its time to work now…

  4. othmaan:

    its a duty of a muslim to strictly obey God orders in every moment of his/her life.

  5. Aziza:

    Of course Othman, thank you very much.