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For non-Muslims, it’s all about minding others in Ramadan

For non-Muslims, it’s all about minding others in Ramadan

“It’s a true sign of civilisation when you don’t have to attend something and it still is well-attended.”

By (Staff Reporter)

Published: Thu 18 Jun 2015, 12:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:16 PM

Dubai — Make the most of the month but when in public, refrain from eating and drinking, were among the ‘dos’ and ‘dont’s’ described during a free lecture called ‘Ramadan 101’ to non-Muslims, as an introduction to the holy month of Ramadan.

“Go on, it’s a democracy, you can ask questions!” said Nasif Kayed, managing director of the Shaikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding on Monday evening at the Jumeirah Majlis (adjacent to the Jumeirah Mosque on Jumeirah Beach Road).

Kayed was conducting a free lecture called ‘Ramadan 101’ to an audience of primarily expatriates, packed into a hall-like room adjacent to the mosque, that draws a lot of tourists.  “Make the most of it,” was one of the Dos in Kayed’s presentation.  According to Kayed, “160 people had registered, of which 147 turned up, and 80 per cent were non-Muslims”.

He said: “It’s a true sign of civilisation when you don’t have to attend something and it still is well-attended.”

Kayed was the only speaker at the lecture about Ramadan ways and etiquette. He spoke about the importance of showing respect, modest dressing and being compassionate to your especially fast-observing colleagues.

The idea behind the lecture was to enlighten guests on the practices of Muslims during Ramadan.

“Minding others is what it’s all about,” said Kayed to the attendees.

Even though the microphones didn’t carry his voice all the way to the back of the Majlis, he walked the audience through a presentation on the dos and don’ts, keeping it light.

Kayed told Khaleej Times, this is the 5th or 6th time he is hosting the talk, and he was scheduled for one in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

The lecture lasted from the Maghraib Prayers to the Isha prayers, from 7.15pm till 8.40pm.

Ramadan dont’s

When in public, refrain from:

>      Eating and drinking

>      Smoking

>      Chewing gum

>      Dancing

>      Playing loud music

>      Wearing revealing or tight clothing

>      Swearing


>      Be yourself in private

>      Participate in social events

>      Network

>      Try fasting

>     Go to an iftar meal

>      Drive more cautiously

>      Make the most of it

Eid Al Fitr — The feast marking the end of Ramadan. Greet others saying ‘Eid Mubarak’

Zakat Al Fitr — Prescribed amount of money obligatory on every Muslim to feed one poor person in his region for one day.

Working with Muslim colleagues


>      Understand that it is the most special month in a Muslim’s calendar

>      Greeting colleagues with Ramadan Kareem is a nice way to cross into a new culture

>      Working hours in some companies end earlier during Ramadan

>      Try to avoid the following arrangements with your Muslim colleagues:

.      Meetings, which include lunch

.      Meetings extending after 5pm

.      Department parties (or social events) during Ramadan

>      It is common to take vacation during the last week of Ramadan

>      The Eid holiday is a day off, especially for those with family

>      If invited to share Iftar, accept it, it will be fun!

Ramadan activities

In addition to Suhoor and Iftar, other typical Ramadan activites include:

Visitation — social gatherings such as visiting relatives, sharing food with neighbours, friends and the poor

Taraweeh — optional prayer at early night (20-21 hrs)

Reciting — reading of the Quran during free time

Qiyam — optional late night prayers in the last 10 days

— reporters@khaleejtimes.com

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