Ramadhan is a holy month in the Muslim calendar and it is celebrated in all Muslim countries, culminating with a feast or Eid after four weeks of fasting. Muslims are expected to stop eating and drinking, as well as refrain from sex and any ‘impure’ thoughts, from sunrise to sunset during this month.
How are bloggers preparing for this month?
In Jordan, Naseem Tarawnah takes a look at the sanctity of Ramadhan, after reading a news article about the banning of the sale of liquor in bars, liquor stores, nightclubs and restaurants during the Holy Month and the closure of restaurants and coffee shops during the day in his country.
“By the way, I don’t have a particular stance on the issue. Obviously I’d prefer to see this kind of stuff restricted to some extent but I’m a realistic person and I know that will never happen. Which is why I could care less if they close them or open them. Because I also know that Ramadan will be full of alcohol consumption, as Arabs (not tourists) scour the city in search of a drop to drink. The reality is that most people who drink in Jordan are in fact Jordanians and would by any other definition be considered drunks if not borderline-alcoholics. The ‘casual drink’ is non-existent. Liquor cabinets are probably being filled.
As for Ramadan, well what can I say…
Nothing is sacred anymore.
That doesn’t surprise me,” he notes.
Lady Macleod, who lives in Morocco, is looking forward for the month but is dismayed at the way some women carry themselves around in Rabat.
“As I strolled through the Medina (town) on Saturday in search of drugs (the prescription kind) and yogurt (the Greek kind) walking side by side through the crowded streets were politics and nipples…I do not find this sexy. Perhaps the chaps do? That being said it is not appropriate for a Saturday walk in the Rabat Medina two weeks before Ramadan. Get a grip. Look at a map. Think where you are. I am neither Moroccan nor Muslim and it offended ME,” she notes.
Though not a Muslim, Lady Macleod also intends to fast the month.
“The nice woman at the apothecary tells me it is two weeks to Ramadan. I must check my calendar as I intend to fast again this year. I found it a very spiritual experience last year. The comradely of the entire country honoring the spirit of Ramadan is uplifting. In spite of this effect, our friend Rebecca, who is a Muslim, had her wallet stolen during Ramadan last year. I loved her reaction, she yelled after the thief, “I’m a Muslim you bastard, and it’s Ramadan!” So not everyone perhaps is feeling the spirit, but for me it serves as an excellent reminder of my beliefs. There are no Buddhist Temples here, but I have my altar, and love and compassion are the same no matter the religion yes?,” she explains.
From Syria, Mustafa Hamido explains what Ramadhan means for him. He says:
“Ramadan is next week. It is something special for us as Muslims and even for Christians who are living with us in Syria and the Middle East. You can say that it is a celebration and waiting for biggest one at the end of its 30 days. It is not an only fasting from the sunset to the sunrise. It is another way of life totally different from what we used to live during a year.”
From Bahrain, Silly Bahraini Girl fast forwards the month and talks about her experiences celebrating Eid, which like the beginning of Ramadhan doesn't start on the same day across all Muslim countries because of differences between the religious sects in the sighting of the new moon.
“When we were growing up, having Eid start over a few days depending on which turban you followed was great. It gave us the opportunity to meet up with non-observant friends on the first day (which is usually the official one declared by Bahrain), then have lunch at one family house on the second and lunch in another house on the third! The problem actually happens when everyone observes Eid on the first day and you have to cram a million and one visits in the short span of a day .. and then make time to see friends and relax in a non-stress environment.
Let's toss a coin and see what happens this year. Will it be a united Sunni-Shia Eid .. or an Eid spread over a few days while the long beards and turbans battle it out?
Either way, I will celebrate Eid on the day I think it is appropriate!” she writes.