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How is ramadan in other countries?

July 07, 2020, 11:23:26 am N. Truth Seeker: InshAllah, vaccine will come but might take a bit of time.
July 07, 2020, 11:22:43 am Heba E. Husseyn: Exactly ... !
July 07, 2020, 11:22:10 am Zeynab: World stuck in a pandemic desperately needs a vaccine.
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Author Topic: How is ramadan in other countries?  (Read 447 times)
TEAM MUSLIM VILLA The Avid Reader | Mom of 3 cute rascals
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« on: June 04, 2018, 07:04:15 pm »

Walaikum As-Salam Sister Khadija.   Alhumdulilah, the blessed month is going well.  I wish the same for you and your family, InshAllah, ameen.

Yes, you posted this in the right board, I just shifted it into one of the sub-boards of Islamic Issues under 'Religious.' 

Your post is very interesting with a very helpful question.   Thank you Sister.

Much against the English proverb, this planet is not exactly a "small world."  For we humans, it's a wide expanse with different time durations at different geographical locations.  For instance, our MV team is located in North America (Canada).  Here, sahoor ends at approximately 3.55 a.m. and iftar is at approximately 9.00 p.m.   I would presume it's more or less similar in Europe and UK.   

In Middle-Eastern countries and Pakistan, working hours are shortened during Ramadan.  For example in Egypt office timings are from 9.30 morning to 1.30 afternoon.   In Iran it's also 5 hours a day.   In Pakistan it's 6 hours from Monday to Thursday (8 a.m. to 2 p.m) and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.  School timings are the same. In Pakistan even normal school timings are until 1.30 p.m.   Those who have accumulated enough paid leave at their workplaces do often take a fortnight off for Ramadan.  Sometimes they may take 10 or 12 days off from work to devote to itikaf.  Itikaf means thinking and reflecting on Allah Almighty and His wonders, offering nafl prayers and reading the Noble Quran in seclusion for a certain number of days which can vary from one day to 20 days or more, depending on the decision of every individual.  Some people observe itikaf by retiring in the nearby neighborhood masjid.  Some observe it at home.  Usually people consider Ramadan the best stretch of period for going into itikaf.  By the way, itikaf is optional, not fard, but it's an excellent approach to worshiping Allah Almighty.

Yes, there are various traditional foods during iftar in different Muslims countries.  According to social custom, in Muslim countries people usually start to break their fast with dates as it's presumed that the Prophet (pbuh) used to do.  Dates are the staple fruit in the Arabian peninsula.  To name a few traditional Iftar cuisines, Harira (as you rightly mentioned) and lentil soup in Morocco, chicken jalfarezi in Pakistan.  Then, there is the spicy saffron flavored chicken and rice called biryani in Pakistan; a similar dish is called kabsas in Afghanistan.  Stuffed vegetables are very popular Ramadan favorites in Syria, Palestine and Egypt.   Zucchinis and grape leaves are stuffed with  chopped green pepper, eggplants, tomatoes, peas etc. along with flavored rice.  It's called Mahshi.  Then again there's the delicious stuffed cabbage popular in Syria called  Mahshi Malfuf.  I usually prepare tomatoes or bell peppers stuffed with chicken and rice which the kids and my husband love.  Middle Eastern and Pakistani popular desserts in Ramadan are baklava, basbosa and kanufa (Arabic cheese cake);  and the Pakistani special, vermicilli cooked in evaporated milk with nuts and saffron. 

However, these are just traditional aspects which have no bearing on the values of Ramadan.  The real purpose of Ramadan is to focus more on Allah Almighty and His Final Message with sincerity, to be more introspective in order to understand ourselves better to bring improvements within ourselves in accordance with our deen.  As far as food is concerned, we can eat whatever simple meal we can afford with ease.  The only thing to be careful about is to make sure the food is Halal.

The truth of the matter is that the Noble Quran is a Message for entire humanity, not just for people of a specific region.  Thus, the month of fasting in the Ordinance of The Almighty is meant to apply to all humanity when, for a month, they need to take a break from the daily rush of life that goes on for 11 months.  They need to keep aside all worldly preoccupations, relax and spend time thinking of Allah, worshiping Him and abstaining from food and liquid for that many hours and thus also spending more time with family and loved ones.  The fact that so many folks around the world happen to be non-submitters to the Will of Allah Almighty and therefore non-Muslim societies have not geared themselves up to adjust to Ramadan makes it a different story for which they will be answerable to Him on the Day of Judgement.   That's a Day from which there is no escape for anyone, be it king, queen, president, prime minister, beggar or pauper ... no matter who.  All will have to assemble before HIM on the Day of the Tryst to answer lots of questions.

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