Brunchy’s Guide to Ramadan

Sunrise above a mosque on Ramadan
The sunrise marks the begging of the fast each day during Ramadan

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The month is celebrated as a month long holiday marking the Prophet Mohammed’s first revelation of the Quran. However the holiday is observed as a month of fasting (abstaining from food and all liquids) from sunrise (Sehr) to sunset (Iftar). Sexual abstinence, charity, abstaining from smoking and prayer are also observed. It is difficult to give an exact time for the start of Ramadan as it requires the local visual sighting of the crescent moon. However in Dubai, UAE, Ramadan is estimated to begin at 4:01 AM, Thursday May 25th and end at 7:13 PM June 23rd.

Observance of Ramadan is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It can be compared to Lent in the Roman Catholic church. Drinking in public between sunrise and sunset is considered an extremely serious offense in Dubai, even for Westerners, during Ramadan. However if one is respectful and follows the rules, there is nothing to worry about. The end of Ramadan is know as Eid al-Fitr and is a celebration.

The fast is ended each day at sunset by eating and drinking with friends and family

The origin of Ramadan is the 9th (Ramadan) month of 610CE, when the Prophet Mohammed had the word of God (Allah) revealed to him. The first Ramadan fast is believed to have occurred in 624CE. This is when Mohammed convinced the people of Medina to give up their food to the poor who had followed him from Mecca.

As a Westerner however, you are not held to strict Sharia (Islamic) law in Dubai. You still need to eat and drink fluids during the daytime and are not expected to go without. Fortunately Brunchy is updating for Ramadan. You can find where to eat and drink during the daytime with respect to practicing Muslims.

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