UAE Ramadan 2016 is coming next month. Ramadan is a time of worship and fasting (during the hours of daylight), which is obligatory for every adult, sane, and able Muslim.
With Ramadan just around the corner, here’s what to expect:
- “The new moon of Ramadan is to appear on June 5 at around 6.59pm UAE time, and it will disappear at around 7.25pm or 17 minutes after sunset of the same day,” Ibrahim Al Jarwan, General Supervisor at Sharjah Planetarium, said in a statement issued by the news agency Wam recently.
- Muslims in the UAE will be fasting for 15 hours and 10 minutes—the excessive hours are the result of extended daylight periods, said Al Jarwan, who is also a researcher in astronomy, as told Gulf News.
The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and, according to the Islamic lunar calendar, it is expected to begin June 6 and end July 6: Eid Al Fitr (three-day holiday) is the Festival of Fast breaking and marks the end of Ramadan.
Fasting in Islam, Ramadan: During the fasting period–Sawm, the fourth pillar of the Islamic faith– Muslims do not eat, drink, smoke and engage in sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. Exceptions are made for travelers that visit in Muslim countries; they are not being ordered to fast and submit to Sharia law during Ramadan.
Islam Worship and Devotion: As many already know, Ramadan is one of the most important and reflective times in the Islamic calendar and commemorates the revelation of the Holy Quran. It is a particularly holy period when Muslims focus on prayer (recite the entire Koran or indulge in reading Islamic texts), fasting or sawm, and giving money to charity to benefit the poor and needy. This time is spent asking forgiveness for sins and reciting the Quran—the holy book of Islam. Muslims re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance.
Visiting UAE during Ramadan: There will be a number of educational cultural activities with aim to educate the public on what the month of Ramadan is all about, and best of all, they’re free to attend! The UAE is home to some of the world’s most beautiful mosques, and Ramadan is a good time to visit mosques.
Non-educational activities are also planned. The Ramadan Night Market, for example, will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 23 June 2016 – 02 July 2016. Adults (12 and above) will be charged AED 10, Children (5 to 12) AED 5, and Infants go free!
Ramadan in Dubai
There will be the Holy Quran recital competitions; the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA) is an annual award given for memorization of the Qur’an sponsored by the government of Dubai. The winners of the categories youths and adults earn cash prizes and more.
Worship in Prayer: One can expect many worshippers pray at Dubai’s Jumeirah mosque.
Ramadan in Abu Dhabi
This is a time marked by a host of Ramadan-related activities and events.
The Ramadan and Eid Show 2016 will be held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Halls 1 – 6), Abu Dhabi, and is set to take place from June 6 – July 5. This event comprises of traditional celebrations, shopping, Arabic food, and games. A similar event is the Eid Al Adha Consumer Fair–the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, which also brings in the festivity and an ambiance of togetherness; it is held at the Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi (location 8 & 9). See ADNEC Map.
Unlike other mosques in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque—an example of contemporary Islamic architecture—is usually well-attended and becomes a popular attraction for tourists and worshippers. During the Holy Month the mosque is open daily for visitors, from Saturday – Thursday 9:00am to 12.00pm and is closed for tourism activities on Friday mornings. There are no entry fees. Entry will only be denied for those who are not dressed appropriately.
What to Expect at the Mosque:
Dress code: Modest, conservative, loose fitting clothing; long sleeve shirts, long dresses and skirts (ankle length) and trousers (no shorts), so your skin isn’t exposed.
Reminder: Skin-tight and see-through clothes are not allowed; is in not acceptable in a Muslim place of worship! So don’t be disrespectful.
Note: ALL women are required to wear a traditional robe (hijab/abaya) and headscarf (Shayla-style) to cover themselves; this is required Islamic clothing to put on when going into the mosque.
In sum, come prepared for Ramadan, and mind these simple rules of etiquette when visiting mosques.