We take a look at how you can join in the spirit of Ramadan
12 July 2012| Last updated on 31 May 2018
The Holy Month of Ramadan can be a special month for all as it is a month of giving, peace and introspect. There are things that you can do during this month to either join in or make the most of a more peaceful pace of life. Here we take a look at how you can join in the sentiments of the season.
If you are lucky enough to be invited to a traditional Iftar, accept the invitation and enjoy this wonderful meal that is shared with family and friends. If you are invited into someone’s home, remember to take a gift of dates or Arabic sweets as a thank you. If you are invited to a restaurant Iftar a similar gift is appropriate. Another great idea is to gather a group of friends and book one of the Iftar buffets offered at the many fabulous restaurants in the city. Sample Arabic dishes that you have not tried before. See how the different nationalities break their fast and educate yourself in the traditions of the different cultures living in the Gulf.
2. Charity Work
Ramadan is also about giving to or looking after those less fortunate than yourself. In Islam it is customary to give zakat, that is 2.5% of your annual savings to the needy, during Ramadan. Look at ways that you can become involved in a local charity whether it is through donating time, money or unwanted goods. There are always lots of great charity initiatives during this time that you can take part in. See what you can find to take part in and you may end up becoming a regular volunteer for one of these worthy causes.
If you have ever wanted to learn a new skill now is the time to do it. Whether you want to perfect your skiing on the slopes or learn a new language you will or even learn a new instrument like the piano or violin, no doubt you'll find the time. You can take a cooking class, and make a superb Iftar dinner for your friends. Or take this time to head down to the museums of the city and explore the many cultural establishments. Learn more about the Emirati culture and the history of this country. Take the kids down and spend a couple of days in the summer teaching them about where they live. There's plenty to do!
4. Host A Dinner
Family and friends are important during this time as is showing hospitality. Why not take the chance to hold a gathering at your place one evening and invite your nearest and dearest. You could try your hand at cooking and preparing yummy Arabic food or order in a feast from one of the many great Arabic restaurants. Be the host this Ramadan and enter into the spirit of giving by sharing your home with your closest friends.
There is a lot of focus on the breaking of the fast during Ramadan so it is the perfect time to go on a diet or to start eating healthily. You can make it a healthy eating month to kick start some good habits. Stop eating out and scrap the takeaways this month, instead opt for healthy salads and grilled meats. Discard anything and everything that has preservatives and choose to eat clean.
You will see lots of people taking a walk just before or after Iftar. Join in! Use this month to get fit and active. Cycling is becoming much more popular nowadays so get a bike and get pedalling- it’s great for cardio and less stress on your joints than jogging. If your building has a gym or pool- start to use them during this time and your exercise routine will have become a habit by the end of Ramadan.
Life can be very hectic in Kuwait so take the time during this month to expand your mind. When was the last time you sat down and truly relaxed with a good book? Read something inspirational and uplifting to really get you thinking about life.
Lots of local hotels have special rates during Ramadan so you can take this opportunity to explore more of the region. Have you visited all of the Emirates yet? That’s a great challenge and there are some great sights to be seen and roads to be travelled. Oman is another great destination during this time- Salalah has the Khareef Festival happening and it can be a lot cooler on that side.
9. Give Up Smoking
This is the perfect opportunity for you to give up smoking- you know it makes sense for your health. There is no smoking in public during the day in Ramadan so you will face less temptation than normal which should help you and your will power. Make a plan now how you are going to do this and set a stop date. If you need help you could try reading Alan Carr’s book, Champix tablets, Nicotinel, hypnosis, accupuncture and ask your doctor what they would recommend for you as a quitting program.
10. Fast For A Day
Why don’t you try and fast for one day so that you can see what your Muslim neighbours, friends or work colleagues do during Ramadan and how it feels. This will help you understand and empathise more with people who are fasting.
We really hope you take the time during this special month to join in the spirit of the season.