Hellobahrain.com extends its best wishes to His Majesty King Hamad, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, and the people of Bahrain and the Islamic world, on the advent of Ramadan.
The blessed month of Ramadan is the ninth on the Hijra calendar, which is based on lunar cycle and this year Ramadan started at the sundown on Friday, July 19. Fasting during the day time in Ramdan is compulsory for all sane and healthy muslims who attained puberty. However, travellers, mensurating and lactating women are temporarily exempted from fasting until they are free from these obstacles. During Ramadan life of a Muslim changes very much. Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk and involve in special prayers in addition to regular prayers at night seeking the blessing of Almighty Allah. This sacred month contains ‘Lailathul Qadr’ which is a blessed night worthier than thousand months.
Life during Ramadan changes very much in the muslim world, especially in the Arab countries. Working hours are reduced to six in a day for muslims. However, many organizations grant this relaxation to all the staff, irrespective of their religion. Offices start late and close earlier. Ministries and government offices work from 8.00 AM to 1.30 PM. Some offices reschedule their working hours after sunset. Restaurants serve food only after sunset and remain open until dusk for Suhoor, the last meal of the day.
After sunset life goes back to normal. Everything becomes much livelier than other days of the year. People meet, eat, celebrate (religious or totally non religious parties) and so on. So after sunset, life is active and pretty much lively. In Ramadan, Bahrain becomes more alive after sunset. Iftar (meal to break fast) is served in all the masjids and Iftar parties are arranged by many organizations. Most of the malls are open till midnight and some shops even later. Bahrain, being a Muslim country, is very quiet in the day time in Ramadan, but at night you can enjoy your time in malls, theatres, Ramadan tents etc.
The government has reminded non-Muslim residents and visitors to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking during day time at public places. Everyone is expected to respect this blessed month, and those who fail to abide by this regulations will be penalized. Smoking, eating or drinking in public is banned during fasting hours from sunrise to sunset and violators face a fixed fine of BD100 no matter what the offence and may face up to a year in jail. However, non-muslims are permitted to eat and drink in private.
Ramadan comes to an end after 30 days with the sighting of “Shawwal” new moon and Dr. Waheeb Isa Al Nasser, Bahrain University Astrophysics professor and chairman of Bahrain Astronomical Society predicts that August 18 will be the 30th and last day of Ramadan and August 19 will be the first day of the month of Shawwal 1433H.