Do's and Don'ts When Visiting a Muslim Country in Ramadan

Here are some guidelines to follow for the month of Ramadan.

  • Publish date: Monday، 13 March 2023 Last update: Thursday، 23 March 2023
Do's and Don'ts When Visiting a Muslim Country in Ramadan

Ramadan is a holy month celebrated by Muslims all around the world. It is a month when Muslims fast from dawn till dusk and spend time in spiritual reflection. If you are an expat new to living in a Muslim country or visiting for tourism or business during the month of Ramadan, it is quite handy to understand the etiquette during Ramadan from a cultural and religious perspective. 

Ramadan Etiquette: Do's and Don'ts When Visiting a Muslim Country in Ramadan:

Do Greet People with Ramadan Greetings

Ramadan is a holy and festive time for Muslims, and just like any holiday, people celebrate the Ramadan's arrival with special greetings. Spread the joy of Ramadan and share it with those you meet, whether Muslims or non-Muslims by sharing "Ramadan Kareem" or "Ramadan Mubarak".

Do not Eat, Drink, or Smoke in Public

Since the majority of people in Muslim countries observe Ramadan by fasting from dawn to dusk, it is encouraged that people who are not fasting eat in private. In some Muslim countries, a number of restaurants remain open during the day to serve non-fasting patrons, however, their windows will be covered by dark blinds or they let their guests eat in enclosures. People can also order takeaway from restaurants and eat in any private setting.  It is important to understand that for Muslims, fasting during Ramadan includes abstaining from eating, drinking and smoking.

Do Dress Appropriately

Some Muslim countries tend to be conservative in their dress code. However, out of respect to the holy month of Ramadan, people to dress more modestly, which would include longer sleeves, and avoiding short dresses and pants and staying away from tight clothes. 

Do not Play Loud Music in Public

Ramadan is not just about refraining from food and drink for Muslims. it is a time for self-reflection, spirituality and "abstinence" from the distractions in modern day life, which some Muslims believe includes music. Avoid playing loud music in public. If you want to listen to music use earphones. Shops and malls that usually play music during their working hours, avoid doing so during Ramadan to respect fasting customers, while some places replace the background music with recitations of the Holy Quran.

Do Share in the Giving Spirit

Ramadan is known as the "month of giving" where all acts of kindness and generosity are multiplied. Whether you have money to donate or time to volunteer, you will always find legal and acceptable venues and means to do charity during Ramadan.

Modified Work Hours

Many businesses and offices change their work hours during Ramadan to not over-exert their employees who are fasting. They will open later than usual and close earlier than their normal timings. This modification will also be adopted by shops, which will stay closed in the afternoon and open for longer hours after Iftar. Schools also change their timings during Ramadan as they finish earlier than their usual timings. Tourist attractions will also change their operation hours and adopt a more Ramadan-friendly schedule.

Don't Engage in PDA

While that may be the case in Muslim countries throughout the year, public display of affection (PDA) is discouraged during Ramadan.

Don't Turn Down Food During Iftar

Don't turn down food or drink offered to you during Iftar, it is a sign of respect and friendliness for someone to share their most important meal of the day with you.

Remember, Ramadan is a very special time of the year, and it is indeed a good opportunity for any "outsider" to embrace the culture and traditions of Muslims and Muslim countries.

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