March 14, 2023
Celeberating Ramadan in Different Muslim Countries
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion. [ البقرة: 185]
Ramadan is the holy month of fasting and spiritual reflection for Muslims all over the world. It is a time of intense devotion and self-discipline, where Muslims fast from dawn till dusk and engage in acts of worship and charity. However, the way Muslims celebrate Ramadan can differ greatly from country to country, depending on cultural and traditional practices. In this blog post, we will explore some of the differences in how Muslims celebrate Ramadan in different countries.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, and Ramadan is a very important month for Indonesians. They start the day with suhoor (pre-dawn meal), followed by fasting until iftar. Indonesians often break their fast with dates, a glass of water, and traditional dishes such as "sate" (grilled meat skewers), "gorengan" (fried snacks), and "kolak" (a dessert made of bananas, sweet potatoes, and coconut milk). In addition, Indonesians often hold community iftar gatherings called "buka puasa bersama," where families and friends gather to break their fast together.
In Turkey, Ramadan is a time of reflection and prayer, as well as a time for festive gatherings and celebrations. Turkish families often start their day with a traditional pre-dawn meal called "sahur." During Ramadan, the streets are filled with food vendors selling traditional Turkish delicacies such as "baklava," "Turkish delight," and "simit" (a type of bread). In addition, the month of Ramadan in Turkey is celebrated with street concerts, public iftar events, and the traditional Ramadan drummers who wake people up for suhoor.
In Yemen, Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection and devotion, as well as a time for families and friends to come together. Yemeni families start their day with "suhoor," a pre-dawn meal to prepare for the day's fast with a meal called “Fatah”. They break their fast at sunset with a meal called "iftar," which often includes traditional Yemeni dishes such as "fahsa" (a stew made from lamb or beef that is cooked until tender and then mixed with spices), "shafoot" (a spicy and savory yogurt salad dish), and “rawani” (a sweet dish ). Yemenis also have a tradition called "al-mawlid," where people gather in mosques and homes to listen to religious poetry, sing hymns, and share meals. Additionally, Yemenis decorate their homes and streets with colorful lanterns and lights during Ramadan.
In Tunisia, Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, family gatherings, and community spirit. Tunisians fast from dawn to dusk, and then break their fast with dates and water followed by traditional dishes such as "brik" (a pastry filled with eggs and meat or vegetables), "couscous" (a North African dish made with semolina, vegetables, and meat), and "shourba" (a soup made of barley, meat and spices). Tunisians also have a tradition called "yassar," where people gather in cafes and public places to socialize and eat traditional desserts such as "zlebia" and "bamya" (both sweet fried pastries). Tunisians also decorate their homes and mosques with colorful lanterns and lights during Ramadan.
In Morocco, Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection and community. Moroccan families gather for iftar and break their fast with traditional dishes such as "harira" (a tomato-based soup with chickpeas, lentils, and spices), "briouats" (pastries filled with meat or vegetables), and "msemen" (a type of flatbread). In addition, Moroccan streets are decorated with lanterns, and mosques are illuminated with colorful lights. Moroccan women also decorate their hands with henna in preparation for the Eid al-Fitr festival that marks the end of Ramadan.
Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, and Ramadan is an extremely important month for Saudis. They fast from dawn till dusk, and then break their fast with dates and water, followed by a traditional iftar meal. Saudis also perform extra prayers during Ramadan, and the holy city of Mecca sees an influx of Muslims from all over the world who come to perform Umrah (a non-compulsory pilgrimage) during this month. In addition, Saudi streets are decorated with lights, and there are special Ramadan tents set up in public places where people can gather for iftar.
In Egypt, Ramadan is a time for family gatherings, where families gather for iftar (the meal eaten to break the fast). The streets are lit up with lanterns, and the atmosphere is festive. A popular traditional dish during Ramadan is "fattah," which is made up of layers of bread, rice, and meat, all soaked in a delicious tomato-based sauce. Egyptians also decorate their homes and streets with colorful lights, and mosques are decorated with banners and flags.
In conclusion, while the basic tenets of Ramadan are the same across the Muslim world, the way in which it is celebrated varies greatly depending on the country. From Indonesia to Saudi Arabia, Egypt to Turkey, Ramadan is a time of intense spiritual reflection and devotion, but also a time for community, family, and traditions. The diversity of the celebrations is a testament to the richness and beauty of the Muslim world.