Sakina Amerjee of Dubai’s Eton Institute reveals some essential dos and don’ts to help you conduct yourself appropriately during this sacred time.
Do exchange Ramadan greetings during the Holy Month. Try ‘Ramadan Kareem’. ‘Kareem’ is the equivalent of ‘generous’ or ‘blessed’, so the phrase means ‘Wishing you a generous Ramadan’.
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Do get into the charitable spirit by donating to Ramadan camps, care packages and other campaigns.
Do listen to music quietly through headphones if you wish.
Do show your respect towards those who are fasting, and check if someone is abstaining before offering food.
Do be mindful and consider whether you have Muslim friends who are fasting on your Facebook or Twitter network before using strong language or sharing images that could be deemed revealing.
Do take a gift or dates for your host if you are invited by Muslim friends to share an iftar meal. If you invite Muslim friends into your own home for an iftar meal, make sure you have dates for them to break their fast with, and a healthy meal to follow.
Don’t eat, drink, chew gum or smoke in public during the Holy Month. If you work in an office, set up a designated, closed-off area for non-Muslims to eat and drink discreetly.
Don’t play loud music as it may offend those who are fasting.
Don’t wear revealing or tight clothes during the month of Ramadan and dress conservatively when in public.
Don’t get into debates or arguments, or pick fights – it is the month of peace and serenity. Also avoid swearing in public, which is frowned upon at the best of times, but particularly offensive during Ramadan.
Don’t leave dinner reservations until the last minute. Restaurants across Dubai can become much busier as families meet to break the fast together.