The Muslim community started its annual Ramadan last Saturday. Unluckily, the last days have been quite warm and long.
Do you remember the weather over the last days? Although a significant part of the Brusselians have suffered from the high temperature, the Muslim community has probably suffered more. The Ramadan indeed started last Saturday and will last one month in total.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating any food, drinking any liquids, smoking cigarettes, and engaging in any sexual activity, from dawn to sunset. That includes taking medication (even if you swallow a pill dry, without drinking any water). Chewing gum is also prohibited.
As all the national religious authorities decide when the Ramadan should start, the Belgian Muslim Executive Council decided to start last Saturday, like in France and Saudi Arabia.
The Ramadan has to comply with a precise agenda every year, and this is why it has been being held near summer over the last years. It makes it harder in the Northern hemisphere, as the days are longer and warmer.
This rite is applicable to all Muslims who aim to take it, although some people are exempted, such as the pregnant women and the young people who have not reached puberty yet.
But the Ramadan is not only about stopping eating, smoking and drinking all the day long. It is indeed also time to think about religion, introspection and relationships with people. “The Ramadan is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. It is a month of contemplation, patience and tolerance. Taking part of the Ramadan in a non-Muslim country provides those who practice it with higher level virtues of tolerance and patience”, explained Mokhtar Chouari, a Tunisian expat in Brussels.
For those who take Ramadan very seriously, they have to pray at precise times several times a day. Should you be interested in knowing when the Muslims should pray during the Ramadan in Belgium, you can find all the information here.
Muslim friends, Brussels Express then wishes you good luck with the Ramadan during the long days!