- Jordan Times) AMMAN - Jordanians, joining 1.5
billion Muslims worldwide, observe today the
first day of the fasting month of Ramadan, which
brings drastic changes to daily life
The start of Ramadan begins at
the sighting of the new moon of the lunar month,
according to Islamic tradition.
and officials gathered in the vicinity of King
Hussein Mosque in Amman Tuesday evening, some
using telescopes, to watch the new moon
As there was no
sighting of the new moon, scholars declared
Wednesday as the 30th day of the lunar month of
Shaban, making Thursday the first day of the
fasting month, which like every lunar month
lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on the sighting
of the new moon of the month that
Usually working hours and
consequently other aspects of life change in a
manner that fits the requirements of the month,
mainly the main meal that breaks the fast at
sunset, the iftar.
Working hours for
public agencies are customarily reduced to
9:00am to 2:00pm, instead of 8:00am to 3:00pm
during the rest of the year.
businesses also adjust their working day during
the fasting month. In general, Muslims try to be
at the iftar table with the call for sunset
Restaurants are not allowed to
serve seated meals during the day, while all
liquor shops and nightclubs are ordered to close
till the end of the month.
from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days of the holy
Those who are sick, elderly, or on
a journey, and women who are pregnant or
nursing, are permitted to break the fast and
make up an equal number of days later in the
year, according to Islamic teachings.
they are physically unable to do this, they must
feed a needy person for every day missed.
Children begin to fast and observe the prayer
from puberty, although many start
Those fasting are also required
to avoid immoral behaviour, have self-restraint
and show compassion.
Ramadan evenings are
a highlight of this season.
There are the
taraweeh prayers, performed traditionally at
The taraweeh is a special prayer
performed after ishaa prayers in Ramadan
evenings, starting on the eve of the first day
of the holy month.
His Majesty King
Abdullah yesterday joined worshippers in
performing the ritual at the King Hussein Mosque
Restaurants, caf¸čand hotels
all cater for the occasion by setting up
traditional tents in addition to live
entertainment, hubbly-bubblies, card tables and
array of sweets.
Qatayef, a delightful
sweet reserved for the month of Ramadan, is very
popular. The pancake shell is filled with
walnuts, sweet white cheese or cream and then
fried in oil, dipped in sugar syrup and served
hot or at room temperature.
operate special qatayef stalls, often attracting
long queues of customers, especially in the
final hours before iftar.
come in all sizes, shapes and prices, are also
in demand this season. Generally, Muslims break
their fasting by eating few dates and a sip of
At the social level, family
reunions and banquets held for family members,
in-laws and friends are a key feature of the
past few years, towns have witnessed the charity
iftars, served under tents erected in public
squares and on the sides of roads for the poor
and passersby. These iftars are organised by big
businesses and well-off individuals, in addition
to those donated by Arab leaders like the late
UAE president Sheikh Zayed Ben Sultan Al
Charity work is very active in
Ramadan. Starting with the Hashemite Charity
Caravans, which distribute food parcels among
the poor all over the Kingdom, charity
organisations' work peaks in this season.
Lailat Al Qadr
There is a special
night called Laylat Al Qadr (the Night of
Power), which is mentioned in the Koran as the
night when the first verses of the holy book
were revealed to the Prophet Mohammad. In
general, Jordanians observe the night on the eve
of Ramadan 27 by staying up till the early
morning hours praying and reading
At the completion of the fasting
month, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid
According to Islamicity.com,
the occasion is "a true thanksgiving for a
Muslim believer for having the opportunity to
obey God by observing fasting.