We, at W7, wishes you and everyone Ramadan Kareem. May your problems be solved and sins forgiven in this holy month of Ramadan.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is a month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims believe that it was during Ramadan that the Quran was revealed to mankind through the Prophet Muhammad. The Quran is the holy book of Muslims and they recite it daily, in prayers, as well as reflect on its teachings to guidance. During Ramadan, Muslims will fast and engage in extra prayers and worship, as a means to grow closer to God in this especially sacred time. Ramadan is known as the month of empathy. And it’s that time of the year where Muslims put themselves in the shoes of people who don’t have enough food or water to drink and experience a little of their situation. So it is supposed to evoke empathy in people.
What do Muslims do during Ramadan?
Muslims will fast during the hours of daylight in Ramadan, which means they don’t ingest anything at all, including food or drink. Alongside this fasting, they are taught to really do best to reconnect with God and improve character and morality. Thus, Muslims will attend the mosque more often, usually every evening for special prayers, as well as trying to improve our character and positive virtues. For 30 consecutive days you are put into this situation where you are going to be hungry, your sugar levels are low, and the chances are that you are going to get a bit edgy and agitated, so either you have a very foul mood for the month of Ramadan or you deal with it for 30 days. It is the best anger management course.
Muslims in this month, connect with family members and friends, invite each other to Iftaars, for breaking their fast. In this month, retailers and brands have a peak in sales as Muslims go out at night after Tarawi and do shopping.
Study, dive and rise
During the first 1-2 weeks of Ramadan, restaurants and fast food service do not exactly have a high sale as most of the people invite or are invited to one another’s house for Iftaar, but after the second week, there is a peak in sales as people consume food more on daily basis.
In this month, brands and corporates target families as audience for their products, running campaigns and designs to attract families mostly. Levels of observance of Ramadan will vary in different countries and cultures but most Muslims will conform to some extent with the requirements of the fast. In Saudi Arabia, employees holding senior posts are not entitled to work reduced hours and are required to work the hours that are necessary to carry out their duties in full. Fasting during the day does not lead to a fall in demand for food. At the end of Ramadan there is normally a lot of activity as people traditionally visit families to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, the three-day festival marking the end of the fast. It is also a time when people exchange gifts – very often clothing, so sales of traditional costumes peak towards the end of the holy month. Cafes generally do a roaring business during Ramadan. Going to cafes after iftar and spending time there watching television, smoking shisha and chatting with friends is a Ramadan tradition. This year Ramadan coincides with the summer vacation which has been an added advantage for cafe owners. One man, who runs a cafe on King Fahd Road in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, says: “There has been a 100% increase in the number of customers during the holy month.” Smoking shisha is not the only factor that results in attracting huge numbers of visitors, especially youngsters, to the cafe. “Most of them come to spend their free hours as well as to watch Ramadan programmes on satellite channels,” he says.
Charities also tend to get a boost during Ramadan as mosques collect donations and people are encouraged to donate online.
It is also in this month that a peak in internet usage occurs, as everyone is usually on net after Iftaar and before Suhoor. Whereas most stream online or spend time in social media, shopping or communicating with their beloved ones. Indeed, many Muslim countries experience a dramatic increase in online shopping during Ramadan, a phenomenon known as the “Ramadan Rush,” as well as a boost in charitable donations.
A special exception
In this holy month, small stalls pop out of nowhere on the street sides, selling a hot snack or a drink or fruits or maybe even clothes or jewelleries. It is only in this month that the police allow these people to set up shops as it is actually one of the most popular feature of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. Families walking from shop to shop, taking a break in this stall, getting a bite to eat and a drink to reenergize. These stalls are full of livelihood, a brimming positive energy that sparks up passer-by’s interest and revitalises the folks nearby.
Some stalls are just a charitable stall, in which you leave your old clothes and folks who need them, can take them for free. Some stalls hand out dates and water, and a snack for Iftar if you will be late for Iftar or in traffic. Sometimes it’s not stalls but normal folks, who spend an hour daily to donate food to people who are on route to home for Iftar but would be late due to traffic, or even people who are either travelling or just arrived.
‘Sharing is Caring’
It is a blessed time to share with families, friends and strangers. A time when families and friends grow closer than ever, sharing food and their time, laughing and enjoying a joyous moment. It is also when strangers are offered food and drink, a simple act of kindness, spreading happiness, peace and kindness around. Families invite family members and friends to host Iftar together, breaking their fast together and enjoying each other’s company, and praying together.
Forgive thy enemy, and smile
In this month, Muslims endure a day long fast, without eating or drinking anything from sunrise till sunset. Muslims learn discipline, patience, and forgiveness. Muslims believe in this Holy month of Ramadan, ‘The Gates to Heaven (Jannah) are open and the Gates to Hell (Jahannam) are closed with the devil chained inside’. Praying and seeking forgiveness, this Holy month is believed to be a month in which Muslims are closest to God. This Holy month teaches the Muslims to forgive and seek a peaceful coexistence with their surrounding folks, even if the individual was a mortal enemy. Smile, and spread joy around, forgive and do not seek revenge, and leave grudges behind.
In conclusion, Ramadan is a time of peace, forgiveness and bonding between families, friends and the brands between the customers. It is a month in which families come closer and Muslims closer to God. Brands interact with Customers in a way, that brands know what the customers wishes and wants. People change their habits and ultimately use this time to pray and worship, and brands use this time to change their way of approach towards the market, allowing more sales and happy customers. Charitable donations also increase, people donating food for the poor and Masjids holds Iftaars for people.