Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, which each month begins with the sighting of the new moon. Basically, Ramadan is one whole month.
Muslims believe that during the month of Ramadan, Allah revealed the first verses of the Qur’an, the holy book of the Islam.
To the Muslims, Ramadan is the month of blessing, marked by prayer, fasting, and charity. For the entire month of Ramadan, they practice sawn, or fasting. This means that they may eat or drink nothing, including water, while the sun shines. All able Muslims take part in fasting from about age twelve. Most restaurants are closed during the daylight hours.
Here in Doha, everybody in one way or another observe fasting. For non-Muslims, you are not allowed to eat or drink anything in public places. You only use your mouth to talk. You are not even allowed to smoke while in public. You can eat or drink, though, in private places where no practicing Muslims can see you, for they will get offended.
Office hours, as well, are cut short during the month of Ramadan, to give way for Muslim employees to practice their prayers. In Ernst & Young, required office hours are from 8am to 2pm. Client office hours vary. Some even hold office until 1pm only.
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