The following article was published in The Arabian Sun Vol. LXVI, No. 32, a Saudi Aramco weekly newsletter.
As Ramadan begins, we are reminded that it is a time of spiritual reflection, forgiveness and repentance that whole Islamic countries observe by fasting during the day, reciting additional prayers and traveling to Makkah and Medina. During the holy month, the daily routine changes. Sleeping patterns and eating habits change dramatically. Working hours are customarily reduced to give people more family time. During the day, restaurants don’t serve seated meals. The evening is lively, and family gatherings are common.
If you are non-Muslim in an Islamic country, it is courteous to show extra respect in the season of holiness. Though our beliefs differ, we can still join with Muslims worldwide in the observance of Ramadan. Respect is the very least we can show our Muslim brothers. Since this is the time of fasting, it is just proper to avoid anything that will insult their sacrifice and avoid having a lunch meeting with them or one that will extend after 5 p.m. Also, avoid also organizing company parties or social events, since it is time of prayer, meditation and worship.
We must understand that Ramadan is the most special month for all Muslims. Greetings by saying ‘Id Mubarak or Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan) to anyone who is crossing your way is an expression of respect. It is also a time to embrace the values of kindness, generosity, charity and volunteerism.
During Ramadan, let us say our most sincere prayers, repent and ask forgiveness regardless of our faith. Through this, we can make and receive a month of blessings, peace, happiness and benevolence. In the spirit of brotherhood, let our days be filled with joy and blessings by doing good things.
We are all here living on one planet, breathing one air, dreaming one ambition and sharing one vision. Observing Ramadan regardless if you’re Muslim brings us great kindness, goodness and benefits.