Lillian Gaitho’s weekend contribution

Halfway through Ramadan here are some hot tips by Lillian as she winds up her week.

Top 5 guidelines for Travelers during the Holy Month of Ramadan

Ramadan is Islam’s Holy Month, dedicated to fasting during day hours and aimed at spiritual renewal.

The celebration of Ramadan calls for a few changes in any household, residence and even corporate organization. If you are travelling this season, Lillian Gaitho has listed five important observances to heed to for both Muslim and non-Muslim travelers.

#1 Understand and Appreciate the Season

The month of Ramadan is dedicated to prayers, forgiveness and self-sacrifice. It’s not just a period of deprivation, but rather, a time to connect with Allah and seek. The daily fast ends with a mostly shared meal called Iftar, and starts at dawn break with a more private meal referred to as Suhoor. Ramadan breaks with a holiday referred to as Eid-il-Fitr

#2 A time to give and gift

Generosity and giving is a vital part of practice, and more so during the month of Ramadan. If invited by a friend or even guide, remember to carry gifts. It’s not just about good etiquette, but also shows your willingness to be part of the spiritual journey. Giving charity or sadaqa is considered as an act of worship in Islam, and the month of Ramadan marks the epitome of the same.

#3 Modesty and Self-sacrifice

Ramadan comes with own and well recognized guidelines; part of it is the need to abstain from bodily indulgence. If you are a non-Muslim tourist visiting a Muslim community, you ought to show some respect to both culture and religion through modest and considerate behavior. Avoid revealing clothes, public display of affection and behavior that may upset your host. If you must eat, enjoy your meals away from the brother or sister who cannot partake.

#4 Exercise some patience

The energies may be dwindling, especially in the late afternoon, public transport and restaurants will definitely take a slow down as the month progresses. You may need to shop and stock while you can to avoid any surprises along the days. If you are staying in a hotel, remember to ask about their Ramadan deals and schedules at the time of booking.

#5 Weigh your travel options

Travelling during Ramadan may require special planning and a few additions than other ‘normal’ days. For instance, if you are fasting, you do not want to break your fast midair with six hours to the next meal! Again, for non-Muslims travelling to regions with a high population of Muslim; it’s important to pack a snack just in case your taxi stalls in traffic and you find yourself in a desert town. Weigh all options and settle for hours that seem to favor both Iftar and Suhoor; the main markers of the holy month.

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