1. Are you allowed to drink, eat, and smoke in public places during fasting hours?
Whether you are are Muslim or non Muslim, everyone needs to follow the rules of fasting. However, in private, the rules do not apply. Even at your work place, organizations are required to have a separate room for those people who choose not to follow the rules.
2. Is there a specific time when fasting begins and ends?
Fasting commences at sunrise and ends at sunset, hence it is important to check a prayer time sheet.
3. Is there a specific dress code during the holy month?
It is essential to follow the rules when it comes to clothing. Clothes that are too tight or too revealing are frowned upon and should be avoided. In particular, women need to be careful, as they need to make sure they wear nothing to revealing they will show any form of cleavage, knees or shoulders. These rules reply even when going out at night.
4. For those people who are fasting, is there a particular way they need to be treated?
The inital week or two are usually the toughest so it is important to be considerate of what others are going through.
5. Will stores be open during fasting hours?
As most stores will be closed during the fasting hours, it is important to call the store to find out what their opening hours are.
6. Will the entire month be the same?
In the final 10 days, prayers intensify for devout Muslims who have the opportunity to pray all night. As a result, people might seem fatigued or restless (at work), so it is important to be mindful.
7. Why is it necessary to have shortened working hours during Ramadan?
There are specific guidelines that have been set up by the Federal Government for public and private companies that must be obeyed. As a result, the omitting of a lunch break and finishing the day early is often the case.
8. Do these guidelines apply to every employee, regardless of their religion?
The following applies to all employees, including those who are non Muslim.
9. Would it be considered a crime if you eat, drink or smoke in your car?
If your car is screened off, you still need to be quite discreet. If the public can see you, it is considered a crime.
10. Are visitors, tourists or non Muslim residents permitted to go to night clubs or buy alcohol during this holy month?
Majority of the night clubs will be closed during Ramadan. Generally, pubs, lounges are bars will be open, however they would only serve alcohol after sunset. As well, there will be no loud music in any bars or pubs.
11. For people who are non Muslim visitors or residents, would restaurants stop serving food?
Most eating places will be closed until sunset. However, quite a few of them will have discreet areas that will remain open for those who are not fasting.
12. For those who are not fasting, where can they go?
The options are slim, however there are a few choices. The supermarkets are open, delivery of take-away food is available as well. There are limited hotels that have restaurants that serve non fasting people. And as always, room service is available!
13. Is it possible for people who are non Muslim or non-fasters, to eat during the day in front of their colleagues?
It is important to be respectful of those who are fasting. Hence, if you are working in a shared/open space, eating in front of your co-workers is not allowed. However, a room can be designated that would need to be closed.
14. Are people permitted to wear a bikini while at the beach during Ramadan?
Swimwear, such as a bikini is allowed in areas including public beaches, beach parks, and hotel pools as they will be open.
15. Are you allowed to listen to loud music in your car, home or at the beach?
While at the beach, you are required to wear earphones. In your car and at home, you can listen to music as long as it cannot be heard outside your car or home.
16. During the day, are you allowed to chew gum?
No, as it is considered the equivalent of eating.
17. In the Islamic religion, if a Muslim is travelling, are they exempt from fasting for the period of travel?
Yes, they are allowed to eat, drink and smoke.
18. Can you drink water while working out at the gym?
It is okay to drink water at the gym, however you need to be careful when stepping outside as no eating or drinking is allowed in public.
19. Will all the malls be operating as usual?
It varies from mall to mall. Usually, malls are open during the day and for an extra hour or two at night.
20. Can children eat in public as they are exempt from fasting?
Yes, they are allowed to.
21. If a non-Muslim has been invited to an Iftar meal with Muslim co-workers, can they accept?
Yes they can accept the invitation. However, going empty handed is frowned upon.
22. Is there a particular way for non-Muslims to greet their Muslim colleagues?
“Ramadan Kareem” or “Ramadan Mubarak”
23. Can non-Muslims drive at the sundown while fasters heading to their homes to break their fast?
They can, but roads will be busy with people heading to their homes to break their fast. If people who don’t fast don’t need to be on the road at that time, it would be wise to wait half an hour to give fasters a chance to reach their homes.
24. Can people be intimate with their friends or partner (i.e. kiss on the cheek or hug) during the month of Ramadan.
Particularly during Ramadan, people have to avoid demonstrative acts of affection in public. This will cause offence.
25. Are non-Muslim residents or tourists allowed to go to Ramadan tents at Iftar or Suhor times?
Yes they can
26. Do people need to be careful on social media during Ramadan?
Non-Muslims should consider whether they have Muslim friends who are fasting on their social media networks before using strong language or sharing images that could be seen as being inappropriate.