Word on the street: Observing Ramadan
Public opinion on the streets of Muscat
Are you concerned about the rising heat and long hours of fasting this Ramadan?
Ammar Mohsin al Bulushi
No, I am not. We are used to fasting since we were around eight or nine years old. We are prepared to face such kind of weather. It’s all about having the right type of food.
We have to be careful only about our food intake during this period. It is important to hydrate your body well during the night to be able to fast during the day. Otherwise, it is not a big deal.
Ahmed al Musallami
Yes, it is of concern as I have to work outdoors. But thankfully, we work less during the day. We get enough time to rest. But heat and long hours should not deter us from fasting.
Dr Bader al Hadhrami
Rising heat should not be a problem if one takes care of health. Body consumption of water increases due to insensible water loss especially as heat increases during Ramadan. So, take enough water and fluids and in this way you can keep your kidneys happy and ensure healthy fasting.
Abdullah Hamed al Dhafri
I don’t think rising heat is going to make fasting difficult during Ramadan. I also don’t think it is an obstacle. Only if you feel thirsty, hungry and tired, can you understand the plight of the poor.
Ali al Saidi
Rising heat is a concern for those fasting and working outdoors. For others, it should not be a major issue as most of the time they are indoors with air conditioners on. People should avoid oily and spicy foodstuff and drink lots of fluids when breaking fast.
Often shoppers can be seen buying trolleys full of food items. Doesn’t this practice go against the very essence of Ramadan which is about moderation and refraining from excesses?
Ramadan comes from the Arabic word ramad which means intensely or vehemently heated by the sun. It is unjust to buy a lot of food during Ramadan because we are fasting and as prescribed by Allah have to exercise restraint. This is to understand what hunger and difficulties people in different parts of the world face due to poverty. So, buying in excess is not the essence of Ramadan.
Yes, many people consider it the most expensive month of the year. True meaning of fasting is about moderation and abstinence. One should avoid indulging in things done on a daily basis. On the other hand, consuming large quantities of food may cause a stomach upset. I benefit a lot from fasting during Ramadan, in terms of health and spirituality.
Ali al Shiadi
Over-eating and buying different kinds of food items are not the essence of Ramadan. It is rather an opportunity for every Muslim to control expenses on food and other items. The essence of Ramadan is practising moderation in all aspects of life.
Sultan al Rawahi
Private sector employee
Islam urges for moderation in all matters of our lives. So, Ramadan is an opportunity for every Muslim to follow and apply that in his day-to-day life. Ramadan also provides an opportunity to get rid of habits like over indulgence on food and shopping. Our TV programmes telecast during Ramadan talk mostly about food and indulgence. They should be tailored to reflect the true essence of Ramadan.
We all know Ramadan teaches us the virtue of understanding the plight of poor - how it feels to be without food and water all day. Although everyone does that during the day, they eat and indulge after breaking fast like there is no tomorrow, which goes against the essence of Ramadan.
After the day’s fast, people go overboard by shopping and eating which is against the teaching of Ramadan. It is true that food sales go up many times during this period. It is we who are responsible for not following the principles of the holy month. We should work a little extra towards achieving the real purpose of Ramadan.
Food is often prepared in large quantities and at times a lot of it ends up not being consumed at all. How can we prevent wastage?
Nasser al Hosani
We try our best not to waste food. At home there is no opportunity to waste. People at home are now aware as to who will consume in how much quantity. And after fasting for long hours it is not possible to indulge in hogging. If there is excess we distribute it. Wastage can be prevented if you do cook as required and share in case there is extra.
One should donate food during this time of the year. It also helps preventing wastage. Planning in advance also helps manage food. This is that time of the year when cooking happens in large quantities but wasting is unacceptable.
Abdul Rahma al Siyabi
Food is never wasted in my home as we plan in advance. We understand how much can be eaten when one is fasting. Sharing food helps in preventing wastage and is a great way to help others.
Senthil Kumar Balasubramanian
I think trial and error is key. People may make too much food during the first few days of Ramadan, but it is mostly regulated later in the month as nobody likes to waste food.
Ali al Amri
Credit control manager
Food wastage has become less of an issue in the last few years. The media has played a big role in highlighting the issue. I think composting or using the leftovers to feed animals could be the way forward.
Mazin Fareed al Zadjali
Rising prices means people are more careful when it comes to portions nowadays. Unfortunately, the problem will always exist when food is cooked for large groups. I think people should look to the food and beverage industry for answers. Restaurants serving buffets are excellent at managing portions and reducing waste.