A Brief Guide to Ramadan for Non-Muslims

One of the most notable practices during Ramadan is fasting from sunrise to sunset. While Muslims don’t expect non-Muslims to fast the same way they do, it remains important to show respect. As such there are certain things to know. Non-Muslims can manifest respect to Muslim faithful during Ramadan by observing the following etiquette:

Do not eat, drink, or smoke in public during the fasting hours. This includes chewing gum.

Do not engage in public displays of affection, like hugging.

Do not engage in any aggressive behaviour.

Do not dance or play music in public. You may listen to music quietly with headphones.

Do not wear inappropriate clothing in public. Dress respectfully. Men should avoid wearing sleeveless vests, while women should cover their shoulders and knees.

Do not swear. Blasphemy is considered extra offensive during Ramadan.

Do not refuse a gift, from a simple date to something more exotic, you should accept it. Further, you should not refuse an invitation to join someone at Iftar.

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Those who fail the above etiquette face a variety of penalties but community service is usually being favored.

Non-Muslims are free to eat and drink at designated areas or in the privacy of home. Workers may ask employers for a suitable place to eat lunch or take a smoking break.

During Ramadan, work hours are reduced by two hours for employees across all sectors regardless of whether observing Ramadan or not.

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