Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ramadan in Khartoum

It was full moon on Wednesday and half way through the Ramadan month of fasting here in Khartoum (Photo:mine)

Breaking the fast at sunset with iftar on the city sidewalks in the Sudan. (Photo: Internet) 

During Ramadan strict rules have to be adhered to by Muslims while fasting, praying, and reading the Qu’ran. All Muslims rise  before dawn and eat the pre-dawn meal. The call for the Morning Prayer is the sign that fasting must begin until the call for the fourth prayer in the evening, Şlāh el Ghrwb (salah el Maghrib is how the people of Khartoum pronounce it), is made. Eating and drinking is again allowed after sunset.

Apart from fasting, the Muslims are encouraged to read or recite the Qu’ran during Ramadan. Special prayer sessions and Qu’ran-reciting sessions known as Tarawih are conducted every night in the mosques. They read a section of the Qu’ran everyday and eventually finish reading it by the 30th day. From our flat we hear these readings emanating from three to five mosques at a time.

While sipping our fresh fruit juice on the balcony in the evening, we observe how the women prepare the meal for the evening. In both our streets (our apartment is on the corner of two streets), the store owners act as hosts to the men who all eat together on the sidewalks. The women, who have prepared all the food, stay behind the walls of their compounds and eat with other women in their family. The children sometimes eat with the women but often are out on the sidewalk eating with the men and playing in the street.

Huge silver platters are filled with falafel, feta cheese, fried chicken, salad and pita bread.  A young man or the man of the house will take it to the arranged place on the street for all the men to enjoy when breaking the fast. (Photo: Internet)

Ramadan also concentrates on building the self-acceptability of every Muslim. By conducting prayers and meditations in the mosques, the muslims are made to create a bond between them and Allah. They are encouraged to do good deeds like helping the poor and the needy by giving them food, care, and love. Muslims often relish buying gifts for their family and friends.

This is my favourite part of Sudanese food: the sweet treats and desserts. Yum. These are served after the meal. I  hope we're invited when the fast ends in September! (Photo: Internet)
The Arabic word for the pre-dawn meal is Shr (pronouced shorfa - thanks Raindrops!) . The meal with which the muslims break their fast is called al-ʼFţār (pronounced Iftar)


  1. Ramadan is quite an involved and lengthy observation--very interesting. The platter of falafel, feta cheese, fried chicken, salad and pita bread looks absolutely mouth-watering. Yum!

  2. It is interesting to learn more about Ramadan. Not sure I could go all day without eating. Do they simply sleep during the day instead of night?

  3. Informative post. Sudan and UAE is having almost similar Ramadan scenarios.

    Have a nice weekend.

  4. Hi Jo, I have spent the past hour catching up on your blog and I just love Shadow. It is a year now since I have lost Massey but I still miss him. Cats just have a very special way of crawling into your heart and becoming part of your life. Your photos are so beautiful and I cannot wait to see the dessert through your lens. Greetings from SA.

  5. Salut!!!My name is bogdan from Romania!!!
    We can be friends ???
    I can put on your list of blogs?? thanks

  6. Hi Jo!
    It is always a good thing to get closer to God...
    If faith is based on love and compassion for your neighbor, it's all good...
    Love for one another and people of differing faiths will be the only thing that will stop all the strife between peoples of the earth...
    One God, One love! For all!

  7. Hi Jo, when I was in Cotabato before, it's a muslim area here in Mindanao island.. I love it when the Ramadan ends.. because it also means.. lotssa food... thanks Jo for dropping by...

  8. Hi Jo, Thanks for the info on Ramadan... I have never know much about Muslims--so this is very interesting to me. Do the women not adhere to the same rules (prayers, fasting, etc.)... OR do they just continue doing things like cooking, cleaning, etc... What do Muslim men do who work all day???? Questions--questions.

    Thanks so much.

  9. Your information on Ramadan is really interesting. Although there are many Muslims here, we rarely learn anything about their traditions.
    Have a great weekend!

  10. Our gardener is Morrocan and is also practisizing the Ramadan, I had completely forgotten and offered him an alcohol free beer ! But he laughed. In Belgium there is a big Morrocan community.


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