Alhamdulillah, we’re about 30% thru Ramadan and I think it is not too late for me to wish Ramadan Kareem to all Muslim anywhere in there world and may this Ramadan will be better than the previous year.
This year is our 4th Ramadan in Kuwait and to tell you the truth, we love fasting in Kuwait. Weird? Well, people might say we are weird but we love fasting here purely because we feel that we can embrace Ramadan better here… no rushing home from office through traffic jam and no breaking fast in the car most of the week days. Having said that, we do miss all the good selection of food and kuih at Pasar Ramadan he he he and not to mention breaking fast with parents and siblings….
In Kuwait, it is against the law to eat and drink in public. When I say against the law, I mean if you are drinking water on the street or even eating in your car and someone spots you and reports you, you may find yourself facing a 100KD fine and a 30-day jail term. Restaurants and coffee shops will be closed until dusk, they normally open about 1/2 hour before the iftar or 1/2 hour after the iftar… making the Malaysian tradition of “Buka Puasa Buffet” almost impossible.
During Ramadan, working hours are cut short in an effort to aid Muslims in their fasting and they do not have the rules that say if you are a non Muslim, you have to work normal hours., everybody get to come to work late and go back early. My other half works in a bank and his working hours for Ramadan is from 9:30 to 14:30 ( normal hours is from 7:30 to 15:30).
Mosques are jam packed with worshipers. Mostly all the favourite mosque will put up tents to accommodating more people. The authorities also make sure that the parking are available, normally it is a bit far from the mosque but they provide a shuttle bus to pick you up from your parking to the mosque.
The Taraweeh prayers normally will be lead by the Kuwaiti great reciter; Sheikh Mishary Rashid Al Afasy and during the last 10 days of Ramadan, the mosque holds Qiyaam al-Layl (night prayers). Last year the Qiyaam (11 raka’at prayers) started at 12 midnight and finished at 2:30am. We were fortunate to be able to experience the Qiyam last year and this year we are looking forward to it…. This is the experience that you can’t get in Malaysia and the closest thing to performing prayers in MasjidilHaram…Masyaallah!