Cairo: The holy month of Ramadan is likely to prove to be the toughest in decades especially for the Muslims in Middle East region as the summer is extremely hot in the Gulf States and days are relatively longer.
Ramadan is considered to be the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. The Muslims prepare themselves for self-examination in this month besides being more focused on religious practices and increased charity towards poor while keeping fast in the broad day light.
Muslims present themselves before Allah for the examination as they restrain from drinking, eating, smoking and even having permissible sex during fasting in this holy month. They also avoid gossiping, swearing, lying and fighting and quarrelling with one another. They keep fast from sunrise to sunset and especially restrain from all bad deeds and sins during this holy month of Ramadan in order to please their God, Allah.
“Ramadan is a wonderful month, praise God,” said Hatem Shawky, 42, a cabdriver working at historical Tahrir Square in Egypt’s capital city, Cairo. However, he admitted, “It is hot.”
In Cairo, the streets were unnaturally quiet. “Everyone is in their houses now,” said Mahmoud Hammam, 35, a street vendor.
“But they are in their houses sitting atop a volcano of rage. One thing goes wrong, and they will all come down to the square,” he warned.
Ramadan has arrived for the second time since the Arab spring started, especially in Syria, which is going through transition phase towards democracy after its people selected an Islamist, Mohamed Morsi, as their president through elections. The country saw the severe opposition and toppled the government of Hosni Mubarak after three decades.
Libya successfully elected a non-Islamist Parliament less than two weeks ago, but has yet to get its difficult militias under central authority. Tunisia just dismissed its central bank’s governor, a sacrifice to the harsh reality that the unemployed youth who helped propel the Arab Spring’s first uprising still remain just as likely to be unemployed.
Dissidents have continued their activities in Bahrain in the month of Ramadan. Even in Dubai, where relatively fearful activists have asked for more rights to free speech. The UAE authorities have responded with the arrests of 14 people within a week on charges of antigovernment activity.
The sanctity of Ramadan has failed so far in curbing violence in Syria as the Shiite government of President Bashar Al-Assad has been facing stringent opposition from the Sunni majority population. The struggle between the Syrian forces and activists have transformed into a war in which more than 17,000 people have been killed so far since March 2011.
Now, let’s see the weather heat in Ramadan will be able to overpower the heat of confrontation in the Middle East region or not. The holy month of Ramadan demands from the Muslims that they should practically honor the sacredness of the month despite performing tongue-twisting only.