Ramadan Rant: Ridiculous Rules

Tis our season to be jolly.

Ramadan has arrived, a month of tranquility (supposedly) and peace, of prayers and alms, of giving to those less fortunate, of peace and understanding.

Rewind that last one, peace and understanding? How, when Kuwait implements such archaic rules as imprisonment for a month or fines of 100KD for those who eat in public during ramadan?

This is exactly the kind of barbarism that, to those abroad, makes Arabs seem like nothing more than barbaric goat-herders with a superiority complex.

I have researched this bizarre phenomenon, no where in the teachings of the Prophet, or in the history of Islam, or even in other countries is one penalised for eating during Ramadan, especially non-muslims. This seems to be a fad only in the Gulf Region.

Personally, I think it is backward, degrading and lacking compassionate grounds. By allowing this to happen, one has equated the act of eating with such lude acts as PDA (public displays of affection).

I have no qualms with those who choose to eat around me during Ramadan, why should everyone else? The purpose of Ramadan is to get a feel of how the many starving souls around the world feel every day of the year, those without money, without means to put food on the table, without a Carrefour or Geant or Starbucks every two blocks.

Only weak-willed individuals would seek to penalise those who choose to eat around them, the whole purpose of Ramadan is not merely to abstain from food, but also from temptation, vice and malice. If all it takes is to see a person eating for you to crave food, then you are weak-willed and fasting completely defeats the purpose of Ramadan, in essence, you are surrendering to temptation.

It should be a request, and not an obligation, to those who are non-muslim, to refrain from eating infront of others. Merely a request, not a mandate, and certainly never an official law passed by the government.

These rules are what worsen the image of Muslims in general around the world, we should strive to shed them.

And finally, Ramadan Kareem to all.

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