I recently read an article which was forwarded by an Egyptian colleague about over eating and watching TV during the month of Ramadhan in Egypt. The full article can be read here. I have lived 2 years of my life in Jordan and have spent the past 2 years in Egypt. I can safely say that this is not an Egyptian phenomenon.
Schools finish earlier at around 13:00ish because everyone is fasting, so people can go home and either sleep or think about eating. Once people have eaten, either at families house which is either on invitation or they have invited. It is well known that the stomachs grow smaller over the month but we will still make and eat food like there is no tomorrow. Once everyone has eaten, mostly the men of the family will go to the mosque to pray the Tarweeh prayer, which are the recommended prayers only for Ramadhan. These prayers will be cut short because people are eager to go home to watch the latest Drama imported from Syria or Turkey such as Bab Al Hara. If your not at home watching these Dramas, you’re in the cafes watching.
Clocks are brought back an hour just for Ramadhan; Schools and businesses are closed at around 14:30ish. People generally work less. Time is spent either thinking about food, preparing food for large feasts for family members they have not seen the whole year around or thinking about what you’re going to make the next day and who you’re going to invite. Once the food is eaten and consumed on an extra large proportion, then people head to the mosques for a quick recommended prayer, which is either so long that it puts off people ever coming back again or so short so people can go home or to the cafes to watch Egyptian dramas.
Ramadhan is time for reflection, for working harder, being more aware of your actions in accordance to the book (the Quran) and example of the Prophet. How can it be that some people do not pray all year long and yet they fast during the month of Ramadhan. How can it be that women do not cover, and yet they will fast during the month of Ramadhan. The Muslim community must throw away this ‘pick and choose’ mentality and use the month of Ramadhan is a reflection and purification time so that it can impact the other remaining months in a positive manner.
No one is perfect so lets make this month a spring board for change in the right direction. It is not all about eating and watching Dramas.