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One of the most important time in a Muslim’s life during the holy month Ramadan is iftar time (Breaking of fast). This holy moment is usually spent with your friends, family, neighbors or even your coworkers which at times may be non-Muslims as well.
Muslims feel immense pride to share the rites of Ramadan. While non-Muslims are most welcomed for iftar at a Muslims place, there are certain rules which need to be met. Recommended: Why Non-Muslims can't enter Makkah and Madina?
Arrive 10-15 minutes before the sunset
The most crucial rule is to not only be on time but also at least 10- 15 minutes earlier as a Muslim performing fast might not wait for you at the dining table and since they are the hosts they can’t even open their fast without you either.
To avoid putting Muslims into an unpleasant situation, it is best to be on time as late arrivals might not be entertained.
Muslims open fast with everyone sitting together
Be it on the carpet or a table but we do not sit alone or differently. This is because firstly sitting all together is a tradition and sitting together gives us the feeling of being bonded as one happy family.
Muslims have a certain way for opening fasts; it usually begins with the intake of dates, Arabic coffee (qahwa) and water. Recommended: Etiquette of Drinking and Presenting Arabic Qahwa
Now as to why we consume dates to break our fast is because firstly it is Sunnah and secondly dates are a form of instant energy and it suddenly takes that unbearable hunger one feels after staying empty stomach all day.
Muslims go for their prayer after opening the fast
As soon as the Muslims break their fast, they at once go and perform their prayers before having their iftar meal and during this time a non-Muslim is expected to sit back, relax and feel comfortable.
Don’t question if a woman is not fasting
At times when a woman is going through her monthly menses then she might not join the family for prayers so on seeing this, a non-Muslim should never question women who are praying as I am sure you don’t want to create any awkwardness.
As soon as the prayers are finished, the food is served
Most of the families tend to start their dinner with light food like different types of soups and samosas. Then once they are finished with having appetizers, they serve variety or traditional dishes such as jereesh or garcon or western dishes like fish and chips.
Then the meal will end by the host serving you a variety of fresh fruits with traditional Saudi tea, but let me remind you one little thing, don’t you dare think that this is the end of iftar.
They are then served with rich creamy desserts and tea
Tea for them is a must in Ramadan, I think at least 4-5 cups of tea is consumed by them after the breaking of fast. By this time now I believe the iftar feast is planning to get over soon.
Well, not to forget to mention that if a non-Muslim person is invited for iftar at home, it is seemed nice he gets a gift for the host along or even a dessert which could be enjoyed together after the breaking of fast.
These are little things which a non-Muslim need to keep in mind while getting ready to go for iftar dinner at a friend’s house. Oh, and happy overeating.
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