Ramdan – the essence of Muslims
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.
The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness. Fasting is fardh (obligatory) for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, are elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.Fasting the month of Ramadan was made obligatory (wājib) during the month of Sha’aban, in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina.Fatwas have been issued declaring that Muslims who live in regions with natural phenomenon such as the midnight sun or polar night should follow the timetable of Mecca.
While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting. Food and drink is served daily, before dawn and after sunset. Spiritual rewards (thawab) for fasting are also believed to be multiplied within the month of Ramadan. Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran.
- Relax in one of Thailand or Malaysia’s most spectacular venues
- The holy month is the perfect occasion to indulge in quality time with family and loved ones.
- Share with each other the captivating traditions and cultures of the region
- Enjoy a great local food
Where to eat in Thailand
No exploration of Bangkok’s street food is complete without a trip to Chinatown (referred to among locals as Yaowarat), which is considered the birthplace of street food in Thailand and remains a prime foodie destination.
Bangkok’s Old Town – also known as Banglamphu is a treasure trove of old-style Thai street food specialities that are hard to find elsewhere. Here, the most famous vendors have been around for decades, nourished by several generations’ of culinary know-how.
Although this area (named after the traffic-packed road that runs through it) is now an upscale neighbourhood full of expats, Starbucks and sushi bars, Sukhumvit still bears testament to the fact that, wherever money is, good food of all types will follow.
Where to eat in Malaysia
Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur
One of the capital’s liveliest bazaars unfurls along Jalan Masjid India and the adjacent shopping strip of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, or “TAR” for short (light rail station Masjid Jamek). Bargain snacks, textiles and knickknacks mingle here. The food stalls are a showcase for national and regional dishes such as sour fishy Penang laksa, Hokkien mee fried noodles with prawns, samosas and pau mince dumplings as well as special celebratory foods. Some stalls have set up makeshift kitchens and cook dishes on the spot. Others have everything meticulously prepared and pre-packaged in individual portions.
Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur
Those staying in the hip expat neighbourhood of Bangsar won’t miss out on the festival of food, with the daily Bazaar Ramadan on Jalan Telawi, right alongside the gold-domed Saidina Abu Bakar As Siddiq mosque. The putu piring — rice flour cakes steamed in cheesecloth under conical steel covers and served with palm sugar and coconut shavings — draw fans from all over KL (light rail station Bangsar).