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Advice on visiting during Ramadan

(6 Posts)
chancer2014 Wed 17-Jun-15 23:01:09

Could anyone please give me advice on what to do/not to do when visiting an elderly lady and her extended family during this forthcoming Ramadan period.

As a non- Muslim, I have little knowledge of the faith but I would hate to offend anyone.

Are there particular customs I need to know about/things I should do or be aware of on entering their home?

Are elderly people excused from fasting, for example? Is this usual or do elders typically fast too? Also, can younger family members make food for their elderly relatives (even if they don't eat it themselves?). Sorry for all the naive questions but am very keen to know more.

peacefuloptimist Thu 18-Jun-15 11:40:52

Hi Op

Normally elderly people do not fast during Ramadhan however some may choose to if they are in a good state of health.

As for customs it depends on the purpose of your visit. Is it a social or work call? If its work related the only thing I would say is avoid going at the time they break fast as they will be a bit busy preparing. Morning or midday is a good time to visit as they will probably be more energetic at that time. Oh and they may need to stop whatever it is your doing to pray if its prayer time.

If its social its nice to bring a dish or some food along to contribute to the iftar (breaking fast) meal. You can cook for elderly relatives if your younger but they may think your trying to poison them if you dont have a good reason for not eating it. Just kidding. Check that anything you bring is suitable for vegetarians and is non alcoholic. If you want to make something with meat in it go for halal meat. Or it is customary to give dates as a gift so you can do that instead of bringing a dish but make sure they are not from Israel as some people may have strong views about it.

Hope that helps.

chancer2014 Thu 18-Jun-15 18:51:19

Thanks Peaceful. It's work related. I know I sound really naive about this but are there any other customs I should be aware of or might inadvertently offend. I'm thinking of when you enter someone's home, appropriate dress and manners, etc

silversixpence Thu 18-Jun-15 19:33:30

I think PeacefulOptimist has covered it. A small thing but is customary to take shoes off in many Muslim households.

peacefuloptimist Fri 19-Jun-15 09:47:23

One more thing to note Op dont try to shake anyone's hand. Some Muslims strictly will not shake hands of members of the opposite sex. Nothing is required in terms of dress. Just dress how you would normally do at work with maybe a touch more conservatism.

aroundandaroundagain Thu 16-Jul-15 17:16:16

My advice is wear something thats not too tightly fitted. Make sure you cover your legs, doesn't really matter about arms. Maybe a knee length dress with leggings, something like that? Take something with you such as a sweet dish as there will already be lots of other food there. When you get there the men and women may be separated into two different rooms, the children will be in the room with the ladies. Just something to be aware of incase you are taking a male partner. You will most likely be sat down and fed so make sure you can fit something in. Enjoy yourself and don't be shy. smile

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