|Majority of Muslims Practice Ramadan Traditions Even More When Living Overseas Than at Home|
06/08/2012 06:39 (290 Day 13:32 minutes ago)
The FINANCIAL -- The majority of Muslims living and working overseas practice cultural and religious traditions during the Holy Month of Ramadan even more devoutly than they did in their home countries, a newly released Western Union-sponsored study has found.
Specifically, Muslims living and working overseas said that their actions during Ramadan had changed after arriving in their new host countries, with half of respondents (50%) saying they fasted more and two in five (41%) sharing and giving more.
Different traditions are observed during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Despite being away from family and loved ones, 96 percent practiced fasting, 89 percent prayed, 78 percent engaged in iftar, or evening meals to break the day’s fast, and 75 percent read the Qur’an.
The tradition of zakat, or the act of giving to others in need, is practiced more during Ramadan, with nearly nine in 10 Muslims abroad (89%) saying they fulfilled zakat during the Holy Month.
Breaking fast is popular with other people instead of alone, with family (75%) being the most favored companions, closely followed by friends (65%).
Accessibility to facilities for religious purposes (62%) and the influence of family, loved ones and friends (52%) are the most important influencers in fasting more during Ramadan.
As The Western Union reported, a vast majority (94%) uphold sharing and giving traditions during Ramadan.
The zakat obligation is most commonly fulfilled through sharing with people who are known to the giver locally or overseas (65%). Arab Muslims are more likely to share with people they know locally (42%) than overseas (29%), while the reverse is true for non-Arab Muslims (49% local; 56% overseas).
Muslims from the Middle East and the United States are more likely to fulfill zakat through donations to charity (53% and 54% respectively).
Overall, the most common gift during Ramadan was cash (92%), followed by clothes (40%), food (36%) and other products (21%). Outside the Middle East, clothing was more popular (53%).