Ramadan: a blessed month.
Does Ramadan affect my tour in Wadi Rum?
Ramadan is a blessed month for Muslims. We spend the days fasting between sunrise and sunset. During this time we do not drink liquids or eat food. Anyone who is a smoker will also refrain from smoking during these times.
This year we are expecting Ramadan to start around the 27th May when the new moon is sighted. Ramadan will end after approx 30 days with the last day fasting around the 26th June.
These dates are estimated and depend on the sighting of the new moon.
If you are travelling and would like to join in somewhat with the celebrations then you can look out for the new moon each evening from the 25th May. It should be just above the setting sun. If you see it you can be sure others have too and Ramadan will start the next day... Notice the moon over the next month as it waxes and wanes... be sure Muslims everywhere are very aware of the moon and its progression through its cycle.
Each morning Muslims get up around 1 hour before the first prayer (Fajr) which is made at dawn. Before dawn we make breakfast and have a drink. During Ramadan you will hear what sounds like three calls to prayer rather then the usual two. The first one is to let people know that it is nearly time to stop eating and drinking. Then on the second one (usually the first one) we begin fasting. The third one about 30 minutes later is shorter and made just before the Masjid (mosque) makes the Fajr salat, this is to let people know that it is the correct time to offer the morning Fajr prayer.
After a day of fasting when the Azan (call to prayer) goes for Magrib prayers (those offered just after sunset) people will have already gathered together. We break our fast with a thankful informal prayer (du'a), a drink of water and some dates. Then people will usually pray formally (salat), afterwards sitting down to enjoy a meal together. Women from the same family who live next to each other will often take turns preparing the evening meal, and people will also go to visit each other during this time for a meal. In this way women support each other so no one has to cook everyday when they are tired from fasting.
During Ramadan if you are visiting Wadi Rum mostly you will find we are open as usual.
However, there are a couple of adjustments we make to our usual way of operating:
- For morning arrivals when possible we prefer to meet at 11am rather than 10am.
- For afternoon arrivals it is best when possible if you can arrive after the afternoon prayers around 5pm.
- We don't provide cooked lunches, rather we provide a packed lunch (unless specifically discussed and agreed by us in advance).
- We don't run the PURE hiking tours.
- We don't offer Bivouac Camping.
- We don't offer full day Camel treks. Camel treks of 3 hrs and less are offered as usual.
- We do offer hikes to Um Ad Dami and Burdah Arch but we reserve the right to not offer these hikes as there is only one guide available to do these programs. These hikes need to be agreed in advance when booking and we will advise if they are not possible on your dates.
- If you a Muslim and would like to visit Wadi Rum during Ramadan we recommend short afternoon tours with arrival at 5pm or later, with just the overnight stay. This will avoid being active in the sun at the hottest time of day when you are fasting.
- We don't ask or expect you, as non Muslims to fast with us. If you can try to refrain from smoking in public, people will appreciate that. Also if you are out and about in Aqaba or public places being a bit subtle about eating or drinking is considerate of you.
- Outside of Wadi Rum in towns/ villages you will mostly find restaurants and shops closed after the midday prayers (approx 12.30/1pm) and afternoon prayers (approx 5pm). They open after the afternoon prayers but will close again briefly during the Magrib prayers (just after sunset) when everyone goes to break their fast. You will find shops and restaurants open late in the evenings/ nights instead. It is best to do any shopping you need to do in the afternoon around 5/6/7pm or in the evenings after the magrib prayers (approx 8/8.30pm). You will also find shops open before the midday prayers in the mornings.
I hope this helps provide some information about visiting Jordan and Wadi Rum during Ramadan and please as ever do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.