Overall, fasting and giving charities and alms to the poor are most widely practiced of all traditions during Ramadan. Two out of five surveyed said that the love of family and friends, along with dedication to work, were the key factors motivating them to fast, pray and share more.
“Living in another country often brings different cultural influences along with new work and personal pressures. Global citizens of Muslim faith are upholding Islamic traditions and are even more devout during the Holy Month of Ramadan,” said Drina Yue, Managing Director & Sr. Vice President, Western Union, Asia Pacific.
Highlights of the survey
- 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 majority of Muslims (94%) share during the month of Ramadan, by giving money, known as Zakat (89%) while the remaining 5% share by gifting items such as food and clothing.
- Breaking fast is popular with other people instead of doing it 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.
- The zakat obligation is most commonly fulfilled through sharing with people who are known to the give 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 charity during Ramadan was cash (92%), followed by clothes (40%), food (36%) and other products (21%). Outside the Middle East, clothing was more popular (53%).
The findings of the study were based on a survey of close to 550 Muslims emigrants originally from the Middle Eastern and North African countries of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia and the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
They resided in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East; Malaysia and Singapore in Asia; the United Kingdom, Germany and France in Europe; and the United States.
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