Majority of Muslims Practice Ramadan Traditions more while Living abroad


Englewood, CO: The majority of Muslims living and working overseas practice cultural and religious traditions during the Holy Month of Ramadan even more devoutly than they do 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.

The Western Union study “Traditions of Ramadan by global citizens of Muslim faith” was conducted in July by The Nielsen Company and covered Muslims of 11 nationalities living in 12 countries in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, the United States and Western Europe.

Overall, fasting (96%), sharing and giving (94%) are the most widely practiced of all traditions observed 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 more fasting, praying, sharing and giving.

“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 Laston Charriez, senior vice president of marketing, North America, Western Union.

“Western Union has been moving money for better, for more than 135 years. We know people move away from their home countries for many reasons, but a common factor is creating a better life for their families and loved ones through work opportunities,” added Charriez.

“It is difficult for people of any faith or nationality to be away from home during traditional cultural and religious events and holidays. It is not surprising to see that family, loved ones and friends, along with commitment to work, are even more influential when people live overseas.”

• 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.

• A vast majority (94%) uphold sharing and giving traditions during Ramadan.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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