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Workers get Ramadan relief
As the UAE approaches what could prove to be the hottest Ramadan in 25 years, Kipp is relieved to hear that UAE workers will be allowed to break their fast.
August 10, 2010 4:16 by shafeer
This year’s Ramadan will be the hottest for a quarter of a century, according to a report in the National. The head of the Dubai Astronomy Group and a member of the Islamic Crescents’ Observation Project (a multinational organisation that performs official astronomical measurements for the Islamic lunar calendar), Hasan al Hariri, told the paper that 2010 has so far been the hottest year in the history of climate records.
According to Al Hariri, not only have we seen temperatures unusually high in unexpected places in the world (33 degrees in Moscow, for instance) but hot places have been even hotter. In Medina, Saudi Arabia, dials hit 63 degrees Celcius. For the Holy Month, high temperatures in the UAE are expected this year to range from 45.2 to 49.2 degrees, says the paper, quoting a report by the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology. The lows will range from 25.5 degrees to 29.1 degrees during the night.
All of which means it will be a long and difficult month for those fasting, which is why it is good news that workers in the UAE will be allowed to break fast if they get into difficulties. Gulf News reports that the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments has issued a ruling saying, “People who find it impossible to continue fasting while working in the heat may end their fasts and make up for these missed days after Ramadan, because Almighty Allah burdens not a person beyond his capacity.” Workers should begin the day by fasting, but may break their fast if they find it very difficult to continue until dusk. The ruling follows a question from an oil rig worker who was worried about dehydration and fainting, says the paper.
Kipp welcomes the move to lessen the burden on those working in extreme conditions. But of course, we’d rather these people weren’t working in extreme conditions to begin with. It seems a little odd to admit these workers toil in extreme circumstances, and then rather than take them out of the extreme circumstances, keep them hydrated so they can continue. Nevertheless, the ruling at least is sensible and right, and we hope is it well communicated to workers.