Ramadan Cannon: Cheerful Sound during Holy Month of Ramadan

Ramadan Cannon: Cheerful Sound during Holy Month of Ramadan By Fathimath Nasli - March 12, 2024
Ramadan Cannon Cheerful Sound during Holy Month of Ramadan

Ramadan Cannon

The Holy month of Ramadan has unique spiritual atmospheres that can hardly replicate in the rest of other months of the year. The holy month features exclusively religious rituals on the map of the Islamic world.

One of the traditions that has been entangled with the Holy month of Ramadan is Ramadan cannon which launches first sound shot when the time for Maghrib call to prayer comes for Muslims to break their fast.

Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the writer and researcher in history and heritage Mohamed Hammam Fikri says that Ramadan is the month of sacred whiffs, as well as good customs and traditions that nurture those traits during the whole month, such as the renowned traditions in Egypt since the Mamluk era. He added that the most known sayings indicated that the cannon was found by coincidence, because there had been a new cannon that was about to be tested with the sunset so as to alert all people who hear the sound that the time has come for breakfast.

The cannon shot was originally a live round and would be placed far off until the time comes for breakfast, Fikri highlighted, adding that the cannon was eventually inherited and transferred to the neighboring countries, but its origin can be traced back to Egypt, then moved to Turkiye.

Fikri indicated that this tradition was transferred to the neighboring countries, including the State of Qatar which acknowledged it and has been using this cannon until today, as one of the most critical rituals of Ramadan. The cannon is named Warida in the local language, during that time mothers would send children to climb the roof of the houses to hear the first shot implying that the time had come for breakfast, especially the areas that are far away from mosques.

A per some historians, the cannon is the most important media for the people of Qatar besides its merit in the prayer time, as people fast and break the fast based on the sound of the cannon.

As for Qataris when sunset approaches, and they circle around the iftar table, waiting for the canon sound as it coincides with the call to prayer. This is for the sake of verification and full certainty, so as to not miss the obligation of fasting.

Qatari women were also asking the young ones to either go out to the yard or go up on the roof of the house moments before sunset to wait for the sound of the canon, or watch its flash and smoke rising in the sky, and inform them that the time for breakfast has begun.

Ramadan cannon was set in recent years in both Souq Waqif and the southern side of Katara, and in the past it was set in a number of areas such as Al Koot fort, next to the Eid prayer hall in Jasra, the old Salata area, the new Rayyan area, Al-Khalifat area, and until recently on Corniche ( near the post office).

Currently, when it is time for the Maghrib call to prayer during the days of Ramadan, the cannon is set among the audience in Souq Waqif and Katara, who come to see it from all classes, especially children. On either side of it are four soldiers in uniform, on the right and on the left, and they stood in a military arrangement behind the canon, waiting for the order to give the signal to launch the canon with the sound of the Maghrib call to prayer.

Source: QNA

By Fathimath Nasli - March 12, 2024

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