Religion in Saudi Arabia, read this carefully!
This article is about Religion in Saudi Arabia. Working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very interesting. The payment is quite high, but the work is not that high. This is nice, actually. But for expatriates from outside this Kingdom, they have to consider how is it to live in Saudi Arabia. There are several things to consider. One of them is Religion in Saudi Arabia.
Below is a short report or description about Religion in Saudi Arabia based on www.gov.uk :
Saudi Arabia is an exclusively Islamic (Muslim) kingdom and Islam governs nearly every aspect of life. The public practice of any form of religion other than Islam is prohibited in Saudi Arabia. Severe punishment including imprisonment and deportation can result should such activities come to the attention of the authorities. The authorities also stamp firmly on attempts at proselytisation or conversion of Muslims to Christianity; however, non-Muslims are free to worship privately in their own homes. Entry to Mecca and Medina (the two holiest cities of Islam) is strictly forbidden to all non-Muslims, though access to the outskirts of Medina is allowed, for instance the Medina airport which is situated outside the Haram (Muslim only zone).
Saudis take their religion very seriously. Over a billion Muslims throughout the world face Mecca five times daily in prayer and it is a major expression of faith for every Muslim to make the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca once in his/her lifetime. The Muslim holy day is Friday; many offices are shut on Thursday as well as Friday, and the working week starts on Saturday. During prayer times shops close for at least 30 minutes and many businesses stop working.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar of 12 months, which is 10 or 11 days shorter than Gregorian calendar. The ninth month of the Muslim year is Ramadan, when no Muslim must allow anything to pass between his/her lips between sunrise and sunset. No-one, including expatriates, should eat, drink or smoke in public during the fasting hours: strict penalties, including deportation, can be incurred if caught. All restaurants and eateries are closed during daylight hours throughout Ramadan.
The two major public holidays of the year are religious festivals. Eid al-Fitr lasts for about two weeks and celebrates the end of Ramadan. Eid al-Adha, about two months later, lasts for about 10 days and celebrates the sacrifice during the pilgrimage to Mecca. Christmas is not recognised in Saudi Arabia and most expatriates are expected to work on Christmas Day. During Eid, shops and businesses are open for reduced hours. During the month of Ramadan, work is usually conducted during the evening, after sunset prayers.