Every year, Muslims the world over anticipate the arrival of the Holy Month of Ramadan. We surveyed 1,520 online Muslim respondents who live in the Middle East to understand their impressions of this special time of year
Nearly all (91 percent) of online respondents report they fast during Ramadan, with this finding evenly distributed by demographic and geographical location. Interestingly, nearly one-third (31 percent) of online respondents claim their behavior (lifestyle etc.) changes ‘completely’ during Ramadan, while 54 percent say it changes ‘a little’.
The majority of online respondents (87 percent) say they spend more time at home than usual during the Holy Month and 79 percent say they spend more time with their family. This is probably related to where online Muslim respondents prefer to break their fast, with 86 percent saying they prefer to do so at home and 9 percent saying they prefer to break fast at a family member’s home.
When asked to share how they feel Ramadan has changed over the years, 79 percent of online respondents agree it is becoming more commercial, while 71 percent agree Ramadan is also becoming more important. Online respondents were divided when asked if Ramadan is becoming more fun, with 46 percent agreeing and 49 percent disagreeing. Interestingly, while 55 percent of online respondents say people have become more generous during Ramadan, 69 percent say people have lost the spiritual meaning of Ramadan.
Generally, online respondents see Ramadan as a time for positive change, with 90 percent saying they see Ramadan as a time for smokers to quit, 92 percent seeing it as a time for families to become closer, and 94 percent seeing it as a time for people to learn about religion. Interestingly, 86 percent of online respondents see Ramadan as a time for people to become healthier, and 73 percent see it as a time to lose weight.
Similarly, 27 percent of online respondents report they lose weight during Ramadan, while 18 percent say they usually gain weight. Forty-one percent of online respondents say they eat healthier food during Ramadan.
The survey was conducted using the YouGov Online Panel and all questionnaires were completed between the 19 - 23rd June 2013. The results are based on a total sample of 1520 respondents currently living in MENA, Pakistan and India. The YouGov panel is broadly representative of the online population within these areas.