Muslim Statistics (Rituals and Festivals)

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Ramadan and Eid


A new study by scientists in the United States has revealed that pregnant Muslim women who fast during Ramadan are likely to have smaller babies who will be more prone to learning disabilities in adulthood.
. . .

The study, which used census data from the US, Iraq and Uganda, also discovered long-term effects on the adult’s health and his or her future economic success.
. . .

"Rates of adult disability are roughly 20 per cent higher, with specific mental disabilities showing substantially larger effects. Importantly, we detect no corresponding outcome differences when the same design is applied to non-Muslims," they added.[1]
June 2010
An estimated 90 million of the world’s 1.57 billion Muslims are likely to suffer from migraine headaches during the dawn-to-dusk fasts during the month of Ramadan – which begins on Wednesday, at the height of summer heat. But Jewish researchers in the US and Israel have suggested how to help prevent the problem.

Dr. Ibrahim Abu-Salameh, Israel’s only Beduin neurologist – who works at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba – headed a team that found migraine attacks are three times more common during the Muslim fast than in the rest of the year.
. . .

Migraines were much more common in women than men; three-quarters of the women complained of migraine while fasting, compared to a much lower figure among the men. The Soroka study was published recently in the Journal of Headache and Pain.[2]
August 2010

Arab World

During Ramadan, the productivity of Arab businesses drops by 78%. The essential factors? Fewer work hours, absenteeism, and sick leave. In the meantime, diseases linked to cholesterol and diabetes by 27.65% because of overeating. Experts claimed that increases in blood crimes (+1.5%) and theft (+3.5%) are mainly the result of abstinence from smoke.
. . .
The figures are included in a survey carried out by Cairòs Institute of Social Sciences of the Arab World which was printed today by 'Leaders', a Tunisian website.[3]
September 2009


Egyptians' food purchases during Ramadan soar beyond all other monthly consumer averages, straining the efforts of ministers concerned with supply and domestic trade to keep up with demand. According to a recent study by the National Centre for Social and Criminal Research (NCSCR), 83 per cent of Egyptian families alter their food consumption habits during Ramadan in a way that augments their food bill for this month by 50 to 100 per cent. If total annual consumer spending in Egypt comes to around LE200 billion, LE30 billion of this is spent in Ramadan, which is to say at a rate of LE1 billion a day, the bulk of which goes to food in this month of "fasting".

The NCSCR study observes that during this month Egyptians spend 66.5 per cent more on meat and poultry, 63 per cent more on sweets, and 25 per cent more on nuts and nibbles, and they host 23 per cent more banquets and dinner parties. The study further notes that at least 60 per cent of food on an average Egyptian family table, and more than 75 per cent of food in a banquet, goes to waste, which is to say tossed into the rubbish bin, during this month.

According to statistics from the National Census Centre, in the first week of Ramadan Egyptians consume 2.3 billion loaves of bread, 10,000 tonnes of fuul, 40 million chickens, 200 per cent more yoghurt and ghee, and some LE9 million worth of dried fruits, which accounts for 35 per cent of the annual trade in this festive staple. Across Egypt's 28 governorates, the National Natural Gas Authority has to pump out 20 per cent more natural gas, and the same applies to water. In addition, the peak hours for electricity consumption rise to between four and five hours, up from two to three hours per night the rest of the year. Much of this can be chalked up to Ramadan lighting decorations and, specifically, illegal taps into the grid in order to feed the decorations hoisted up in alleyways or even large squares.

Then there are the medical studies that indicate that the general state of public health declines during this month. In spite of the fact that there are only two meals a night during Ramadan, the Iftar at sunset and the Sohour before sunrise, medical authorities report higher rates of diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses due to overindulgence in fats and sweets. Some medical statistics also point to an increased consumption of over- the-counter medications related to digestive disorders, from stomach ulcers to colitis.

If the above facts and figures tell us anything it is that over-consumption during Ramadan drains the family budget, strains the national economy (due to the rise in food imports, particularly of dried fruits and nuts from Turkey, Syria and India), depletes Egyptians' savings and ruins their health. To compound matters, Ramadan, this year, coincides with the beginning of school, putting an additional strain on the Egyptian family budget, especially that of limited income families. Many of these are certain to find themselves encumbered by debt after the month draws to a close, largely due to careless spending.[4]
September 2009
Last year during Ramadan, there was an upsurge against Christians in the Muslim world," says Jerry Dykstra of Open Doors, USA. Dykstra says that although persecution did not increase in every Muslim nation, it did increase significantly in many of them, Egypt being one of the worst.

During Ramadan last year in Egypt, a church was burned to the ground. At least 155 Egyptian Christians were arrested for not participating in Ramadan. Last September, Rody Rodeheaver with I.N. Network explained that Ramadan "is a time when Muslims who are moderate often become much more aggressive about their faith, and they [see it] as a time to be aggressive as they deal with Christians." Rodeheaver also noted that many people are somewhat psychologically distraught by a lack of food since Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan.

This year, with tension rising after Muslim attacks on Christians in Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and other nations just before Ramadan, prospects don't look much better. The potential for a swell in persecution in the next 28 days is high.

Ramadan--August 11 to September--is especially daunting for Muslim converts to Christianity.[5]
August 2010
A 2008 report by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights says two-thirds of women in Egypt experienced sexual harassment on a daily basis. A string of mass assaults on women in 2006 during the Muslim feast following the holy month of Ramadan prompted police to increase the number of patrols to combat it but legislation providing punishment was never passed.[6]
June 2012


The number of Muslims in France who respect the Ramadan fast is growing, young people most of all. Ramadan started today at dawn. A survey carried out by Ifop and published by La Croix daily suggests that 71% of them stay off food all day during the holy month. This figure is 10 points higher than it was in 1989, the year in which the first poll on the question was carried out in France. Based on the Ifop survey, 9% go without food for a few days only, and 20% of Muslims in France do not fast at all. The same survey shows that the Ramadan is strictly observed by 73% of men and 68% of women. The most diligent group consists of people between the age of 18 and 24 and people over the age of 55 (73% participation in both cases).[7]
August 2011


Blood Transfusion Organization announced that blood donations have dropped by 35 percent since the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan (Sept. 25 2006).[8]
October 2006


A spate of attacks that killed 82 people in Iraq overshadowed preparations on Friday to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, amid warnings insurgents would look to carry out deadly strikes.

The violence, the worst in more than three weeks, hit 15 cities across the country and left 270 people wounded on Thursday, just days before the Eid festival that is set to begin on Sunday.

The attacks brought the number of dead nationwide over the course of Ramadan, which began on July 18, to 404, according to an AFP tally. There has been at least one bombing or shooting on every day of the holy month but one.
. . .
On Monday, British security firm AKE Group warned that “terrorists in Iraq may be planning mass casualty explosive attacks against large gatherings of civilians to mark the end of Ramadan later this week”.

“We haven’t received any specific intelligence on the matter but they (insurgents) may be ‘saving up’ their willing bombers for the closing period of the month, due around 17-18 August,” AKE analyst John Drake said.

Official figures put the number of people killed in attacks in July at 325, the highest monthly death toll since August 2010.[9]
August 2012


official of the Jakarta city administration, A Sjarief Mustafa, says that the number of prostitutes caught by his office had increased from 94, before Ramadan, to 264 during it. He also said that the numbers of beggars had increased. He claimed that the incidence of social ills such as begging and prostitution always increased during the "holy month", and said that people from the provinces often used the "momentum" of Ramadan to come to Jakarta and seek money from the Jakarta's residents.[10]
October 2006


The state Health Department said 40 per cent of food in Ramadan bazaars are contaminated with bacteria that cause food poisoning.

Deputy director Dr Wan Mansor Hamzah said it had found e.coli, coliform, staphylococcus and bacillus in kuih and other food samples taken from bazaars when it began monitoring them at the start of Ramadan.

He said the contamination had reached a level that could trigger food poisoning.

“The contamination is a sign of food handlers’ poor personal hygiene,” he said yesterday It was reported that 15 food poisoning cases, involving 550 people, had been reported nationwide since the start of Ramadan.

Dr Wan Mansor said the bacteria could be transferred to food through dirty cooking utensils and unhygienic surroundings where the food was prepared and sold.[11]
August 2011


"Each year, after the month of Ramadan, we see the same phenomenon. There is a resurgence of mental illnesses, not because of nostalgia experienced at the end of Ramadan but because patients haven't followed their treatment to the letter or reduce the dose of their medication without a medical opinion," explains Driss Moussaoui, psychiatrist for around forty years and director of the psychiatric centre at the University of Ibn Rochd.
. . .

In this post-Ramadan period, the psychiatrists witness a resurgence of illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorders such as manic-depression or even epilepsy.
. . .

According to the Moroccan Association for the Support, Connection and Initiation of Families of Persons Suffering From Psychological Disorders (Amali), contacted this afternoon, 1% of the Moroccan population is currently affected by schizophrenia, which is almost 350,000 Moroccans.[12]
August 2012


More than 1,300 people needed treatment at a Qatari hospital after suffering from stomach upsets caused by excessive eating on the first two days of Eid Al Adha, the feast of the Sacrifice.
. . .

Doctors said the excessive eating of fat mutton and the tendency to eat fast cause indigestion and stomach upsets.

People began pouring into the emergency unit from early Sunday afternoon with most of them complaining of stomach ailments and their number rose significantly on Monday.

On Sunday, the cardiac care division at the emergency unit treated seven cases until 6pm and one of the patients died, the daily said.

On Monday, the number of cases involving heart problems increased and 31 patients complained of chest pain but none of them died.[13]
November 2011
During Ramadan most of the population sleep during the day, with the iftar beginning at sundown: large feasts at which many end up eating so much they need to be taken to hospital casualty wards, with a record high almost 8,000 cases of indigestion recorded at the Hamad Medical Hospital emergency room solely in the first week of Ramadan 2011.[14]
March 2012
“Most of the cases at the emergency room during Ramadan are gastritis. We see 10 to 15 cases of overeating every day,” a medical staff member at al-Ahli Hospital told the Arabian Business website.

The Doha hospital was in a state of emergency last year when 100 patients were admitted in the first night of Ramadan; most of them suffering from abdominal pain, dehydration or kidney problems, according to the website.

In 2011, the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC)’s emergency department recorded 7,700 of Ramadan-linked cases of illness, the report said[15]
July 2013

Saudi Arabia

Family consultants claim divorce rates tend to spike during the Eid and holiday break but ruled out the possibility that arguments over Eid expenses were solely to blame.

Marriage consultant Muhammad Al-Ahmadi told Arab News there were various other reasons for divorce, the most important of which of course was the financial circumstances of the couple.

"Differences leading to divorce can easily happen over petty things, such as visits to relatives, travel during the Eid holidays, the type of food served on the occasion and whether to let children to go out to play," he said.

There have been some comical stories about Eid divorces. A local newspaper reported that a man divorced his two wives because they insisted that he buy them new clothes for the occasion. It reported another man divorced his wife because she refused to go with him to visit his sister and insisted on going to her mother instead.

However, a survey of couples conducted by Al-Mawadah Center for Family Consultancy did not entirely blame Eid expenses for family breakdowns. According to the survey, half of respondents did not believe that differences over Eid expenses were the main cause for divorce.

About 63 percent did not believe that Eid was an occasion to further strengthen family ties while 37 percent did.

A third approved of marriages during Eid, while 27 percent did not.

A recent report released by the Ministry of Justice said there were 9,233 divorces in Saudi Arabia in 2010. It revealed Makkah region topped all other regions with 2,518 divorce cases (27 percent of total divorces). The Eastern Province was second with 1,970 divorces and Madinah province occupied third place with 1,198 divorces.[16]
September, 2011


Tunisian consumption in food products skyrockets during the holy month, Ahmed Methlouthi director of the communication unit at the National Consumer Institute (INC) told TAP news agency.

This increase involves:

- Milk, rising to 2 liters of monthly consumption during the month of Ramadan against 0. 9 liters per person throughout the year

- Yoghurt pots went up to 12.9 per person, against 5.4 pots monthly during the rest of the year.

- Eggs are consumed at 26 per person, against 12.8 eggs per month in normal times

- Roll (baguette) 1.4 kg against 0.6 kg per month in normal times

- Oil, 1.2 liter, against 1.14 liters per month in normal times

- Meat: 1.1 kg of mutton, against 0.75 kg outside Ramadan, 0.5 kg of beef per month against 0.22 kg and 1.8 kg of poultry against 1.28 kg per month.[17]
July 2013

United Arab Emirates

The number of beggars have gone up significantly during the holy month of Ramadan, according to top police officials in Dubai. The authorities running the anti-begging campaign arrested 37 people last week alone.
. . .

Rumaithi urged public to co-operate with police to report beggars. Children was victims of begging. Adults exploit them for their greed and spoil their future, he added.

About 65 beggars have been arrested so far this year. Between July 17 and 24 police arrested 28 beggars including four women.[18]
July 2012
DUBAI // Police are warning motorists of the “Ramadan rush hour” after recording 3,605 traffic accidents in the emirate since the start of the Holy Month.

About 200 of these occurred shortly before iftar. It is not known how many resulted in casualties or how many traffic accidents occured during Ramadan in previous years. Yesterday, one person was killed and fourteen injured
. . .
There is often an increase in accidents during the Holy Month, said Brig Omar Al Shamsi, the director of the command and control centre at Dubai Police.

“Driving at a high speed and recklessly, especially before iftar, coupled with no lane discipline and not keeping a safe distance” all played a part, he said.

Last year 14 people died in Dubai road accidents during Ramadan, compared with only four the previous month.[19]
July 2012


With the advent of Ramadan in just a few days, child trafficking, a trade that sometimes goes unpunished in Yemen, is expected to increase as food prices rise and parents struggle to provide for their children.

"I think during Ramadan prices rise and there is a lapse of security along the borders," Coordinator of Child Parliament Om Khalthoum said.

Almost 1,500 Yemeni children were saved by child protection centers from exploitation, abuse and deprivation that come at the hands of their traffickers or smugglers, according to Naseem Ur-Rahman of UNICEF. Yemeni children, primarily boys, are trafficked into Saudi Arabia for exploitation as beggars, street vendors and unskilled laborers.

While there are no statistics that determine how many children are trafficked on an annual basis, authorities do know that during the month of Ramadan the numbers rise. "One of the main problems is that there is a lack of reliable data," Ur-Rahman said.
. . .
There is also a need for a legal description of children trafficking specifically for sex, begging or any other action that assists or encourages children to escape from their houses to practice prostitution or any other immoral actions. Occasionally children are even maimed or crippled in order to ensure success in begging.
. . .
Despite making great strides in recent years, the government of Yemen does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Even with their latest significant efforts, the Yemeni government did not show evidence of progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders or in preventing sex trafficking over the last year, according to the US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report for 2009.

The Yemeni government reported no trafficking investigations, prosecutions, or convictions during the reporting period, and took no steps to address trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.[20]
August 2009

Animal Sacrifice and Pilgrimages


The sacrificed animals, called aḍḥiya (Arabic: أضحية‎, also known by its Persian term, Qurbāni), have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. This tradition accounts for the slaughter of more than 100 million animals in only two days of Eid.[21]
October 2013


The [hajj] pilgrimage historically has been a global focal point for contagious diseases. A 2012 study of French pilgrims said more than 80% returned with respiratory symptoms, and 40% with flu-like symptoms. Pilgrimages to Mecca are a central tenet of the Muslim faith. Islam requires all Muslims with the means to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lives.[22]
June 2013


From more than 50,000 bakso vendors in Indonesia, less than 1 percent have secured a halal certificate, according to the Indonesian Ulema Council.
. . .
He added that even if producers only used halal beef to make bakso, a popular meatball soup, the end products could still be haram as production tools used might have also been used to process pork.[23]
December 2012


Note that the Netherlands Muslim population numbers only a little over a million

Around 95,000 sheep and about 4,000 cows were slaughtered this year in the Netherlands (NL) in honor of Eid ul-Adha. In general the rules for slaughtering and transporting the animals were observed, reports the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.[24]
November 2010


As service to Allah and to commemorate the Sallah [Eid al-Kabir] celebration, the Nigerian Turkish International Schools, under the UFUK Dialogue Foundation, yesterday has slaughtered 1,000 cows for charity.
. . .
The president said last year 800 cows were slaughtered.[25]
November 2011


According to the representative of a particular livestock association appearing on a Pakistani news channel 7.5 million animals will be sacrificed in Pakistan on Bakra Eid... the figure makes sense when you consider that it is still less than 5 percent of our total population...

Of the 7.5 million animals, 2.5 million are larger animals (mostly cows) and on average cost Rs. 75,000; while there are 5 million smaller animals (mostly goats) which on average cost Rs. 16,000.[26]
November 2010

Saudi Arabia

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has made arrangements for sacrificing of about 710,000 animals including 700,000 sheep and 10,000 cows and camels, so as the pilgrims could perform the main rite of sacrificing animals during Haj with ease.
. . .

The IDB president pointed out that the project has enabled pilgrims to perform this rite with great ease and thus focus on other Haj rites.
. . .

More than 84,000 butchers have also been hired for sacrificing the animals manually.[27]
December 2006
The Passports Department in Makkah arrested over 1,800 persons suspected of pickpocketing and stealing from pilgrims and visitors during the Umrah and Ramadan seasons ... Hussein stated that the advancement in technology, particularly facial recognition, reduced crimes tremendously in previous years.[28]
September, 2011
Nigeria has suspended all Hajj flights to Saudi Arabia following the deportation of more than 170 Nigerian women who had arrived in the country without male escorts. More than 1,000 Nigerian women intending to make the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca have been detained by Saudi authorities since Sunday.[29]
September, 2012
Saudi authorities have apprehended more than 44,500 would-be pilgrims on their way to Makkah and Medina with fake permits.
. . .

The latest group of people to be apprehended included 1,300 non-Saudi would-be pilgrims travelling on 26 buses coming from the capital Riyadh and Al Ahsa in eastern Saudi Arabia, the passport directorate said.

Investigations revealed that each of the would-be pilgrims paid SR3,500 to a fake agency, believed to be based in Jeddah, to sign up and perform the pilgrimage.[30]
October 2012
More than 70,000 pilgrims have been denied entry to Mecca for not having pilgrimage licenses, while 73 vehicles carrying them have been confiscated, according to Saudi News Agency.

The drivers of those vehicles have been arrested, while 61 cases of licence forgery have been found, Commander of Passport Forces for Hajj, Brigadier Ayedh Al Harbi, told the agency.[31]
October 2012
There are more than 3.2 million heads of sheep, cattle and camels currently available in all livestock markets in Saudi Arabia for residents to choose their sacrificial animal for the Eid Al-Adha.

Deputy chairman of the livestock committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) Fahd Al-Sulami told Saudi Gazette that the pilgrims consume about one million of these animals while the citizens and expatriates consume the other 2.2 million.

He said about 75 percent of the animals to be slaughtered during the Eid Al-Adha this year have been imported from outside while 25 percent of them have been raised locally by animal breeders.[32]
October 2013

United Kingdom

A quarter of all meat on the British market is now killed according to the non-stun Halal principle despite the fact the Muslim community makes up only three to four per cent of the British population.[33]
May 2012

United States

“My decision to buy a farm was to raise goats especially for Eid Al-Adha because my children were young and I wanted to teach them and expose them to the true spirit of sacrificing and slaughtering animals during Eid Al Adha. In the US, 50 percent [of Muslim] people send money home and have their animals slaughtered there. If we want our children to learn and carry on the spirit of Eid to the next generation, I feel it’s important that they see and participate in the sacrifice of animals here at home.”
. . .
Children, especially boys were very excited about watching the animals being slaughtered.[34]
October 2013

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  1. Ramadan fast not recommended during pregnancy - The Times of India, June 25, 2010
  2. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich - Beduin doctor: Migraines common during Ramadan fast - The Jerusalem Post, August 9, 2010
  3. Ramadan: Productivity of Arab Businesses Drops by 78% - ANSAmed, September 3, 2009 (original URL)
  4. Abdel-Moneim Said - Wasting Ramadan - Al-Ahram Weekly, September 3, 2009
  5. Ramadan a time of fasting and...persecution? - Mission Network News, August 13, 2010
  6. Sarah El Deeb - Alarming assaults on women in Egypt's Tahrir - Associated Press, June 6, 2012
  7. Ramadan: 71% French Muslims observe rules, number rising - ANSAmed, August 2, 2011
  8. (pdf) - October 1, 2006
  9. Attacks overshadow Eid preparations
    Khaleej Times (AFP), August 17, 2012
  10. David - Ramadan Crime - Indonesia Matters, October 20, 2006
  11. Nik Imran Abdullah, Elvina Fernandez and Atiqa Hazellah - 40pc of Kelantan bazaar food contaminated - New Straits Times, August 17, 2011
  12. Hanane Jazouani - Maroc : Après ramadan, les maladies mentales augmentent - Yabiladi (French), August 28, 2012 (English translation)
  13. Habib Toumi - More than 1,300 Qataris hospitalised for over eating over Eid Al Adha - Gulf News, November 8, 2011
  14. Qatar: surge in diabetes/obesity, unhealthy Arab habits - ANSAmed, March 13, 2012
  15. "Dozens hospitalized in Qatar after overeating during Ramadan", Al Arabiya, July 11, 2013, 
  16. MD Humaidan, "Divorces spike during summer break, Eid holiday", Arab News, September 7, 2011 (archived), 
  17. "Tunisia: dizzying increase in consumption in Ramadan (INC)", African Manager, July 15, 2013 (archived), 
  18. Male beggar dressed in hijab arrested in Dubai - Emirates 24/7, July 31, 2012
  19. Wafa Issa - Peril of 'Ramadan rush hour' as Dubai police report 1,000s of smashes - The National, July 29, 2012
  20. Salma Ismail - Yemen child trafficking to increase in Ramadan - Yemen Times, August 20, 2009
  21. "Eid ul-Adha/ Traditions and practices", Wikipedia, accessed October 18, 2013 (archived), 
  22. Ellen Knickmeyer, "As Virus Spreads, Saudi Arabia Restricts Pilgrimage Numbers", Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2013 (archived), 
  23. Dessy Sagita - Less Than 1% of Bakso in Indonesia is Halal Certified: MUI - JakartaGlobe, December 19, 2012
  24. Netherland Muslims slaughtered 100,000 animals for Eid ul-Adha - Ahlul Bayt News, November 21, 2010
  25. David Oreofero - School slaughters 1,000 cows for charity - The Nation, November 8, 2011
  26. "Bakra Eid: The cost of sacrifice", Travel Wire Asia, November 16, 2010 (archived), 
  27. Muslims to Sacrifice 710,000 animals - NNN-APP, December 26, 2006
  28. 1,800 nabbed for thefts in Ramadan - Arab News, September 9, 2011
  29. Nigeria Hajj row over unescorted women – BBC News, September 28, 2012
  30. Habib Toumi - 44,673 arrested for fake Haj permits - Gulf News, October 23, 2012
  31. Over 70,000 illegal pilgrims denied entry to Mecca - ANI, October 24, 2012
  32. "Livestock market replete with sheep and cattle for Adahi", Saudi Gazette, October 15, 2013 (archived), 
  33. Nick Collins - Religious butchering now commonplace in Britain, leading vet claims - The Telegraph, May 4, 2012
  34. Sameen Tahir-Khan, "Celebrating Eid Al-Adha in the US", Arab News, October 18, 2013 (archived),