Egypt seeks to spread 100 Million Health campaign to African countries: Sisi at UN meeting    Egypt's Rowad Modern Engineering renovates 40% of Manial Palace    Egypt media regulator says BBC site 'likely blocked' due to 'inaccurate coverage' of limited protests    Thomas Cook operator in Egypt says 25,000 bookings cancelled following bankruptcy    At UN, Trump to face questions about Ukraine, Iran, allies    UK's Johnson believes Iran was behind Saudi oil attacks    Trump Asia expert to become deputy national security adviser    Israel's Arab party support pushes Gantz ahead of Netanyahu    Ethiopia to commission Chinese-built 254 MW hydro dam    European markets slip after world's most well-known tour operators collapse    Volume of trade exchange between Egypt, China hits $7.69 billion in seven months    Egypt's Sisi discusses investments prospects with CEOs of major US companies    The party will decide our Brexit position, says UK Labour's Corbyn    Gold prices steady amid Gulf tension, trade talk uncertainties    Egypt climbs nine spots in Tourism Competitiveness Index rankings    UN agency: Tanzania not sharing details on Ebola-like cases    Valverde worried by Barca's limp away form after Granada defeat    Baby gut study finds bacteria different after C-section births    Live score: Arsenal v Aston Villa (English Premier League)    Zidane unfazed by Mourinho talk as Real prepare for Sevilla test    Zamalek president Mortada Mansour talks Egypt's Super Cup, unveils reasons behind defeat    Grand Egyptian Museum's construction works 93% complete    Egypt's Health Ministry bans all ranitidine medicines    El Gouna Film Festival celebrates 100th birth anniversary of novelist Ihsan Abdel-Quddous    FIPRESCI and Netpack hosted by El Gouna Film festival for the first time    Small protests in Egypt dispersed by police    Ahly wins Egyptian Super Cup after beating Zamalek    Rare protests in Egyptian streets after online call for dissent    Egypt's tuk-tuk start-up Halan to tap Ethiopia before year-end    Cairo Opera hosts closing ceremony of the Cairo International Festival for Contemporary and Experimental Theatre    Allianz Egypt allots $399K to promote UNICEF's vulnerable children initiative    Felix Brych to referee Ahly-Zamalek Super Cup game in Egypt's Alexandria    'Egypt will not allow any country to impose its will on another in Ethiopian dam issue,' FM says    Egypt, Ethiopia at odds as talks over Blue Nile dam resume    Egypt's FM hopes for deal as new round of GERD talks kicks off    Egypt's PM discusses details of Al-Hussein Mosque renovation    Court sentences six to death, 41 to lifetime imprisonment violence related case    Trump says he would release Mideast peace plan after Israeli elections    ACWA Power compares 3 bids to supply production units for Luxor power station    What do you know about gold alloying?    NBE announces EGP 2.5m prizes for handball youth teams for their world achievements    Jennifer Lopez evokes Egyptian outrage post her North Coast performance    Al-Sisi honours Egypt's scholars on Science Day    IS claims responsibility for suicide bombing killing 63 in Afghan wedding    Political parties gear up for parliamentary, senate, local elections    Unprecedented Glory: Egypt win Men's U-19 World Handball Championship    12th National Egyptian Theatre Festival fuel up public theatre art scene    Ministry of Environment has a plan for "black clouds season"    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Ramadan Cannon
Published in Daily News Egypt on 13 - 05 - 2019

"The cannon is fired. It is now the time for Maghreb (sunset) prayers in Cairo, and residents who live outside Cairo must take the time difference into consideration." This is an Egyptian statement that all Egyptians know by heart.
The Ramadan cannon is one of the most important habits during the holy month, and while people's fasting really depends on the time of Maghreb and Fajr (dawn) prayers, the cannon remains a sign of Ramadan that all children love to hear.
The Ramadan cannon announces the end of the fasting period as the sun sets, and is a way of telling the public that it is time for them to eat. It is a tradition followed in many Islamic countries as the army fires the cannon once the sun sets to announce the end of fasting.
Experts say that the habit came by chance, as back in 1455 AH on the first day of Ramadan, the governor at the time, whose name was "Khosh Qadam,” had received a cannon as a gift from a German factory owner. He ordered his army to try it and it coincided with the time of Maghreb prayer, so residents of Cairo thought it was to announce that it is time for Iftar (breaking their fast). On the next day, everyone went to the governor's house to thank him for his gift to the residents of Cairo. Ever since, the cannon would fire every day at sunset to announce the Iftar, and this continues to this very day.
As for the secret behind naming the cannon "Haja Fatma", in 859 AH the cannon of Khosh Qadam stopped firing, so scholars and wise men gathered to talk to the governor about firing it. However, when they went to meet him, they did not find him and instead met Haja Fatma who was wife. She passed their request to the governor and he approved it, so the habit of firing the cannon returned. Ever since, people named the cannon Haja Fatma.
Until 1859 AH the cannon continued to fire using live ammunition, however, as the number of buildings increased around the area where the cannon was located, less live ammunition was used. Also, people started complaining about the effect of the ammunition on the citadel's famous buildings, so it was moved from the citadel to a spot in El Darrasa area near Al-Azhar, then it was moved again to the area of Bo'ous near Al-Azhar University.
Until recently, Cairo had six cannons in four locations. Two were in the caste, two in Abbaseya, one in Masr El Gedida and one in Helwan. They would all fire at the same time in various locations in Cairo so all residents would hear.
Currently, the cannon is located on a hill in Mokattam because of the concerns of experts about the effect of firing the cannon on the citadel as an archaeological area. There are many other cannons in various Egyptian governorates. Those who fire it are security individuals who prepare gunpowder every day to fire the cannon.
The idea then spread in Bila Al-Sham, then to Iraq and Kuwait, then to Gulf countries, Yemen, Sudan, west African countries and East Asian countries.
In the Gulf countries, the Iftar cannon is of a great value and an important Ramadan tradition. You can find replicas of cannons in all museums in Gulf countries.
In Medinah in Saudi Arabia, about three years ago, the residents of the country insisted that the cannon tradition returns, even though there were TVs and phones at the time. The cannon fired once again in Medinah after stopping for 20 years. In Qatar, people and tourists gather to see and hear the cannon as Maghrib prayer starts throughout Ramadan.
In Bahrain, specifically in Manama, people gather with their children to watch the cannon fire every day.
Kuwait was the first Gulf country to use the cannon.
In Oman, even though firing a cannon has become an old tradition, you can still find models and replicas of cannons in many tourist areas and museums.
Emirates is one of the countries that continue to maintain its cannon tradition, as the cannon of Sharjah is fired every day in Ramadan. In Dubai, the cannon can be found opposite Burj Khalifa. It is fired from the highest tower in the world.
In Lebanon, the cannon disappeared during the civil war and returned again in Beirut as the Lebanese army continues to fire it in the capital, however, the tradition certainly became less prevalent.
In Tunisia, for many years, many people knew it was time for Iftar only through the sound of the cannon, especially in the older cities, however that tradition disappeared for a while. There are now initiatives to demand firing the cannon again to bring back good old traditions.
The city of Kairouan maintains that tradition. The tradition includes firing the cannon three times to announce Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr.
In Syria, the cannon is one of the symbols of Ramadan. In Damascus, a cannon used to be placed on Qasiyn mountain, but with urban expansions, Damascus had 17 cannons, and the country still maintains the tradition.
In Bosnia, the authorities use the cannon to announce the start of Ramadan. It is fired daily at the time of Maghrib prater. In some rural areas, a gun is filled with gunpowder and shot every day near a mosque's minaret at the time of the Maghrib prayer to announce that it is time to break the fasting.

Clic here to read the story from its source.