Authorities in Oman impose strict penalties for Muslims who intentionally eat and drink during the fasting hours in the Holy month of Ramadan.
Local media reported that any Muslim in the Sultanate of Oman who is caught eating, drinking, or smoking in public during fasting hours in Ramadan without a legitimate reason would be subject to fines up to prison penalties.
The new rules imposed by the Omani authorities are in accordance with Article 312 of the Penal Code, which stipulates that a Muslim who breaks the fast in public during the fasting hour of Ramadan will be sentenced to imprisonment and a fine that ranges from OMR1 to OMR5, or one of these two penalties (for breaking fasting) without a legitimate reason. The prison sentence can vary from at least ten days to a year.
Both penalties apply to acts that violate fasting, including eating, drinking, smoking, or other actions that break the fast.
This new rule does not apply to non-Muslim or those with legitimate reasons. Legitimate reasons include being sick, traveling, menstruating women, or other legitimate reasons.
Oman is not the only country to impose penalties for Muslims caught eating in public spaces during Ramadan fasting hours. Earlier this month, Malaysia officially announced that healthy Muslims caught intentionally eating and drinking in public during Ramadan could be subject to laws such as fines or imprisonment, or both.
Not only that, Malaysia is even taking further measures to raise awareness of Muslims during the holy month. Malaysian authorities said that action would also be taken against those who sell food, drink, cigarettes, or other similar items to Muslims to eat, drink, and smoke for immediate consumption in public places during the holy month.