By Montaha Al-Fadli
KUWAIT, Sept 1 (KUNA) -- With all the civilization and modernity we are
witnessing, there is always that feeling of nostalgia, where we enjoy talking
about the old times, such as remembering the beautiful memories of Ramadan,
specially in the old Kuwait like using Ramadan canon.
There is a number of narrations of the early beginnings of using Ramadan
canon, which is a traditional way to announce the time of fast breaking for
the Muslims at dusk.
One said the late Egyptian ruler Mohammed Ali Pasha ordered purchase a new
military canon. On one day in the Holy month of Ramadan, it was tested and the
big bang rumbled, coinciding with the fast breaking at sunset.
People liked the coincidence, thus they asked Ali Pasha to fire the cannon
at dusk and dawn, announcing the times of fast breaking and starting the fast.
Since then it has become a tradition, connected to Ramadan.
Another famous story said in the year 859 of the Islamic calendar, An
Ottoman ruler, called Khooshghadam, who was in control of Egypt, ordered his
soldier to test a new canon, which was offered from a German friend. This also
happened at the time of the sunset, prompting many Egyptians to think that it
was a new tradition, but this was not done anew.
Some of religious scholars and dignitaries went to meet the ruler to ask
him to keep this tradition, but they did not find him, and they met his wife
instead, which made some people call the canon as "Hajah Fatma".
About the use of Ramadan canon in Kuwait, the researcher in folklore, Ahmed
Bin Barjas, said that Ramadan cannon firing is a tradition of this holy month
that started in the Egyptian capital Cairo, and spread later to some Arab
He added in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that a man called
Fayed was in charge of Ramadan canon till the 30s of last century, and was
followed by Ibn Eqab, who was an owner of a famous coffee shop located
northern Souq Al-Beshoot, a market for old Kuwaiti custom for men.
He added that Ibn Eqab was presenting his coffee to bedouins and before
sun-set, he fetched a pole with a small ball at its head, and carried it on
his shoulder. He started to walks, passing by Al-Mubarakeyah square through
Al-Amir street in the Grand Mosque market, and kept walking till Al-Seif
Palace passing by the gate of the old Kuwait city, until he reached
He mentioned that once Ibn Eqab reached a chamber of tin with tow big
doors, one of them was big and overlooked the sea, while the other was small,
overlooking the desert. Inside, there was a canon with big brink. He filled it
with gunpowder, and then pushed it outside using the pole as he proceeded for
a long way.
After that, he collected old pieces of old rags from the beach, squeezed
them into the barrel of the cannon. Then, he added gunpowder into a small
hole, reaching the bag of the gunpowder. Some people shouted, saying: "Ibn
Eqab, the sound of the canon's firing was low yesterday." He answered, "Today
you will hear a very loud sound."
He said Ibn Eqab by sunset fired the gunpowder, causing a thundering sound
that echoed to all the neighborhoods of old Kuwait.
Ibn Barjas said on a daily basis by the dusk, children enjoy the sound of
Ramadan canon, which they call (Alwardah), where they gather around it at the
time of firing at sundown.
Now, the canon is located at Nayef Palace. It was given to Kuwait as a
present from Bahrain in 1992.
This English-made artillery, that weighs 25 pounds, is fired once daily,
specifically at the time of (Al-magreb prayer) at sunset, under the
supervision of one officer and three privates. The firing is broadcast live on
Starting from this Ramadan, 2,000 person are to be allowed entry into Nayef
Palace to witness the canon tradition.(end)
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