One of the traditions established in a number of Arab and Islamic countries is the “Ramadan Canon”, which determines the time of breaking the fast in Ramadan after a full day of fasting and worshiping Allah. We all grew up with the memory of the “Ramadan Canon”.
Alot of stories has been said about how the “Ramadan Canon” started but what is known is that it was first used by the Egyptians in 865 AH. The people then liked the idea and since then it has be traditionally used in the month of Ramadan, which moved this tradition to the rest of the Arab and Islamic world.
The idea started to spread in the countries of Jerusalem, Damascus then to Baghdad in the late nineteenth century, and then moved to Kuwait, where the first canon was in the era of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, in 1907, and then it spread in the Gulf countries.
“The exact date when the cannon was introduced is not known, but it is common knowledge that it was used to announce the breaking of the fast at one point during the reign of Shaikh Sultan Bin Saqr in Sharjah” Al Badi said.
In the UAE, the tradition started in Sharjah during the rule of Sultan Bin Saqr who ruled from 1803 to 1866, according to Hussain Al Badi, Director of the Emirates Centre for Heritage, History and Culture. In Dubai, the cannon was introduced during the rule of Shaikh Saeed Al Maktoum (1912-1958) to unify the call for iftar.
In 1960 the firing of the cannon was entrusted to Dubai Police. Since then, the Ramadan cannon has remained under their supervision. Today, it still takes place in Sharjah, Dubai and Ras AlKhaima, glad to know that we are keeping Ramadan traditions alive.