was never a colony and the Kuwaitis have always been free to manage their
affairs among themselves as they see fit and develop their unique cultural
characteristics in their own way. The Kuwaiti of the pre-oil era survived,
in the harshness of the desert or sea, through a mix of finely honed skills
and highly developed social organization based on family, can and tribe,
which provided the economic and political support necessary for survival.
In return for this support, the individual gave unquestioning service and
loyalty to his group. This gave rise to clan –based networks, which are
still extremely strong and provide the basis of social relations between
Kuwaiti child was taught from an early age to serve and protect older family
members and also, to ensure cooperation between clans, not to embarrass
the family, The degree, which a young Kuwaiti was successful in learning
his role was reflected in the amount of (face), he earned. The concept
of face has the same meaning as respect and reputation in the west, except
the face has intensity about it that is almost inconceivable to a westerner.
But face accrues not only to the individual but also to the group, and
a youth is considered mature once he view personal success as being synonymous
with the success of the family or group.
is expressed through hospitality, generosity and loyalty to family or particular
group. A Kuwaiti spends his life building his personal and social face
and the sense of face lies behind many social behaviors in Kuwait.
dewaniyah or parlour has existed in Kuwait since time immemorial. The term
originally referred to the section of a Bedouin tent where the menfolk
and their visitors sat apart from the family. In the old city of Kuwait
it was the reception area where a man resaved his business colleagues and
male guests. Today the term refers both to a reception hall and the gathering
held in it, and visiting or hosting a Diwaniyah is an in dispensable feature
of a Kuwaiti man’s social life.
a social event, adiwaniyah takes place in special room or annex, which
is usually, separate from the rest of man’s house. Only men are present
and they sit around on soft benches or cushion, conversing casually, smoking,
nibbling snacks and relaxing the evening, The host’s job is to be hospitable
and entertain his guests, and the reputation of a man Diwaniyah is one
of the prime ways in which he achieve’s face.
are also more formal Diwaniyah, which specialize in particular interests,
such as politics or science.
Kuwaitis men wear a dishdasha, a floor length robe with a center robe opening
which is but on over the head. Because it is so well suited to the climate,
this basic garment has changed little in the last few hundred years, though
the collar, front button fastening and buttoned cuffs are 20th century
innovations introduction by Indian tailor . Provided he is not corpulent,
the dishdasha can at time make the wearer look quit elegant.
three-part headdress of the Kuwait male is also very functional. It provides
shade during summer, it can be wrapped across the face during sandstorms,
and it’s end can be twisted up like a turban if the wearer is doing manual
work The gutra is a square piece of cloth which is folded into a triangle
and then placed centrally on the head so that the ends hang down equally
over the shoulders. It is held in place by an ogal, a double circlet of
twisted black cord, which is placed firmly over the head. Often a gahfiah,
a close fitting skull cap , is worn under the gutra to stop it from slipping
headdress can be worn in various ways, ranging from the stiffly formal
to the downright rakish, depending on the wearer’s mode and the social
occasion, In the most dignified style the gutra is centered on the head.
And pulled down well cover the forehead so that tow pointed ends are arranged
on each side of the face, the other at the back, and the ogal is set straight
on the head just slightly tilted back from the forehead .The possible variation
on this basic positioning are endless. The ogal can be pushed backwards
towards the top of the head, pulled down over the forehead, tilted on the
kildare side or pulled down over a raffish eye. And once the ogal has been
exactly positioned, the gutra can be arranged in various symmetrical and
asymmetrical ways. The ends can, for example, be folded neatly back over
the shoulders to open the face, or one end can be left hanging forward
while the other is folded up and draped back to the head to expose a handsome
profile. Shebabs, young Kuwaiti studs, spend a lot of their time getting
the lie of ogal and gutra just right.
his headgear is settled to his liking, all a Kuwaiti has to complete his
dress is to slip on a pair of leather sandals as he goes out the door.
In the old days he would properly have girded himself in a leather belt
with shoulder strap to hold a sheathed saef (sword) and khanjar (dagger)
with possibly a sakeen (dirk) up his sleeve, but today’s Kuwaiti has replaced
these manly accessories with those modern necessities, a mobile and pager.Kuwaiti
wears white or cream dishdash, with matching gutras, most months of the
winter somber –coloured heavier cloths are used and the gutras is changed
to a red and white check, For example, the onset of winter and spring is
easily marked when the locals suddenly, within the space of a day or so,
change the colour of their clothing. In winter, most Kuwaitis also wear
a heavy bisht, a cloak made of traditional thick dun-coloured camel hair
or of heavy modern wool, over their dishdash, though the shebab tend to
favour thick leather wool-lined zipped jerkins.
grand occasion, a semi-transparent bisht with zari, special gold braiding,
is worn by the rich and powerful, The embossed look of the zari is created
by the first hand-embroidering the bisht with gold threads and then hammering
the threads so that they become fused.
women dress in western clothes, Though they may choose from the more demure
styles, the latest designs are worn, regardless of the climate or convenience.
However their traditional clothing, such as the thob (a straight-sided
long overdress), is still used for dancing on festive occasion.
in public many local women cover their chic western clothing with an aba,
a head-to-toe silky black cloak, Bedouin women may also wear a burga, a
short black veil that covers the entire face.
hijab, or Islamic headscarf, which conceals the hair while leaving the
face unveiled is not a Kuwaiti garment but is of northern origin. It is
worn by many expatriate Muslim women. The hijab is usually complemented
by along-sleeved floor-length garment,often in pretty colours, and the
overall more elegant than the voluminous aba.
The Religion in Kuwait
Constitution states that “ the religion of the state is Islam and the Sheria
shall be a main sou8rce of legislation “. Without a doubt, Islam is the
single most powerful motivating force in Kuwait and though its role and
form in the modern world is often debated. Doubts about its intrinsic value
are seldom expressed. Indeed Kuwaitis find the idea that religion can be
separated from social and political life quite incomprehensible. All Kuwaitis
are Muslim, except for half a dozen or so Christian Kuwaiti families.
is divided into several groupings. The Sunnis are the majority. The Shias
make up only about 15 % of all Muslims and there are several other small
The Meaning of
means “peace and submission to the will of God” Its basic tenets are: that
there is no God but Allah and Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is the final
prophet of God; that God create man and the world, and endowed man with
a moral sense and free will, and assigned him a vice-regency on earth for
which he will be held accounted; and that morally correct behavior is achieved
by following God’s Law as revealed through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet
The Five Pillars
morally corrected behavior includes performing the religious duties known
as the five pillars of Islam: Shahada, salat, zacat, sawm, and Hajj. Shahada
is the profession of faith” There is no God but Allah and Muhammad
is his Messenger”. Salat means prayers; a Muslim must face Makkah and recite
prescribed prayers five times a day.
is an obligatory property tax on Muslims. Sawm is fasting, high entails
abstaining from food, drink, tobacco and sexual intercourse between sunrise
and sunset on any day; its obligatory (except for the old, the young, the
sick, menstruating women and travelers) during the month of Ramadan but
may be practiced any time.
is the pilgrimage to Makkah every Muslim must make once a life time provided
he or she is physically and financially capable; Hajj is performed during
the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, though Umra, the lesser pilgrimage
may be performed at any time.
The Laws of Islam
lays down rules governing all aspects of human behavior. These are known
as the Sheria, which considered by muslims to be a Revealed code of Law
that is eternal in place and time and to which to all human being are subject,
and which provides for all the conduct needed for an orderly society.
fundamental concepts underlie Islamic morality; halal, which means permissible,
and haram meaning forbidden. The basic principal is that nothing is haram
except that which clearly prohibited by the Sheria.
Sheria has two primary sources, the Quran and the Sunnah, and two secoundly
sources, the Qiyas and the Ijma. The Quran is the word of God as revealed
to prophet (PBUH). It was written down during his life and gathered together
by His companions after his death. Sunnah refers to the actions and utterances
of the prophet (PBUH) during his own life time, which, after his death,
were written down and complied into various collections of Ahadith (saying).
The Quran states the principles of the sheria while the sunnah provides
examples of their application.
is reasoning by analogy. It is applied where guidance from the Quran and
the Sunnah is not directory available to answer an ethical query. Ijma
is the consensus of Uiema (religious scholars). This consensus is applied
where no clear conclusion based on the Quran or the Sunnah can be made
on an ethical matter. Uiemas usually belong to colleges, whence from time
to time they issue fatwas, ruling on particular matters that are considered
jurisprudence of Fiqh consists of collections of law based on the Quran
and the Sunnah. It is highly developed and there are several schools. The
development of Fiqh is on-going, through a dialectic process known as Ijtehad;
e.g., Islamic banking emerged as an alternative to conventional backing
only within the last generation and is still evolving with many issues
yet to be settled.
an Islamic court all, including non-muslims, are equal before Sheria. A
defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty and the burden of proof
falls on the complainant, who must produce witnesses, at least two and
in some cases four, to prove his case. Witnesses must testify under oath
and the testamentary value of a male witness is double that female.
The Meaning of
is not a new religion, but the seam truth the God Almighty reveled through
all his prophets to all people. For a fifth of the world’s populations,
Islam is both a religion and a complete way of life. Muslim follows a religion
of peace, mercy and forgiveness. The majority of Muslim has nothing to
do with the extremely grave terrorist events that have come to be associated
with their faith.
come from the Arabic root word Assala’m which mean peace, wholeness as
opposed to defects, submission and perfection. As Sala’m is also one of
the 99 attributes of Allah Almighty of which “Allah” is the crowing name.
God Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “ Allah is He, than whom there is
no God, except He, the Sovereign, the Holy one, the Source of peace (and
perfection) “ (59:23).
the bible, it is also stated that Allah Almighty is the sources of peace.
“For God is Corinthians 14:33). Hence Allah Almighty is the source of peace
and perfection and want all mankind to live in peace in this fleeting world.
translated as “peace” has a wide significance. It includes (1) a sense
of security and permanence, which is unknown in this fleeting life; (2)
soundness and preservation and perfection meaning that the religion of
islam id free from defects; (3) preservation and deliverance as embodied
in the word sallama; (4) salutation, is accord with those around us; and
(5) resignation, in the sense that we are satisfied and not discontented.
All these shades of meaning are implicit in the word Islam.
as stated earlier, is the salutation of muslims in this world and in heaven.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “peace’ a word (of salutation) will
come from the Lord Most Merciful” (36:58). Allah Almighty further
says: Their salutation the day they meet Him will be ‘peace’ and He has
prepared for them a generous reward.”
prescribes a wide range of rules governing personal and interpersonal conduct.
The family is considered the basis of social life, and celibacy is forbidden.
Sheria states that those who have the means should marry, and lays down
detailed rules governing marriage, divorce and inheritance.
allows any wholesome food to be eaten and only four types are prohibited
carrion, pork, blood, and idolatrous offerings. Muslims can only eat meat
that only Halal is from an animal that has been slaughtered by bleeding
as prescribed in the Sheria.
may not drink or handle alcohol, nor serve it to Muslims or non-muslims.
The prohibition against alcohol is extended by qiyas to all drugs that
befog the mind.
and woman are regards as equal in Islam, though ‘men have a degree over
women’ in the household due to their physical differences and the need
to have only one head in the house. But a woman may hold property and carry
on her own business. She may work outside the home and retain her earning.
She has rights to share in the estate of deceased family member. Her consent
is required for marriage and her husband is obliged to maintain her. A
Muslim man married to non-Muslim women must allow his wife to practice
her religion without hindrance.
is pro-business. The Sharia contains detailed rules as to how business
should be conducted, which attempt to ensure support for the weak. Any
activity that is fair and beneficial to both parties and is transacted
by mutual consent is lawful, but an activity involving uncertainty or an
unfair assumption of risk is not allowed. For example, renting agricultural
land for money is forbidden because the renter has a guaranteed return
while the cultivator takes the whole risk that the crop will fail.
Muslim may not deal in things, such as intoxicants, swine, or idols, the
use, which is harmed. The Sheria prohibits dealings in stolen or usurped
property. There is no statue of limitation in Islamic law and the passage
of time cannot deprive an original owner of his right in property. The
principle of caveat emptor is not recognized and the Sheria require a Muslim
to make every thing clear about an article he shells including any defects.
Sheria prohibits the charging of riba (usually translated as interest)
no money lent.
few Islamic scholars make a distinction between interest and usury and
say that interest can at times be legitimate. Though commercial banks in
Kuwait lend money at interest, the religious prohibition on riba has led
to the development of Islamic banking.
forms of insurance, such as insurance carry the risk that one party will
receive all the benefits with nothing for the other party. In addition,
Muslims deal with conventional insurance companies as they invariably lend
their preium monies on interest.
Islam defines all the spiritual, social economic and political conduct
needed for an order sociality, Its keynotes are tolerance, compassion,
justice, honesty, rationality and love, which bind (through invitations
and not by force) all believers, regardless of race or citizenship, into
an Umma (union) of common belief and social practices.
consider Muhammad (PBUH) to be the final prophet of God, yet believe in
all previous prophets, though they regard earlier revelations as either
incomplete or to have been later perverted. People (such as Christians
and Jews) who received these prior revelations are called People of the
book. These and other non-Muslims who accept the authority of an Islamic
state are known as Ahl Al Thimmah (Covenanted People). As the term implies,
the Islamic state has entered into a convenient with Ahl Al Thimmah and
guarantees its protections to all non-Muslim living within its community
in return for their loyalty. They have equal rights with Muslims before
the law, freedom of belief and may perform their own religious rites. These
rights are irrevocable unless Ahl Al Thimmah themselves renounce the covenant.
Kuwait’s constitutions guarantees non-muslims ‘absolute freedom of belief
and the right to practice religion in accordance with established customs’
There are several Christian churches in the country and the Catholic Church
has a resident bishop.
most of the information from Kuwait Pocket
The Islamic Presentation
Presentation Committee (IPC) is in Fahd Al Salem Street and welcome inquiries
about Islam. The IPC publishes books and holds classes on Islam in many
languages. The Friday Sermon is given in non- Arabic language, such as:
English Al-Uthman Mosque
----------------------- near the National Assembly
Malayalam Al-Ujairy Mosque ---------------------------
near Kuwait Municipality building
Tagalog Abdulaziz al-Otaibi Mosque
------------ near Kuwait finance House head office
Turkish Al-Mudairees Mosque
-------------------- near Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Tamil Ben Nabhan
Mosque --------------------- near Derwazat Abdul-Razzaq
Telugu Marzook Al-Bader
Mosque ------------- behind Salhiyah Post Office
Telugu Bin Hamad
Mosque ----------------------- behind Palace of justice
Saleh Mosque ---------------- near Al-Muthanna Complex
mosque ------------------------ behind Meridian Hotel
Telugu Fadalah Mosque
--------------------------- behind Al-Wataniya Suq
Al-Hamad Mosque ------------------------ Jleeb Al-Shuyokh
Al-Sharrah Mosque ----------------------- Salmiya