Kuwait Pocket PC

A Complete Guide To Kuwait In your Pocket PC

Kuwait 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 Kuwaitis today.
The 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.
Face 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.
The 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.
As 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. 
There are also more formal Diwaniyah, which specialize in particular interests, such as politics or science.
Most 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.
The 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 .
The 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.
Once 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 year.
During 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. 
On 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.
Kuwaiti 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.
When 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.
The 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

Kuwait’s 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.
Islam 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 groupings.


The Meaning of Islam

Islam 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 (PBUH).


The Five Pillars

In Islam, 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.
Zakat 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.
Hajj 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 (Sharia)

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.
Two 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.
The 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.
Qiyas 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 binding.
Islamic 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.
In 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 Islam

Islam 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.
Islam 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).
In 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.
Sala’m 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-Sala’m, 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.”


Personal & Social life

Islam prescribes a wide range of rules governing personal and interpersonal conduct. The family is considered the basis of social life, and celibacy is forbidden.
The Sheria states that those who have the means should marry, and lays down detailed rules governing marriage, divorce and inheritance.
Islam 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.
Muslin 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.
Men 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.


Business Ethics

Islam is pro-business. The Sharia contains detailed rules as to how business should be conducted, which attempt to ensure support for the weak. Any business 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.
A 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.
The Sheria prohibits the charging of riba (usually translated as interest) no money lent.
A 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.
Western 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.


Tolerance & Protection

For Muslims, 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.
Muslims 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 Guide


The Islamic Presentation Committee

The Islamic 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
· Telugu          Al-Mullah Saleh Mosque ---------------- near Al-Muthanna Complex
· Telugu          Al-salhiya mosque ------------------------ behind Meridian Hotel
· Telugu          Fadalah Mosque --------------------------- behind Al-Wataniya Suq
· Urdu             Al-Hamad Mosque ------------------------ Jleeb Al-Shuyokh
· Urdu             Al-Sharrah Mosque ----------------------- Salmiya