Egyptian woman charged with smoking in Bahrain during Ramadan

(REUTERS / Mushtaq Muhammed)Men read the Quran at the Imam Hussein shrine during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in the city of Kerbala, southwest of Baghdad, July 8, 2014.

For Muslims the fast during the holy month of Ramadan has specific rules and regulations and woman broke them, as interpreted in Bahrain, when she lit up.

Islamic scholars have outlined the fasting requirements and this includes fasting during the daytime, saying no to food, drink, smoking and sexual activities, but it can be excluded while traveling.

The case is different with an Egyptian woman who seemingly forgot about the Ramadan fast and resorted to smoking while being questioned at the Bahrain International Airport.

In a report in the Gulf Daily News on Wednesday, the 32-year old Egyptian woman, whose name was not disclosed, was stopped by the airport officials to search her luggage.

The woman refused and she was taken to a lieutenant in the cutoms' office for questioning.

The woman allegedly insulted the lieutenant by knocking off his hat and smoking a cigarette.

In a statement to prosecutors, the woman said that she accidentally knocked off the policeman's hat as she was waving her hands around to explain her situation.

She explained that she was trying to tell the police that she did not oesn't want her luggage examined as this would delay her.

"I needed to travel back to my home country for Ramadan and I was late to board my flight," the woman insisted.

Regarding smoking, the woman said that she was not fasting because she is traveling.

The woman was charged with smoking a cigarette during daylight hours. She was also charged with insulting a police officer. She was released on 500 Bahrain dinar (775 British pounds; $1,326) bail by the Lower Criminal Court.

Islam does not specifically ban smoking as it does with alcohol because cigarettes were not around during the Prophet Muhammad's time in the 7th century.

A study by Ahmed BaHammam, Professor of Medicine at the King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, revealed that only 14 Islamic countries have banned smoking in public places and only seven countries prevent the sale to minors.

Copyright © 2014 Ecumenical News