The Story Behind The Ramadan Cannon

  • Publish date: Monday، 12 April 2021 Last update: Monday، 27 March 2023
The Story Behind The Ramadan Cannon

We all are familiar with the cannon that fires and indicates that Muslims can break their fast-during Ramadan, so what is it really?

The cannon is first fired to herald the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, and then each day to announce the breaking of the fast at the sunset prayers of maghrib. The blast is an echo to inform the entire city of the time of Iftar, before the invention of clocks, TVs or cellphones.

It is a tradition carried out in several countries such as UAE, Saudi, Egypt and more. Before firing the cannon, people and children are always eager to watch it happen, firing the cannon has been a tradition since the early 1960’s signaling the start of Ramadan,

Maj. Abdul Mohsin Al-Maimani, a spokesman for the Makkah police department, said “When Makkah police was founded 75 years ago, it was entrusted with the maintenance and care of this cannon. After Eid, the cannon is returned to a special department. A few days before Ramadan, it is sent back to the mountain. The powder is handled by a special team so that no one gets hurt.”

Cannon firing has roots that can be traced to 19th-century Egypt, and according to some accounts even as far back as the 15th century, in the era of the Mamluks. The cannon was fired to notify Muslim worshippers that the time to break their fast had arrived. A second firing followed much later, in the early-morning hours during the call to Fajr prayers, and signalled the start of a new fasting day. There are a few different versions of the story of how the cannon tradition came about.

If you are looking forward to watching the firing of the cannon Major Abdullah Tarish Al Amimi, Commander of the Artillery Unit in the General Department of Protective Security and Emergency, said that cannons have been set up in six different locations across the emirates, including:

  • Atlantis the Palm,
  • Al Salam Masjid in Al Barsha,
  • Burj Khalifa,
  • Al Mamzar Beach,
  • Al Habbai Mosque in Al Khawaneej
  • The prayer ground in Al Mankhool.