Enjoy our faster App experience

Muslims reflect on first day of fasting

Muslims reflect on first day of fasting

Fasting an average of 15 hours in the harsh summer weather may seem to be a tough task but worshipers look beyond the hunger as a means to focus more on engaging in acts of goodness.



By Muaz Shabandri/staff Reporter

Published: Sat 20 Jun 2015, 12:09 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:16 PM

People buying snack from the cafeteria at Al Karama on the first day of Ramadan. – KT photo by Shihab

Dubai — The first day of Ramadan is a time of deep reflection and introspection for Muslims around the world. Fasting from dawn to sunset, the month represents a time of change for many worshippers.

Fasting an average of 15 hours in the harsh summer weather may seem to be a tough task but worshipers look beyond the hunger as a means to focus more on engaging in acts of goodness.

In UAE, shorter working hours allow people to spend more time in worship, with many even turning to spend their time in mosques. Mohammed Abdulla believes the month is a time of greater closeness to Allah as fewer distractions consume the rituals of daily life during this month.

“It is a time where Muslims reflect on their practices, where everyone comes together and the whole environment makes it easier to practise goodness. Each mosque has sermons and lectures and people can listen to the Holy Quran from top reciters,” noted Abdulla. Most Muslims undertake special prayers and spend greater time in acts of worship as the month draws on a general mood of well-being and happiness.

“Everyone tends to become a bit more caring, kind and helpful during these days. Many times, these changes carry forward even after Ramadan as people look inwards and turn to their Creator.  Reading the Quran, praying for extended periods and continuing our daily lives is a spiritually uplifting experience,” he added.

Noufal Manzil is the only Muslim in his office in Dubai’s financial district. However, he takes pride in sharing the culture at his workplace where all his colleagues avoid eating openly at work.

“I strongly feel the work-life balance gets better during Ramadan because of shorter working hours. I feel productivity increases as people are more focused and manage expectations better. Being the only person fasting in his office, people of other faiths make an effort not to eat in office, this is a sign of respect.”

He added: “Ramadan is a very different experience in Dubai. People become a lot more spiritual and there is a lot of peace and tranquility. Even the mosques are full and it’s generally a happier time with people being closer to their family and loved ones.”

Many restaurants serving food in the financial district are draped in curtains to avoid a public display of food. Special arrangements are made at community mosques to provide iftar.  Ending the fast with other Muslims is an experience to cherish as people come together and share food – often contributed by houses near the mosque.

Abdul Bari, a Sharjah resident, makes it a point to carry home-cooked food to a nearby mosque.

“Every Thursday, my father and I take food to the mosque. Home-cooked food is not easily available and we make an effort to distribute some home food to people who end their fast at the mosque,” he said. He added, “It is a blessed month where we take special care to ensure the whole family eats meal together. More time is spent at home which brings greater happiness and strengthens the family bond.”

muaz@khaleejtimes.com


More news from
UAE highlights national vision at World Economic Forum

Business

UAE highlights national vision at World Economic Forum

Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of UAE Council of Scientists, stressed the UAE government’s keenness to strengthen partnerships and constructive global cooperation in the field of scientific research, because of its positive implications for societies

Business3 hours ago