Ramadan away from home: Back home, Ramadan is a private affair

Top Stories

Ramadan away from home: Back home, Ramadan is a private affair

When he converted, he took the Islamic name Ibrahim.

By Anjana Sankar


  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 26 May 2019, 9:46 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 May 2019, 11:53 PM

Bincent Madaray, 44, from South Africa has been living in the UAE for the last 13 years. He embraced Islam five years ago and has been observing the Ramadan fasts ever since. "I have lived all my life in South Africa, where Ramadan is a private affair. People quietly fast and go home and have Iftar. You don't find Ramadan tents or mass Iftars anywhere," said Madaray, who is a nursing manager at the Khalifa Hospital in Abu Dhabi.
When he converted, he took the Islamic name Ibrahim. He said Ramadan is an experience people look forward to in the UAE. "There is Ramadan spirt everywhere."
But Madaray said the festivities and celebrations that people indulge in take him away from prayers. "There are huge Iftars every day and people invite you. Once you go there, you will sit and chat till late and miss the prayers.
"Even companies host grand Iftars at VIP tents to network with staff and clients. I avoid them and try to focus on my prayers, though these evenings are a great opportunity to make friends," said Madaray, who is single.
Speaking about his life-changing decision to convert to Islam, Madaray said that after coming to the UAE, he used to watch people pray five times a day and think "they must be really loving their God".
"It was a special feeling whenever I listened to the calls for prayer. I was alone and seeking something. That is when I started reading about Islam. It took me a year and then I met the husband of one of my patients, who guided me to conversion.
"It was a long journey, but definitely a rewarding one. I have learned a lot from Islam."
anjana@khaleejtimes.com



More news from