Opinion and Editorial

UAE, where the holy month is for everyone

Filed on April 12, 2021

Streets and malls across the country are lit up with decorations.

Though this is the second year Ramadan is being observed amid the Covid-19 pandemic — the spirit of the holy month was palpable long before the date was announced. Streets and malls across the country are lit up with decorations. And, more than anything, kind and generous hearts glowed as the faithful all get ready to share their blessings, even though much of charitable activities have gone online.

As soon as the official statement was made, Ramadan Kareem greetings flooded inboxes and sent social media feeds abuzz. With well wishes came another reminder: No hugs and handshakes, please. Iftar gatherings are still prohibited, just like last year. But residents are free to enjoy the socially distanced late-night activities, where they can share the joy and soak up the spirit of the holy month.

Ramadan has a practical purpose that creates real changes within those who observe it. This holy month is all about getting nearer to God by showing obedience to his commands. Fasting — or sawm in Arabic, which means to refrain — is one of the five pillars of Islam and is also one of the highest forms of worship. While it mainly points to the commitment not to eat or drink from dawn to dusk, it is just as important to abstain from any kind of sinful behaviour. Instead, indulge in good deeds and charity as rewards are multiplied during the month of blessings and mercy.

While Muslims derive peace, happiness and strength by fasting for over 13 hours, their friends do not forget to play their part by showing solidarity and respect by not eating and drinking in front of them. Some even go to the extent of stepping into their Muslim friends’ shoes by skipping their meals, too. Regardless of one’s faith, Ramadan in the UAE unites people towards the goal of touching lives — giving and empathising with those who do not have much in life. By creating countless ways through which residents can share whatever they can, the Emirates connects and brings its people together, allowing them to live by the true spirit of the holy month, against all Covid odds.

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