Neither time nor distance can separate those whose faith binds them together
There is a sense of unity engrained within Ramadan
I always perceive the holy month as a time during which, amidst the accelerated pace or our daily lives, we come together as a global Muslim community to celebrate and worship the centuries-old traditions that bind us through our faith.
This year in particular has revealed the special synergy that results from our union as a religious community.
As the holy month began, The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan prayed that God would continue to grant us ‘peace and harmony’, prayers that are not only welcomed by myself but likewise synonymous to the practice of Islam within Indonesian society.
In a mark of His Highness’ extreme generosity, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan gifted Indonesia the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Central Java (pictured), which was inaugurated in April, catering to women and the youth, and symbolises the close friendship between our countries.
Indeed, over the decades, the UAE and Indonesia have worked together to strengthen our historical connections and economic ties. Just last year, our nations signed a free trade agreement designed to encourage bilateral economic growth by eliminating trade barriers on a number of goods and services – a promising step forward.
In another landmark moment for our two nations’ close relations, Ramadan this year marked the first time that worshipers performed the Tarawih prayers at the Grand Mosque – a special occasion for them and for Indonesia.
Indeed, throughout time our religious institutions have played a crucial role in safeguarding Islamic values in the modern world. They have become an integral part of the fabric of our communities providing us with spiritual and moral guidance, a space to reconvene and shelter when needed.
As Ramadan continues, I think of the various traditions that take place here in Indonesia during the holy month. As we make our way to the mosque at dawn, prioritise time with our families and wait for sundown to break our fast, we remind ourselves that this is a time for us to grow spiritually and build a stronger relationship with our faith and each other just like our ancestors did.
We take time to appreciate the stillness found in prayer and reflect upon our intentions, bearing in mind our neighbours’ misfortunes. We create an internal dialogue within ourselves and within our community in the hope of becoming more compassionate and spiritual individuals.
Faith indeed has the power of bringing us together. From here in Indonesia to the Muslim faithful around the world, may the remaining weeks of the holy month be blessed for you as well.