Ramadan 2021

Ramadan in UAE: This waiter serves his guests before breaking his fast

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on April 27, 2021
Supplied photo

It is people like him who put service before self, that ensure the service sector continues to thrive even in such difficult times.

For Mohammad Wasif, 42, ending his Ramadan fast in the company of colleagues, is something to look forward to at the end of a busy evening.

But he says the call for duty as a service staff in a restaurant precedes everything else.

“I work as a waiter and if there are guests in our restaurant, I serve them first before going to end my fast,” Wasif who works at Bahijaan’s Biryani told Khaleej Times. “I open my fast with dates and water before going to pray.”

It is people like him who put service before self, that ensure the service sector continues to thrive even in such difficult times.

Although the restaurant where he works, mostly relies on takeaway orders during Ramadan, Wasif believes in getting to work early.

“I am in, latest by 10am everyday. As soon as I arrive, I go for grocery shopping and help the chef with whatever he requires. All the preparation part is taken care of by me and my colleagues. In the evening, after serving our guests and reciting the Namaz (evening prayers), we sit down to have fruits, biryani, curry and chapatis together.”

Wasif says he is thankful for being in a country as safe as the UAE. “Given the situation around the world, I am really glad to be in a country where the vaccination drive has been so robust. However, I do feel worried for my family back home. When I cater to our restaurant guests we make sure that we all wear a mask, gloves and maintain social distancing,” says the Indian expat from Mumbai.

He says service staff in restaurants, malls and hotels are always at risk, but the vaccination drive in the country has given them a lot of confidence. “Initially I was apprehensive of attending to different types of guests when Covid-19 struck. We meet different kinds of guests and are exposed to the virus all the time. But the inoculation drive has certainly instilled confidence among people,” he said.

Even as he works tirelessly even during Ramadan, Wasif says that for people like him, the service motive is on the top of their mind at all times. “We do work for a salary, but Ramadan is a month when we delve deep inside our hearts and introspect. It’s a month of heightened spirituality. So, any work that I do during this period, I try to put my heart and soul into it, which should be the case even otherwise. Covid-19 has been a great lesson for all of us. I am grateful that at a time like this we have a job and a safe life here.”

This is the second Ramadan amidst Covid-19 for Wasif and he hopes it will be the last during a pandemic. “Although signature feasts and large gatherings have been restricted due to coronavirus, I feel blessed to be where I am. As the holy month is marked by intense prayer, I pray to Allah, from the bottom of my heart, that by the next Ramadan this pandemic is completely over,” he said before rushing off to attend to guests.


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These prayer timings are for Dubai, Sharjah and Ajman. For Abu Dhabi, add four minutes. Deduct four minutes for Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, and six minutes for Fujairah.

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