Expats say they miss 'homely' Ramadan

Expats say they miss homely Ramadan
Nasrolah Kudarat Ali reading Holy Quran at a mosque in Al Ain.

For many who spend Ramadan away from families, the celebratory season could evoke a pang of loneliness.

By Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 13 Jul 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 22 May 2017, 5:36 PM

Al Ain - For many expat Muslims who have to spend Ramadan away from home and their families, this celebratory season could evoke a pang of loneliness.
Although this is a sentiment shared by Nasrolah Kudarat Ali, who hails from Mindanao in the Philippines, being alone here is not a drawback to practise the devotion he learned from childhood.
"This is the fifth year I am celebrating Ramadan on my own and it's a little bit sad because I am praying and ending fast all on my own. I am so used to being with my wife and family in Ramadan where we used to open our fast, pray and have Suhur together, unlike here I am alone and I do all the cooking myself. Be it as it may, my faith remains strong," expressed the golf course maintenance supervisor.
"The most important thing this Ramadan is to follow the law with all your heart and the reward you get is getting all your sins cleansed and becoming a newborn afterwards. For me, there is nothing more important than following your belief," said the devout Muslim.
He noted the importance of being a hundred per cent committed to practising his faith during this period.
"This is a special month and an opportunity for us to do good and cleanse ourselves," he stated.
Although the 35-year old works in the greens, he said fasting this Ramadan and last year was made easier by his management's consideration to put him on the evening shift.
'Boyet', as he is commonly called by friends, starts his duty from 9:30pm, after the Taraweeh prayer and finishes work at 3:30am, just in time for Suhoor.
But instead of sleeping right through the day, he makes sure he devotedly carries out his prayers five times daily, reads the holy Quran and listens to the Imam's preaching. He also takes the time to Skype with his family regularly.
"I am reading the Quran and praying five times a day. I am going to the mosque for prayer and I mostly stay in my room. I have to be careful not to do anything that may not be pleasant during this period, like saying anything that could hurt others," Boyet said.
He said he is thankful for the non-Muslims who understand the importance of this occasion and respect a good Muslim's desire to fulfil his obligations.

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