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Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on May 16, 2018 | Last updated on May 16, 2018 at 07.09 am

For some, this Ramadan is going to be a special experience as it is the first time they will be fasting.

As Muslims across the world are set to welcome Ramadan – one of the most auspicious months in the Islamic calendar – hearts of the UAE residents too are filled with joy as they prepare the arrival of the holy month.

From housewives to professionals and students to workers, every section of the society seems to be eagerly awaiting this annual retreat that let’s them hit a pause button on their hectic lives.

For Pakistani workers Yusuf, Muazzam and Mubashhar, who work outdoors on construction sites, this month is definitely a month they await all year round. When asked how will they manage in the heat, Yusuf replied: “Firstly, the government here is very considerate and have changed our work timings to early morning from around 5am to 12noon, so that’s a relief. Secondly, we have been fasting from childhood and so it is not difficult for us. In fact not fasting is more painful in this month as it is Allah’s order and we get happiness in His obedience.”

Debutants excited

For some, this Ramadan is going to be a special experience as it is the first time they will be fasting.

British expat Darren Streete, who embraced Islam just five months back, said: “This year will be my first year of fully participating in the holy month of Ramadan. Over the last few years, while being in the Middle East, I have observed the holy month and the dedication that participating Muslims demonstrate during this time.

“During previous times, I used to refrain from eating during daylight hours, out of respect for those around me. The main difference for me this year will be that of exploring my connection with Allah, through the reading of the Quran, and prayer. Also, it will be an opportunity for me to get to know more of my brothers through their invites to Iftars.”

Twelve-year old Grade 8 student Shayaan Hashmi said he eagerly waits for the blessed month every year. “I am very excited about Ramadan because it really brings my family together. We all gather together and have Iftar, go for taraweeh prayers and also sometimes go for Laylatul-qadar prayers (last 10 nights of Ramadan). Also in my school, every Ramadan, we make charity boxes for workers and I feel so happy doing something productive to bring smiles on the faces of these unsung heroes.”

Although away from family, Indian expat Danish Shabir, 26, said for bachelors it is a month of bonding with each other. Shabir said: “One of best things about being in this country especially during the holy month of Ramadan is that working hours are reduced. We are all bachelors and have different work schedules but this is the only time when we meet and eat together be it at suhoor or Iftar time. We pray together, we get more time to spend with each other especially over weekends when we plan bigger Iftars with our community people.

“I am a Kashmiri and we have a distinct Kashmiri menu so we make sure that we have some community Iftars when we get to eat our Kashmiri food and meet our people, speak in our language and this in a way gives us a feel of being at home.”

For housewife Shabeen Yusuf and husband Abdul Mukeet Shahabuddin, Ramadan is a month of worship and remembrance of Allah and that’s what they aim to dedicate it to. ” Although we were all set and excited for Ramadan but the announcement of exams during this month for our kids has dampened our spirits a bit. Two of my kids, who will be fasting have their exams scheduled in the last ten days of this holy month and even during Eid. The schools should avoid scheduling exams during this holy month as the whole family gets affected and we are unable to focus on our prayers,” she said.

saman@khaleejtimes.com

Source :  The Khaleej Times

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