Pakistanis seek to be a model for other faiths

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

THE UAE has over 1.3 million Pakistani expatriates working in different fields. A substantial number live away from their near and dear ones, from their families and friends. Observing a month-long fasting in the UAE has a different meaning for everyone. Some who are freer socialise and spend more time fulfilling their religious duties while not forgetting the past seasons they spent with their dear ones.
Talking to The Gulf Today, a group of Pakistanis share their observations on the Holy Month Ramadan in Dubai and talk about the teachings of Islam to be reflected on by everyone.
“Ramadan is a holy month to fulfil our religious obligations like day-long fasting, prayers anPak0ramddd others which are no doubt mandatory. But we should not forget to fulfil our duties towards other human beings, “Huqooq-ul-Ebad” which is one of the biggest parts of our religion. As residents of a cosmopolitan city like Dubai, housing people from over 200 nationalities, we have to be seen as good Muslims throughout the time to follow all the teachings we have been taught which are being repeated by scholars throughout Ramadan,” says Danish Kazi.
He points out that as a Pakistani in the UAE, there are many responsibilities to discharge. “Every Pakistani in the UAE is representing the country and we have to be more conscious of reflecting the true teachings of Ramadan and the spirit that should be conveyed to others. Non-Muslims from other communities in Dubai are seeing us as we are observing fasting, praying, reciting the Quran and other modes of worship. If we know and portray ourselves as good Muslims we can answer their queries regarding the religion and the Holy Month of Ramadan,” he added.
Kazi mentions that that observing the holy month with the family is a great blessing.
Farooq Khan opines that in Dubai everyone is confined to his home and socialising is not to the extent seen in Pakistan. “Whether we are living alone or with family, we are missing our social gatherings to enjoy the true spirit of Ramadan. There are no substantial social gatherings, even between the friends and colleagues as everyone is engrossed in his own environment regardless of their profession,” he remarks.
To overcome this and bring more community members on the same page, Khan pointed that “living in the country for a couple of years we observed that the facilities and availability of public services in the UAE have made life much easier for families but the issues facing the bachelors are different,” he adds.
Faisal Mumtaz, IT Manager in a Dubai-based firm for last many years, points out that living away from the family is not easy. “Community members, those who are living as bachelors in Dubai, have been missing the gathering of families especially for Iftar. Spending the whole year without the family to work is another thing but Ramadan is not easy to forget,” he remarks.
“Gatherings at Iftar with friends and colleagues cannot replace the family meetings but to spend quality time away from parents and siblings, we have to create an alternative,” he mentions.
Nabeel Navid says that we have to devote more time to worship as the Holy Month of Ramadan is all about worship, spending time in charity work and helping others. “We have been busy throughout the year but we have to spend as much time praying as this month has more sanctity and every single act of worship rewards manifold.
“Being away from the family, we have more time to worship by offering regular prayers, reciting the Holy Quran, Taraweeh, as every worship has much higher rewards due to this month,” he adds.
He said that other bachelors are taking care of each other as they know the pain of living away from the family. “In my experience, I witness great hospitality from senior colleagues at the workplace and in surroundings. They extend their kindness to invite as many people for Iftar to enjoy the gathering which is one of the many good things seen in the Holy Month of Ramadan,” he adds.
Fahad Ali opines that the Ramadan is a time to engage in more worship and review ourselves what we did in the past 11 months. “Unfortunately, as an employee and living here as a bachelor creates practical problems to realise religious pursuits fully. Till dawn to dusk, we are busy earning our  bread and butter but we should not forget our primary lessons taught at home that Ramadan has a unique value and we have to spend more time in worship and  socialise with other countrymen,” he added.
“We have to meet others, help those who are underprivileged, take part in charity initiatives as we as Pakistanis have a clear-cut scope to play our role in this society,” he says.
-Published in The Gulf Today-Sharjah | June 26, 2015

~ by jamilkhan on June 26, 2015.

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