Ramadan: Non-Muslims in Oman on what the holy month means to them

Muscat - 

With Ramadan, the month of fasting and praying just round the corner, many non-Muslim residents in Oman are not just enthusiastically waiting to be part of the festivities but also want to fast and pray.

Many say observance of Ramadan-related rituals and traditions offer them a different view of life. Muscat Daily spoke to several non-Muslim residents in Oman to find out what Ramadan means to them. Croatia’s Bojan Mati, CEO, Genius Solutions, said, Ramadan for him is a learning opportunity.

“I decided to fast and surrender food for at least a few days when I understood the real spirit of Ramadan. Last year, I fasted for a day. I hope to do this year too. By observing fast and following these traditions one feels part of the community,” Mati said. For some others, Ramadan is also a time to cleanse oneself, focus on one’s faith and engage in good deeds.

Manpreet Singh, chairman, Indian Social Club Salalah, said, “Even though I am not a Muslim, I try and fast for at least a few days during Ramadan. It is a good time to engage with your Muslim brothers and sisters and meet them over iftars as well. Our organisation also arranges iftar gatherings.” Helping the less fortunate and strengthening one’s spirituality is what attracts some others. Jessica Hern, from England said Ramadan brings to fore the true spirit of Islam.

“Last year I fasted for a few days to understand the spirit of the holy month. I also read Q’uran last year, which taught me what Islam stands for. It is also the time to think of the less-privileged who struggle to make ends meet. The best part of the month is the huge family gatherings.” Italian Michele Angelo Cuccaro, an engineer from Sering International said this would be his fourth Ramadan in Oman.

“I understand Ramadan and the tenets of Islam. I hope to fast this year too. The holy month is the time for introspection and the time to get closer to God,” he said. South African Jo-Marie Muder too thinks Ramadan is a noble month which teaches us to be compassionate to others. “A lot of Muslims engage in charity activities. By giving up food and things we love, we understand the plight of those who don’t have these privileges.”

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