Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The True Essence of Ramadan

Even for a non-religious person like me, the message that Ramadan (word originated from 'ar-ramad' meaning 'scorching heat') offers goes beyond spiritual reflection and adherence to religious principles.

Setting aside a month every year 'to be a better person' may seem absurd to some, but for those of us who are lucky enough to indulge in some guilty pleasures of life, it serves as a timely reminder that there is a world out there that is struggling to survive without the basic needs like food, water and shelter. It is also about self-discipline, self restraint and generosity.

Having said that, Dubai offers a different perspective of Ramadan unlike my hometown where scores of desperately poor people visit Muslim homes expecting a few grains of rice or some money to get through another day or two. Despite witnessing the very many excesses in the sandlands, I was a little taken aback by this Emirates Palace advert which urges us to celebrate the Holy Month in it's 'lavish' settings 'indulging' in a buffet in the 'luxurious palace tents'. Or you can even 'unwind with sheesha', 'relax with a complimentary beverage' or to top it all, participate in a 'Lucky Draw' for a free nights stay at the hotel.

Not far away, a non-Muslim man must be trying to get on with his daily life munching a burger inside his car, hoping that the religious police is out of bounds.

3 Comments:

Blogger secretdubai said...

That's an amazing - if heavily faked - shot of Elephant Palace.

2:33 pm  
Blogger Prometheus said...

Prometheus thinks of how much Sabab (good karma) would be deducted for keeping non-fasting folk hungry. Any guesses?

3:36 pm  
Blogger Woke said...

SD,
Digitally enhanced sounds better than 'heavily faked'. :D

Prometheus,
Half a dozen steps closer to heaven, infact, if we manage to make you skip lunch for two consecutive days.

10:10 am  

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