Non-Muslims urged to respect holy month

Non-Muslims urged to respect holy month
Updated 13 June 2015

Non-Muslims urged to respect holy month

Non-Muslims urged to respect holy month

RIYADH: With Ramadan likely to start on Thursday, non-Muslims have been urged to respect the holy month and abstain from eating, drinking and smoking in public.
The Ministry of Interior issues a notice every year to ensure that those of other faiths understand and abide by the country’s laws. Failure to do so can result in legal trouble.
For Muslims, it is a month of spiritual training where they do everything they can to get closer to Allah. There is not only abstention from food and drink and marital relations during daylight hours, but also striving to help others in need.
For those who are overweight and obese, the month of fasting can assist in losing those extra kilograms, which are the cause of so many chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
Some non-Muslim expatriates here have been known to fast, in an attempt to gain an understanding of this religious duty and achieve some spiritual enlightenment.
“I consider Ramadan as the best time for spiritual molding by controlling my worldly desires. This is the month I practice abstaining from arrogance, vanity, gossiping, backbiting, cursing, disrespecting others and the like,” expatriate Saleh Bucay told Arab News.
“I humbly appeal to our non-fasting fellow expats to be curious and cautious at the same time. As a sign of respect, they should avoid eating or drinking in front of those who are fasting, particularly in public areas.”
A Filipino worker, Neil Grajo, told Arab News that he fasted last year to lose weight, change some of his bad habits, and show some respect for his Muslim colleagues at work.
“Ramadan could be good for a country such as the Philippines where smoking and drinking alcohol is widespread, which has not only cost people money but also their lives,” Grajo said. He said bad habits and immorality cannot be changed without actual physical training.
Sa’dullah Khan, in an article entitled ‘Why Do Muslims Fast,’ stated: “Through fasting, the human being comes to grips with his carnal self, taming his physical appetites, subduing his greed and lust, and thus traversing a path which progressively elevates his consciousness from the physical to the moral and ultimately to the spiritual dimension of his being.”