ABU DHABI // For Muhammad Ruslailang Noertika and his Indonesian compatriots, Nuzul Quran is not only a religious tradition but a part of their country's culture.
Nuzulul Quran, marked on the 17th day of Ramadan, is the day the first verses of the Holy Book were revealed to Prophet Mohammed.
"In Indonesia, it is an annual gathering of our family and neighbours in the community or school," said Mr Noertika, 36, an engineer in Abu Dhabi.
"We recite the Quran, take part in Islamic quizzes and listen to lectures. Our understanding about Islam is further enhanced and these events create a strong sense of community spirit."
This year, Nuzulul Quran falls on August 5 - Sunday - but the Indonesian community in Abu Dhabi will celebrate it today.
There will be a Quran recitation competition for the maids and nannies taking temporary refuge at a women's shelter after fleeing their employers' homes.
The rest of the community will take part in an Islamic quiz. This will be followed by iftar, taraweeh prayers and an Islamic lecture in the evening.
"Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and prayer," said Salman Al Farisi, 53, the new Indonesian ambassador to the UAE. "I'm glad that the community in Abu Dhabi has several activities to mark the occasion."
The religious quizzes for the children will develop their knowledge about Islamic teachings, he said.
"By celebrating Nuzulul Quran, we are sending an important message to our children that Islam is not just about prayer, fasting and pilgrimage," said Mr Noertika, who is also the coordinator for the Nuzulul Quran activities. "It also emphasises togetherness and sharing of understanding of Islam, a tradition that developed along with our nation's cultural history."
Muhammad Walfajri, 35, the chairman of the Indonesian Muslim community, expects up to 300 Indonesians from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Ruwais to offer nightly taraweeh prayers and attend the Nuzulul Quran activities.
Every Thursday and Friday during Ramadan, Indonesians break their fast and listen to religious lectures at the embassy. The community is also raising funds for the women at the embassy shelter.