x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Month of prayer and reflection begins

Many are pleased that the month had begun on the weekend, allowing them to adjust to it before work.

People breaking their fast on the first day of Ramadan during the iftar held near a mosque that is close to Al Ghubaiba bus station in Bur Dubai.
People breaking their fast on the first day of Ramadan during the iftar held near a mosque that is close to Al Ghubaiba bus station in Bur Dubai.

Streets around the Emirates were lit up last night as people shared the first iftar of the Holy Month, the time for prayer and spiritual reflection.

Roads and shops in the capital were noticeably quieter, with families staying home to spend time together while they fasted.

Worshippers gathered at mosques around the country after the late announcement of the start to Ramadan on Thursday night by the moon-sighting committee.

The President, Sheikh Khalifa, received Ramadan messages from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and the Ruler of Dubai; and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the state news agency Wam reported.

On Twitter, people spread Ramadan greetings and good will as well as asking for forgiveness, many pleased that the month had begun on the weekend, allowing them to adjust to it before work.

The Holy Month will be marked by a host of activities in the different emirates, from cultural evenings to Ramadan tents where people come together to eat, drink, play games and smoke shisha.

Charities step up their efforts this month as zakat, meaning charity, is one of the five pillars of Islam, seen even more prominently during Ramadan.

These include the Adopt-A-Camp charity in Dubai, which distributes care packages to hundreds of labourers during Ramadan.

Sheikh Khalifa also exchanged greetings with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the emir of Qatar; Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, emir of Kuwait; the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas; the Yemeni president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi; and the Lebanese president Michel Suleiman.

mswan@thenational.ae