x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Window into others' lives

Readers comment on an article and photographs of life in Abu Dhabi's old buildings. Other letters topics: Haj, tuberculosis and Rwanda.

Readers praise a story about old Abu Dhabi buildings, including the former Iranian Embassy.Jeff Topping / The National
Readers praise a story about old Abu Dhabi buildings, including the former Iranian Embassy.Jeff Topping / The National

Nothing else on Earth is like the journey of Haj

I am writing in response to Beginner's guide to Haj (October 17) and the other articles on the subject.

There are generally two kinds of journeys. The first is one that is made to earn a livelihood. The second one is that which is undertaken for pleasure and sightseeing.

In both journeys, a person goes abroad according to his needs and desires. He leaves home for a purpose of his own, he spends money or time for his own requirements, and therefore, no question of sacrifice arises in such a journey.

The situation with Haj is different. It is not meant to gain any personal end or any desire. It is intended solely for Allah, and for the fulfilment of duty prescribed by Allah.

No person can prepare to undertake this journey until and unless he has a love of Allah in his heart, as well as fear.

The person must feel strongly that the fard (obligation) ordained by Allah is incumbent on him.

Whoever sets out for Haj leaving his family and relatives for a long period, allowing his business to suffer, spending money and bearing the rigours of the travel, he furnishes by his act of devotion a proof of the fact that there is in his heart the fear of Allah, love for Allah and a sense of duty.

The pilgrim possesses the strength to leave home, when called upon to do so, for the cause of Allah and faces hardships and willingly sacrifices his wealth and comfort for the pleasure of Allah.

This is the journey of Haj and it is like nothing else on Earth.

Samaoen Osman, South Africa

Thank you for these stories. They have been very informative.

Charles Bryant, Abu Dhabi

Rwanda's leader disregards rights

Rwanda risks new regional conflict (October 18) is a sad reminder of what must be a universal reality.

When Paul Kagame purged his country of genocidal Hutu leaders and rapidly rebuilt a functioning country after a national disaster, he showed true greatness.

But, still in power, he seems to have succumbed to the disease of great power, namely amorality and disregard for the rights of others, including other countries.

Therese Boileau, Dubai

Winning the battle with tuberculosis

Tuberculosis infection down (October 18) is good news.

Efforts in treating this infectious and deadly disease over the past two decades have produced laudable results.

According to statistics from the World Health Organisation, there would have been 20 million more casualties if the proper treatment had not been available.

The reduction in the numbers has been remarkable.

K Ragavan India

Window into the way people live

After reading Holes in the heart of the city (October 17), and seeing the accompanying pictures, I will never complain again when the air-conditioning in my brand new, three-bedroom villa goes out.

I am amazed at how some people live, especially those cramped into the old Iranian Embassy.

Andrea Tee, Abu Dhabi

This story reminds me of my college life.

S Al Suwaidi, Sharjah

Confusion reigns over deadlines

Confusion over phone registration deadline (October 17) is drearily familiar to anyone who remembers the confusion over Emirates ID card deadlines, over Mawaqif deadlines, over the delays in roadworks and over the "opening soon" phenomenon that afflicts so much construction.

People in charge of imposing deadlines or making delivery-date promises should be more realistic, and then allow a little extra time for the inevitable slippage.

Deadlines we must have, but confusion we can avoid.

H Chundur, Abu Dhabi

Maternity leave must be longer

I agree with Call for flexible laws on maternity leave (October 18).

I am expecting my first child, and 45 days - those are calendar days, not even working days - is a ridiculously short amount of time.

It either means that we are all expected to let nannies raise our children (no thank you), or women are forced out of their careers.

J Heid, Dubai

Concern for dead men's families

Window cleaners fall 15 floors to their death (October 18) was sickening to read.

If any negligence is found, their employer should face severe repercussions for their failure to ensure the workers' safety.

I hope the men's families are compensated well for the loss of their lives.

Sehar Shah, Abu Dhabi