What I learned from Holy Month

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS - pa­trick@7days.ae

How do I sum up my first Ra­madan? Well, it’s been a pretty hum­bling month. And I’ve spo­ken and in­ter­acted with peo­ple that I would never have done oth­er­wise.

If I hadn’t been asked to write this col­umn I sus­pect I wouldn’t have set foot in a mosque, not be­cause I didn’t want to but be­cause I’m a ter­ri­ble one for putting things off.

How­ever, in the past month. I’ve been to two dif­fer­ent mosques -Jumeirah Mosque and the Al Fa­rooq Omar Bin Al Khat­tab Mosque.

It’s been easy for me to get caught up in the hus­tle and bus­tle of life in Dubai, with lit­tle or no time to spend on ab­sorb­ing the culture and his­tory of this in­cred­i­ble coun­try.

But spend­ing time in th­ese unique build­ings was spe­cial. I’ve al­ways found there’s some­thing sooth­ing about be­ing in a place of wor­ship. And I also learned plenty too.

Dur­ing the tour of Jumeirah Mosque, I found out that all ho­tel rooms here have ar­rows on the ceil­ing point­ing to Mecca.

I can’t tell you how pleased I was when I stayed in a ho­tel in Dubai last week and looked at the ceil­ing to see an ar­row… point­ing to Mecca.

I also learned a lit­tle, and I mean very lit­tle, self dis­ci­pline by fast­ing dur­ing Ra­madan. Now it was only two days, noth­ing com­pared to what Mus­lims go through but, again, I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t been asked to write about my first Ra­madan.

An­other high­light was be­ing in­vited to if­tar at the home of an Egyp­tian fam­ily.

I sup­pose that in it­self is part of the mes­sage of Ra­madan. Open­ing your­self up to the ex­pe­ri­ences of oth­ers and shar­ing things you wouldn’t have oth­er­wise.

I know my Ra­madan ex­pe­ri­ence only skimmed the sur­face of the Holy Month, but I have to say that I feel that I’m a bet­ter per­son for it.

MY FIRST RA­MADAN Pa­trick Ryan on how he will em­brace the Holy Month

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