A time to cel­e­brate – and to re­mem­ber sac­ri­fice

Eid is an oc­ca­sion to reflect on the brav­ery of Emi­rati sol­diers fight­ing to lib­er­ate Ye­men

The National - News - - OPINION -

Ra­madan ends this week­end. Weeks of rev­er­en­tial fast­ing by Mus­lims around the world in ob­ser­vance of one of the five pil­lars of Is­lam will now make way for three days of fes­tive cel­e­bra­tion – and quiet re­flec­tion. Eid is an oc­ca­sion that brings to­gether fam­i­lies and friends. But to all those that ob­serve the holy month, Eid is not sim­ply a cel­e­bra­tion. While Ra­madan can be chal­leng­ing, its end trig­gers pangs of loss for many Mus­lims. There is a sanc­tity to the month, when the whims of the in­di­vid­ual are side­lined in ser­vice of Al­lah, com­mu­nity and fam­ily. It is a pe­riod that pri­ori­tises dis­ci­pline, healthy eat­ing and kind­ness; creeds that all of us should fol­low well beyond the month’s con­clu­sion.

This year, the joy will be tem­pered with poignant re­mem­brance of, and abid­ing grat­i­tude for, those who self­lessly un­der­write our free­doms and se­cu­rity. This week, four Emi­rati ser­vice­men died while tak­ing part in the Saudi-led Arab Coali­tion’s mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion to re­store Ye­men’s le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment. They sac­ri­ficed their lives to lib­er­ate fel­low Arabs be­sieged by a bru­tal mili­tia that has trans­formed Ye­men into a the­atre of un­speak­able suf­fer­ing and stopped Ye­me­nis from per­form­ing the Hajj. Their mar­tyr­dom only deep­ens the re­solve of the UAE to com­plete the mis­sion.

This Eid, we come to­gether in a time of global un­cer­tainty and un­rest. In the neigh­bour­hood, con­flict con­tin­ues to claim lives in Syria. Fur­ther afield, the Ro­hingya, ex­pelled from their homes in Myan­mar for be­ing Mus­lim, con­tinue to live in per­ilous con­di­tions. Dis­ease and des­ti­tu­tion re­main rife in many parts of the world. Em­pa­thy is cen­tral to Is­lam – and Eid, re­mind­ing us of all that is dear to us, prompts us to reflect on the world around us and re­new our com­mit­ment to good causes. In that spirit, The Na­tional wishes all its read­ers Eid Mubarak.

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