Non-Muslim expats learning more about Islam during Ramadan
By Rizwan Khatik - Tue Aug 16, 5:27 am
JEDDAH: Ramadan is a special month, and it is a very joyful time for Muslims who fast and celebrate this month. But how do non-Muslims living in the Saudi feel about Ramadan? To find out, Arab News spoke to several non-Muslims, who said they saw Ramadan as a beautiful month and a good chance for them to learn about Islam firsthand.
Raju Phillips, a non-Muslim expatriate who works in a construction company, said that he was going to read an English translation of the Holy Qur’an. “It is a very good chance to learn about Islam. Especially since I get some hours off work, because timings change in Ramadan,” he said.
Jedish Nair, who is also a non-Muslim expatriate, said that he was very amazed by Ramadan, and tries to learn more about Islam.
“In my municipality in India there are no Muslims, so I never even knew about Ramadan until I came to Saudi Arabia and saw Muslims fasting. They fast with such perfection! I don’t eat or drink anything during lunchtime, just to get a little of it. My Muslim friends invited me to iftar parties, which were very nice,” said Nair.
Special education consultant K.R. Jayachandran said that in Ramadan he listened to Muslim preachers who appeared on television.
“Ramadan for me and my family has been a very good experience. I see it as a good opportunity to learn about Islam. There are many Islamic speakers on television in Ramadan; I always listen to them after Maghreb prayers,” he said.
Mubeen Pervas said that he invited his non-Muslims friends to iftar parties, as he liked to share with them his happiness, and also help them become better informed about Islam.
“There are many misconceptions about Islam among non-Muslims. I try to clear these whenever I can. When I have iftar parties, I invite my non-Muslim friends to share with them my joy in this month. And I also explain to them why Muslims fast, and how fasting helps us to show compassion toward the poor,” said Pervas.