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Ramadan: A month of Generosity

Lakshmi Nanda Madhusoodhanan, IIK Young Reporter Tuesday, April 14, 2020
Ramadan: A month of Generosity

“A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people”

-Mahatma Gandhi.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims worldwide practice Sawm – fasting from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan begins after the sighting of the new moon. Sawm in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, the other pillars are Shahada- Faith, Salah - Prayer, Zakat - Charity and Hajj- Pilgrimage to Holy Mecca.

This year, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on April 24 and will go on until the day of Eid al Fitr on approximately May 23. But the pomp and grandeur will be missing out this year, due to the restriction of social interaction due to the COVID-19.

To all those wondering what is COVID-19, it is an infectious deadly disease caused by the Novel Coronavirus. The disease was first discovered in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The disease then has spread all across the world causing a global pandemic which has made half of the world under lockdown. The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020 and it was recognized as a pandemic on 11th March 2020 by the World Health Organization.

The world is full of worries about the global pandemic with around 200 countries and territories, impacted by the deadly disease and Kuwait is one among them. When all the countries are tensed up and giving up about fighting against coronavirus, and the news channels and televisions are filled with news of deaths and halt of all kinds of economic activities. Kuwait, our foster motherland, has been taking precautions which are for the safety and the well-being of all the people in Kuwait including citizens and expats alike. Kuwait has declared holidays from 12th March and implemented a partial curfew. Medical assistance is provided fully free and quarantine places are fitted with all necessary facilities which have been arranged within a short period. The Kuwaiti areas locked down fully are being provided with plenty of food and water. The banks have declared a moratorium of loans for 6 months waving the interest charges for that period. A large community of expats are also beneficiaries of this moratorium. Kuwait has ordered the employee salaries should be paid in full without any deductions during this lockdown period. In addition to all of these acts, the illegal migrants of Kuwait have been pardoned and are permitted to leave the country with free air tickets and the list goes on.

While these generous acts are coming from the honourable rulers of Kuwait. What is the news from the community? Well, the acts of big-heartedness of the Kuwaiti landlords are winning the hearts of the expat community and spreading smiles at this turbulent moment. The expats are living in the rented apartments owned by Kuwaitis. Many Kuwaiti landlords are so liberal that they have exempted the tenants from paying rent of 2 months or they have reduced the monthly rent in big proportions up to 50%. Not only that, but many Kuwaiti owners have also even gone to the extent that they are providing necessary provisions to the needy residents throughout this distress. They are the real heroes of mankind.

Well, what would be the reasons behind these kind gestures? These values have been imbibed in them since their young ages by practising their religious beliefs. The 30 days fasting is done to celebrate the first declaration of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad PBUH according to Islamic Beliefs. But how does fasting help in imbibing values? While fasting, they develop high character. They hold back themselves on doing sinful actions like insulting, cursing, bullying, fighting etc. This fasting helps them realize the pain of poverty, making them do charity and good deeds. Fasting also helps to develop the real spirit of social belonging, unity and equality in a person before God. The act of giving food to those who are in need is compulsory at the end of the month. This inspires the people about the importance and the power of love and kindness.

During this holy month of Ramadan, let us all be safe and spread positivity through our acts of generosity. Wishing everyone a blessed Ramadan.

Lakshmi Nanda Madhusoodhanan
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