Ramadan is time for reflection, embrace religious pluralism, says UAE envoy

The month of Ramadan is a period when Muslims do not only abstain from food but also create time to reset and reflect on ways to be more faithful and draw inspiration from all values of different religions.

This was said by Hazza Mohammad Kharasan Al Qah’tani, UAE Ambassador to Rwanda during an interfaith Iftar sharing in Kigali on early this week, to break the fast together as part of the ongoing Holy Month of Ramadan.

The event was graced by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Richard Sezibera, the head of Catholic Church in Rwanda Archbishop Antoine Kambanda, the Muslim community in Rwanda, representatives of faith based organisations, diplomatic envoys of various countries among other guests.

“While visibly, it is food that we abstain from, Ramadan is about much more than that, I like to think of Ramadan as a new year. It is time to reset and reflect. It is a tradition of Ramadan and the importance of coming together during the month,” he said.

“During the Ramadan in particular, I hope we can draw inspiration from all values of different religions,” he added.

Iftar, also known as “fatoor”, is the evening meal through which Muslims break the day-long fasting during Ramadan.

The holy month of Ramadan is expected to end next week with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.

During the evening sharing, the Ambassador thanked the government of Rwanda for having given people with different faith the right to worship.

“Rwanda shared with the UAE the commitment to religious diversity and inter-faith cooperation and to building a peaceful, secure and prosperous future for all the citizens,” he said.

“Rwanda and the UAE are very fortunate to have leadership committed to promoting values of inclusion and tolerance,” he added.

He welcomed the Inter Faith Iftar dinner, saying it was one of the most important months of the Islamic calendar.

“In many ways this gathering reflects my own country, where 200 nationalities and people of different religious faith live and worship,” he said.

“We in the UAE believe in the importance of bringing people together during the month of Ramadan, and particularly this year 2019, which the UAE has designated as the year of tolerance, honoring and promoting universally shared human values, these are values of compassion, philanthropy and peace,” he added.

He noted that in observing the year of tolerance, the Gulf nation’s leadership was prioritising promoting values of tolerance, peaceful co-existence, religious pluralism, acceptance and interfaith dialogue.