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R is for...Religion

 Friday, April 20, 2012

Religion is a big thing here. The official religion practiced in the UAE is Islam, but thankfully, they practice freedom of religion. That was one of the first things I checked on when the opportunity to teach in Abu Dhabi came up. I wanted to be able to practice my faith freely, without having to look over my back. Abu Dhabi is full of churches, mosques, cathedrals, synagogues, etc. The thing the country asks of non-Muslim expats is for us not to proselytize, or try to convert others to their religion.

Emiratis themselves are very spiritual. I may not practice their religion, but I do admire their faithfulness. Five times a day, a call to prayer is heard throughout the city. They have prayer rooms in the schools, malls, and even some restaurants. In school, students are taught about Islam and the Qur'an. I'm always hearing them say Insha'Allah (Allah willing), or Alhamdulillah (Praise to God). Here is a picture of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the UAE and the 3rd largest in the world.

It's a gorgeous building, inside and out!

My coworkers do not practice my religion (Christianity) but they admire me for believing in a higher being. They respect me and love that I'm faithful to God. I do not plan on converting to Islam. Ever. But the faithfulness of the Emiratis to Allah inspire me to be just as faithful, if not more, to God and Jesus Christ.

And now for some Arabic vocabulary...

Ramadan Mobarak - Happy Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting)


Donna Martin April 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM  

Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z Challenge...lovely blog...good luck with the rest of the challenge...

Donna L Martin

Rae April 20, 2012 at 11:32 AM  

Thanks, Donna! Same to you. :D

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This blog is all about my adventures while living in Abu Dhabi. Come along with me for what will be an awesome experience. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

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