The most surprising thing I came across while my visit in Saudi Arabia was how Saudi people take care of their patients. They never let their ill ones be alone and keep on visiting them on and off. This attribute is thoroughly missing in the west. There are so many issues we talk about Saudi culture, comparing to the west but this thing makes me feel complex as there is hardly a person in our country who can spend his/ her time while rejoicing a patient. People leave their patients in the west in old houses or visit them on weekends at maximum. They consider it wastage of time to back a patient by babysitting or making him feel relaxed with their company due to the influence of materialistic thinking. Saudi culture stems from Islam and it is a basic obligation of children being Muslim to take care of their parents especially when they grow old or are not in sound condition.
The Holy Quran emphasizes on the care of parents and to treat them with kindness when both or the only survivor reaches the old age and become feeble. The simple proof of this is if you Google term ‘Affection to parents” the first ten websites are almost all related to Islamic teachings. The Holy Prophet of God and leader of Muslim Ummah Muhammad PBUH highlighted it again and again that parents are religious and moral obligation to children and they should treat them with courtesy and affection even if they ask them to change their religion or act in an unjustified way.
It is not about just parents; Saudi people are so concerned about their whole families and this thing fascinates me a lot. When you find, a Saudi admitted in the hospital, there would be a crowd of people for his company, not only his children or parents but his brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews and even friends. Unlike West people, here in Saudi Arabia consider it a matter of honor to raise their old ones at homes and if there is no family member available for taking care of them, they hire sitters on wages.
Not only parents, Islam bounds Muslims to be courteous to their wives as well. Holy Prophet PBUH said, “the best among you (men) are the ones who are best in treatment towards their wives”. The saying of the custodian of Islam clearly shows the importance of a wife or woman in Islam. This is what is missing in western culture.
Not only this, visitors bring eatable and flowers for patients and share it with other guests as well. They don’t mind any formalities and try to comfort the patients at their maximum. They even invite hospital staff and nurses to join them and share chocolates, tea or coffee. When groups of women visit a patient, you can easily get amused by the smell of their perfumes and can feel the lovely feeling of their courtesy and kindness. I must say Saudi is the most generous people I have ever met in my life.