A month of prayers and feasts

A month of prayers and feasts

Sacred days

A month of prayers and feasts

The holy month of Ramzan is observed by Muslims all over the world. This period of fasting is obligatory where Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset. Ramzan is the ninth month of the lunar calendar and eventually ends with the festival of Id which is the biggest festival in the Islamic calendar. Metrolife speaks to a few Bangaloreans to find out how they are celebrating this holy month.

Rasiq, a professional says, “We are supposed to give part of our savings to the poor during the month of Ramzan. It is mandatory to pray all the time. We should not play music or take part in any sort of entertainment. My non-Muslims friends totally respect this and they do not smoke around me or play music.”

Ramzan is a time for prayers, feasts and family get-togethers. Nurus Sabha, a student says, “During Ramzan, there are no celebrations. We go about our daily life and keep our fasts. I am completely comfortable doing it and also used to curbing my hunger. When it is time for iftar, my entire family gets together and we break our fast with fruits, pakoras, sweets and a traditional drink called kanji. My father also invites friends, extended family and co-workers to come and break the fast as it is a time for people to get together.”

Muslims from other parts of the world, who live in the City, are also keeping the fast and keeping up their traditions. Raad, a student from Iraq says, “We mostly break our fast with water back home due to the weather but here, since the weather is pleasant, I can break my fast with other food items. I cook alone here and break my fast with Indians, other Iraqi and South African Muslims. It is very peaceful here and there is no distinction between the  Muslims.”                                                                                                                                                                                  
Certain pockets in the City start to bustle with activity once it is close to sunset as Muslims go to the mosques to offer their prayers and others open shop to serve tasty Ramzan treats. Food stalls, confectionaries, flower shops and grocery stores also come alive. Food items like fruits, meat items, juices and sweets fly off the shelves once it is time for iftar. Abdul Khaleel, a fruit shop owner says, “Special fruits are brought in for Ramzan — Malaysian lychees, Australian oranges, figs and pomegranates are on demand as people come and buy fruits well before iftar time. Fruits are a very integral part of our diet during this period.” 

Another very important part of the diet is meat. Stalls and restaurants in various pockets in the City have Ramzan specials where kebabs, non-vegetarian samosas, rolls and biriyani are sold off. M K Hussain helps out his friend, a shop owner in Shivajinagar during the month of Ramzan. “It is a very important time for us and shops open up by four in the afternoon as people begin to cook the food for iftar. The place becomes so lively and crowded in the evenings. Hundreds of people come out to buy food and shop for Id,” he said.

Once this month of fasting ends, it will be time for the festival of Id which symbolises brotherhood, love and peace. The Muslims in the City and around the world cannot wait for the celebrations to begin.