Monday, August 16, 2010

Now in Ramadan

Ramadan is upon us, and most Muslims all around the world would be waking up early in the morning to eat some food and take a niyyat to fast from about an hour before sunrise until sunset. For the Dawoodi Bohra Shia Muslims )to which I belong - it being the sect that is headed by the Syedna, viz. Syedna Muhammad Burhanuddin (T.U.S.), today is the seventh fast, and I write this an hour and a half before the time that my family and I will perform the Maghrib prayers, inshallah, and then break the fast.

For the non-Muslims who want to know more about Ramadan, I came across this link of what looks like an  interesting book on its importance. Take a look at the link on the left of this write-up and browse the book if you wish to understand the pious nature of this holiest month of the Islamic calender. Personally, I haven't much of a religiosity tagged on to me, but during Ramadan, I change into a mellow and more spirited individual. :-) 

This year, both my daughters have been fasting, and it is a pleasure to fast with them. The elder one, Inas, even goes to the gymnasium after breaking her fast. The younger one, Hannah, is currently at home, awaiting the start of her college life. As such, she is also fasting. In addition, she has been a great help around the home, and I really like her for that. 

Is there anything else to report? The food, what else? In this month, we are all busy either buying, or processing, or making food, delicious, thrilling, enjoyable food. The home of every Muslim resonates with the sounds of vegetables being chopped, pressure cookers indicating that the food inside has been cooked adequately by the sound of the whistle letting off the steam, vessels and plates being cleaned, the cooked food being arranged artistically for the pleasure of the fasting people, fruit plates being created with diced and cut fruit, blenders whizzing - creating fruit juices, mock-tails, etc. ...

During the first six days, we have had vegetable sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, dosai, uthappam, bhajiyas, upama, sev-batata-puri, falooda, various fruit, orange juice, mango juice, lemon juice, chicken tikkas, and maybe one or two things that I forget now as I try to list the stuff. And all this is at the fast-breaking time. Dinner is another meal, at or after 10 p.m., and the third meal is the sehri, or the pre-sunrise meal, where you stock up for the day ahead! 

Apart from the food, praying the salaat, reading the Holy Qur^an, and donating money to charity is also something that every Muslim does ... more of it than during the other 11 months of the year. 

Finally, it is not only about praying and fasting. It is also about controlling your other body-senses, your mind and your sexual urge, during the day time when one is fasting. Thus, one abstains from watching, or doing anything pertaining to sex; one does not lose one's temper as far as possible; one does not hurt another person; one does not willingly do anything that would harm someone else; one eschews bad thought and bad action.

That is all for now.

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