With Ramzan fasts clocking 15 hours – more than half of the day spent with a rumbling stomach and a parched throat – fasters are more focused and aware of their actions and behaviour. And why not? Thirty days of Ramzan are so different from your regular days – a period that most Muslims claim brings out the better in them.
Yes, as the holy month is in progress, Muslims undergo a transformation.
They fast, recite the Quran, not one fajar (prayer offered at dawn) is missed, rows in mosques multiply, altruistic nature surfaces and all detrimental things and habits that have come synonymous with our daily life are avoided. But only for 29 or 30 days. With Eid comes liberation from moral responsibilities and most of us revert to our former ways but proud of being pious in the holy month.
Regardless of what happens once the month ends, Ramzan is surely the favourite month of Muslims (and even for non Muslims in Hyderabad. Thank God for the gastronomical delight called haleem!). And just because new vices replace old ones that we drop or attempt to drop, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be our best in the holy month.
Don’t miss namaz
Ramzan is all about being spiritual – connecting with God by attaining self control and developing an attitude of being grateful. So that means during the day time you avoid all places that offer gastronomical pleasures like a plague and post dusk indulge rich oil dripping delicacies.
“The mere act of fasting does not please God. While it is tempting to wolf on all that good food after staying hungry for 15 hours, I am avoiding it this year. So this Ramzan is more about not missing prayers and fasting rather than feasting,” says Arshad Khan.
Yes, Taraveeh too
While praying the customary five times feature on most people’s ‘to do list’ during Ramzan, the long...sometimes REALLY long taraveeh prayers bring out the fiendish plans of ‘namaazis’. “The second rakaah is over. Let’s get out of here before the he starts another.” “Oh am so tired today that is why I dozed off mid prayer”. So, let’s not offer namaz to show off this Ramzan and thereafter. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Eat don’t ..
Most non Muslims believe that fasting for 30 days is a sure shot way of losing a few kilos. We know better. A typical iftar menu consists of dates, fruits or fruit chaat, sprouts, bhajiyas, chaney, haleem, shahi tukda, luqmi, kebabs, and the list goes on. But Samreen Tazeen has struck off all the sinfully rich, fattening and oil dripping delicacies from the menu. “I am strictly following a diet even this Ramzan and abstaining from fatty food. Islam says eat only as much as is required to satiate you hunger; dont over eat,” she explains and adds “This way I will get in shape for my brother’s wedding in a couple of months!” For those planning to binge on haleem for today’s iftaar, you certainly don’t get to complain about weight gain post Ramzan.
Boyfriend, stay away!
But not everyone’s world revolves around sumptuous iftar affairs – they have a different affair to think of too! But Ramzan being the month of controlling self from food, water and carnal desires – Hyderabadis are showing in total control and are ditching even boyfriends for a prayer mat. “Unlike normal days during Ramzan I don’t meet or even talk to my boyfriend over the phone. Rather than spending time with him, if I spent the same in fulfilling religious obligations, I would be earning so many ‘neekiyan’ (rewards),” Muneera Fathima explains. “Anyways it is just for a month, and we both have an understanding on religious issues,” she adds.
Rozedaars also keep up their best behaviour this month. That means no getting angry, lying, cheating, backbiting or any other misdemeanor. Yes, you either bite your tongue or mentally slap yourself for almost blurting out ‘what the %&@*^#!’
“As someone who uses a swear word in every other sentence, abstaining from it has been particularly difficult. I have even asked my colleagues to refrain from using foul language so long as I observe fasts. I am hoping I will be able continue with this even after Ramzan ends,” says Muneera Fatima.
Ramzan also brings forth our altruistic nature. The amount of charity we do in this month supersedes the donations we give in the remaining 11 months. “The essence of Ramzan is in sharing with the less fortunate ones. Charity done in this month is more superior and hence I am giving a lot of zakat,” says Jamaluddin. Noble thought, indeed. We hope people remember the tenet, ‘A man gives, such that his left hand doesn’t know what his right hand gives. ‘