Ramzan-Ul-Mubarik (In Arabic language written as Ramadan or Ramadhan) is the ninth month of Islamic lunar calendar.
Unlike Solar calendar dates, Islamic Calendar use to vary each year. For example, ‘January’ always comes when there is lot of snow and weather is cold. Each July 04 will be a sunny day.
But lunar calendar varies each years. Each year lunar calendar goes back – like previous year the first Ramzan was on 09-07-2013. This year first Ramzan started on 30-06-2014. So it happens that Ramadan comes in all seasons. And it takes almost 33 years of a man’s life for having fasting in all the four seasons.
Ramzan is the month in which Allah descended Holy Quran on our Holy Prophet Peace Be Upon Him. It is also the month in which waging war was prohibited and it is termed as the most peaceful month of the Islamic Calendar.
Basically this month is for training ourselves for discipline, patience and empathy. It is the month in which God wants the rich to donate, charity and give away valuable gifts to poor. It is also said that keeping fast is the tax of the body. It is not only religious practice to keep fast but it is also very beneficial from the medical perspective.
We use to eat throughout the year and so our stomach is busy and doesn’t get a chance to rest. So by fasting or keeping Roza we let out stomach to do some rest. It is also good for bringing cholesterol level down. Our body gets an overhaul in the month of Ramzan.
It’s the month when Muslims give charity and adopt all the good practices which are forgotten in the normal days. The essence of ‘Roza’ or fasting is to understand the sufferings of poor and to get closer to God. This way God make people realize about those who don’t have much to eat.
It is the cleansing of the body and soul. It is not enough that you stop eating from dawn to dusk. But you have also to refrain yourself from all the ill practices too. Without it your Fast is not acceptable in the eyes of God. Roza isn’t complete till you ‘control’ your eyes, nose, ears, heart, thinking and everything that brings negativity in our minds.
Keeping a Roza or fast is the matter between the God and the believer. Nobody can catch you red-handed for not having a fast. You can pretend that you are on fast though you are not. Its perfectly a private matter. And for this reason God has said that ‘ I personally will award you for your fasting’. And that doors of Heaven are kept open for whole the month and Satan is locked from the first Ramzan to end of it.
The real joy of having fast is in Muslim Countries. In month of Ramzan whole the environment becomes religious. Music takes the back seat and everywhere you will listen Qawwalis, Naat and Hamds. Qawaali is a music originated by Amir Khusro- a famous poet,philosopher and Qawaal Khuwan of Mughul Empire that ruled India from 1400 through 1750s. Qawwali is inclined towards ‘Suphism’.
Naat is poetry in which poet praise Holy Prophet. Hamd is the one in which poet praises Allah – God.
Everybody takes care about his fellow brothers and sisters for fasting. Office hours are rescheduled from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm to facilitate people to go home early. Restaurants and other fast food spots are closed in day times. Even if people who are not fasting like pregnant women, sick people and non-believer they also take care about the people who are on fasting.
You can see that how people show their respect and care towards their muslims friends in below tweet.
I tweeted photos of food bt thn deleted coz its ramadan..i dnt want my 2-3 followers to see food and feel hungry.
Friends and relatives also arrange an Iftar (Breaking of Fast) Party. We invite each other Iftar Parties of one another. It has two purposes: 1) To have a get to gather with our friends 2) In eyes of Allah this act of letting your friends take part in keeping and breaking fast is very dear feat.
We are also taught to give out Sehar and Iftar to beggars and those white-collar poor families. Allah Says:
” The one who let people keep and break fast is as dear to me as if he himself is on fast.”
Where Ramzan-ul-Mubarak brings so many blessings for the Muslims there it is also a profitable month for the shopkeepers and a worrisome month for the poor people.
Labor class people don’t eat fruit regularly because fruits in our country are way expensive. One kilo of apple is equal to one day wage of a poor man. But in the month of Ramadan everybody wishes to have fruits during ‘Saher’(the breakfast time before the sun rises) and ‘Iftaar’ (After the sun sets in the evening). Resultantly, the prices of fruits and all the vegetables go sky- high in the month of Ramadan. However, this case is only in Pakistan. The local and federal administration are normally helpless to control the profit-greedy merchants.
In Arab countries or even other Non-Muslim countries prices of daily commodities are brought down to facilitate people to keep and break fast with the diet that is healthy enough to keep them energized during the long fast day.
Ramadan is the month when people give out ‘Zakat‘ a tax on the wealth. In Islam 2.5% tax is levied on the people who have wealth that is beyond their basic needs. So nowadays our newspapers and television advertisements are filled with requests and appeals of Non-Government-Organizations asking for charity. Our country is among the most Zakat payers and the at the top bottom who pay direct taxes to the government.
Our banks also deduct ‘Zakat’ – Islamic tax on wealth in the month of Ramadan. But people don’t trust our banks because banks are not Islamic in running their business and they charge interest. People withdraw all their deposit before Ramadan or simply tick mark ‘Don’t deduct Zakat’ option in application form for opening bank account. People think that Banks don’t do justice in giving away Zakat money. Or they believe that they know such people among their own family who deserve that amount of Zakat. So they want to give by themselves. And some really don’t want to give Zakat and keep money save in their lockers.
This serene environment of Ramadan will keep on going till the end of it. After the Ramzan is gone people will follow the old routine. They will lie, cheat, corruption, drinking wine, bear, rape etc etc. They think that doing these sins in month of Ramadan is a very huge huge huge sin but in other months its all-right. They can plea for forgiveness for their sins in the month of Ramadan. Mistaken people!
This is also a month of visit Mecca on Umrah. The pilgrimage performed in the month of Zul-Hajj will be call ‘Hajj’ and if you go in any other month then it will called ‘Umrah‘. So people who can afford to go Mecca for performing Umrah use to go there and grab billions of blessings there.
Eid-Ul-Fitr is celebrated after the month of Ramadan is very attractive occasion for the children specially. Its our tradition that we wear new clothes on the Eid day.
Eid-Ul-Fitr is also called ‘choti-Eid’- junior celebration. In Islam the biggest celebration event is Eid-Ul-Azha which is celebrated in remembrance of Prophet Abrham’s sacrifice.
Children are way more excited to celebrate it than we older people. They want to go shopping and purchase new clothes,toys,shoes,henna for them. They are so excited for the Eid day that they even can’t sleep out of joy. The joy to wear new clothes and liberty to spend as much as they want keep them up all the night.
On Eid day elders give pocket money to children. If I am visiting somebody’s home then the children of that home will expect me to give them some money- ‘Kharchi’ or ‘Eidi’ and vice versa if they come to my house. When I was a kid for me Rs. 10 were enough – like a big deal. But nowadays minimum Eidi or Kharchi is Rs. 100.
Children, among themselves, become competitors for who collects more money. Indeed, This Eid is for children only. The Eid day is also unique in its nature because of the dishes prepared on that day. We use to cook Sawiyaan, Kheer and many type of sweet dishes on this auspicious event. We not only eat for ourselves but also distribute such delicious dishes among our neighborhood. So all the day of Eid is spent in exchanging dishes among each other.
Eid day is also for remembering our dear ones who live far from us. We use to call them and say ‘Eid-Mubarak’. Its also a day, when our text messages are for saying ‘Eid-Mubarak’. Officers, Juniors, Clerks are equal that day in reciving and sending Eid Day messages to everyone without any discrimination. But yes all are not that good. Some people do care to whom they are hugging and sending well wishes. But forget them! 🙂
On Eid day our telecommunication corporations also become greedy. We normally have call packages subscribed in advance for the whole month. But these call packages are revoked for three days of Eid. To grab more and more money. Not all the cellular companies do that but 50% of them do.
Such Eid happiness and excitement are not for all. Those poor families and kids whose parents can’t buy new clothes become sad on this day. Due to heavy demand, the prices of these items also get high and it is out of the reach of a poor man to afford ‘new clothes’, new shoes, new glasses for their children.
And for those children Eid is not a big deal. Its just another day for them or may be more sad day than the normal days. So those kids who couldn’t buy their new clothes, quietly wait for the Eid day to pass by. They normally fix themselves in their own homes because they don’t want the world to know that they couldn’t have good clothes. Sensitive kids become more private on this day due to inferiority complex.
But there are kids who have big heart. Who don’t mind for not having new clothes because they have always been the poor kids. They enjoy their day and keep sharing smiles and laughter with their friends. They are the poor kids who have good friends and they share their extra money with their poor friends. They are all equal in their friendship.
So Ramadan is the month of blessings. It is the month of thanksgiving and asking God to forgive all the sins we committed both intentionally and unintentionally. It also realises us that we don’t only have to earn for ourselves but we must share our wealth and luxuries with our fellow humans.
Happy Ramadan to everyone! 🙂