Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ramadan mubarak!

I couldn't miss out on such an excellent opportunity to put up a colorful picture on my blog to celebrate the month of Ramadan! For those who don't know, this month is a very special month for Muslims. We fast from dawn to dusk and then... as soon as the muezzin starts the call for Maghrib prayer, we stuff ourselves - like a pack of hungry hyenas - with all the food lying within a ten mile radius! Haahaa! No, that's just me kidding. Ramadan isn't about keeping away from food the whole day and then binging on samosas, jalebis, chicken tikkas, fruit chat, dates, juice, pizzas and all that food you daydreamed and drooled about during the day! It is about much more than that. Yes, believe me :) even though it might seem to revolve around just food if you happened to stroll into a 'all-you-can-eat' restaurant at Iftari or Suhoor time. Some people make it the month of eating only and that's kind of missing the spirit and meaning of Ramadan. Ramadan is about much more than just food, as I elaborate:

Self-restraint, cultivating good habits and lifestyles (not just in the matter of eating though :)), being extra generous in your donations and zakat (many of the hospitals, NGOs and charity organizations go the extra mile to advertise their work so that people looking to give donations know just where they can give where people will be maximally benefited) , learning to control your anger/frustration while in a hypoglycemic state - which tends to make you a tab bit more cranky than during most times of the year actually :) and the overall feeling of charity and goodness that accompanies this month. The extra acts of worship that Muslims perform during this month because the reward for doing good deeds is not only tripled but quadrupled and five-rupled in many cases. My favorite act of worship is Taraweeh because listening to the Quran being recited in a loud voice in a huge congregation is an absolute treat. So calming and liberating. Lifts all the burdens from one's life!

And I just love the serenity and tranquility of Ramadan evenings. Just no comparison to other evenings of the year. They are so cool and calm despite the fact that the weather in Karachi is normally quite hot and humid. And the last ten days of Ramadan - the days in which one can attain freedom and refuge from the hellfire by maximum worship. Aisha (Ra), the wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) reported that: "With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (pbuh) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, and used to wake his family for prayer at night." (Bukhari)

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