Ramzan: It’s all about solidarity

HYDERABAD:TELANGANA:28/06/2014:Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust distribute Ramzan aid to more than 300 Muslim family in Hyderabad on Saturday.----PHOTO:G_RAMAKRISHNA

HYDERABAD:TELANGANA:28/06/2014:Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Trust distribute Ramzan aid to more than 300 Muslim family in Hyderabad on Saturday.----PHOTO:G_RAMAKRISHNA   | Photo Credit: G. RAMAKRISHNA

Idd-ul-fitr is celebrated when the new moon is sighted after 30 days of fasting during the austere month of Ramzan. It is a big festival of joy, prayer, visiting family friends and large meals! Islam does not discriminate between the high and the low and gives equal status for the rich and the poor to be alongside during the congregational prayer. What is more it gives a chance for the less fortunate to celebrate Idd in a befitting manner as Fitra (alms) is given to the needy.

Living in a vibrant multicultural society like India gives people an opportunity to bond and share joy, filling the atmosphere with positivity and cheer. Idd is a celebration of humanity, a sign of solidarity.

In the olden days, communities were stronger. Memories of family members staying up in the night once the new moon is sighted, chopping dry fruits to make the delicious Sheer Kurma for Eid, are fresh in mind. Women helped each other in making the feast. But with changing times, Ramzan has evolved from a quiet and peaceful month to one where there are more Iftar parties, excellent food thanks to caterers, who offer delicacies across the city. The clock can’t be turned back, and people happily embrace change and enjoy the happiness and bonding that such social gatherings offer. In earlier times Ifthars used to be family affairs where Muslim families used to invite their friends of all faiths to break the fast with them.

More ancient than the Iftar parties is the Idd Milan (started by Dr Khadri), which is organised by a committee of hosts. Over the years it has been supported by prominent Muslims, including the Prince of Arcot. This became a wonderful platform for citizens across the spectrum to celebrate Idd and to understand the significance and blessings of Ramzan.

Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is the month when the doors of paradise are opened and evil is locked up. The obligatory acts of Fasting and zakath are among the five pillars of Islam.

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you may become Al-Muttaqun (God consciousness),” says the Holy Quran. The purpose of fasting is to develop quality of righteousness (taqwa) inwardly and outwardly by abstaining from sinful deeds controlling one’s desires. It is a way to develop will power. In a time of high speed fiber optic broadband and instant results there is so much of intolerance. Ramzan and fasting help one to be tolerant (Sabr) and patient.

Charity is also given great importance, the people who are less fortunate are given contributions of zakath, sadaqa and fitra. The Prophet has said: “Whoever feeds a fasting person has forgiveness for their sins, and their necks have been saved from the hell fire, and they have the same reward as the fasting person without diminishing from the fasting person’s reward.” The companions asked, “not all of us find that which to feed a fasting person” and he responded: “Allah gives this reward to whoever provides breakfast for the fasting person be it a sip of milk, a date, or drinking water.”

We have personally been recipients of lovely dates from Saudi Arabia gifted by our friends. There have been many non-Muslim friends, who have sent their special food items for our Ifthar. In Mosques, dates, juices and porridge are supplied to all those worshippers who come to break their fast.

The value of prayer as a means of moral elevation and purification of the heart has been clearly said in the Holy Quran.

(Maleeha and Sayeed Cassim live in Chennai. While Maleeha is a housewife, Sayeed has been a logistics professional trained. Both devote time to charitable work).

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 3:39:53 AM |

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