Ramadan Blues

You see them here, there, everywhere

Srinagar, Publish Date: May 22 2018 11:35PM | Updated Date: May 22 2018 11:35PM
Ramadan BluesFile Photo

As if the month of Ramadan is gonnabe there to (what Shakespeare calls) the last syllable of recorded time, from Rajab (the 7th month of Islamic calendar) itself, people find it impossible to stop conjuring visions of the mind-boggling hunger/thirst pangs as also the brute curfew that is gonnabe imposed on their freak-outs. And when it finally sets on, almost gone nuts, from the day one, clock-watchers, poke quizzically, ‘don’t you feel the heat of fasting?   How many days are left……..? OMG, what time isiftaar?’  Signs of ‘run-down’ appearing early in the morning itself, by afternoon, knocked-out to the point of exhaustion, eyes skinned for the messianic Azan to be shouted (for Maghreb), brainwashed zombies yell…… ‘We’re ready; drop…… more dead…. than alive.’ Hot, scorching Ramadan…..is a desert of vast eternity for the breed of zaeeful-iman believers. For slackers, it’s always the kind of not-surviving-the-onslaught.


The experiences of the holy month of Ramadan, during the first ashra (10 days) are always ecstatic. The prayer congregations in the Masjids overflowing into streets, the bevy of dyed- in-the-wool nimazees, clad in piety (and skull cap)….. 24*7, vying up to bow their heads before Almighty in nimaz and to seek forgiveness for the sins they committed during the previous 11 months of duhli-khavi ; men, women and children waking up in the dead of the night, when witches are alive, at the sahar khan’s call and gobbling up handfuls of foodstuff; and then waiting in the evening, after a day’s toil and hunger/thirst pangs, for Iftaar, on Dastar khwan, decorated with the motley collection of dates, babri biuol drink, fruits, sweets and all that jazz, all this is sufficient to rekindle the deep-seated emotions of the faithful. The latter find themselves suddenly on top of the celestial world, in the seventh Heaven.

Twenty rakaats of the high label, ‘Quran Taraweeh’, are awfully backbreaking and tiresome for a shirker.  In our childhood,Quran Taraweeh would be read in the selected few masjids. With the huge outflow of ‘hufaz’ from Dar-ul-alum, the former find easy placement for reciting Quran Taraweeh during Ramadan. Because it’s read in our mohalla masjid, I’d rather like many other slackers (more disinclined than me) make fiendish plot…..even if averse…. for the purpose of offering easiest possible eight short rakaats of Taraweeh in the Ahl-e Hadith masjids where Quran Taraweeh isn’t recited. As the excitement is on the wane, tempos going downhill, it’s not many days before the attendance of about a dozen saff of emotionally charged nimazees thins to a couple of saff (line) of hardcore nimazees. Half the nimazees would otherwise also leave the masjid after offering eight rakaats only.

The fanatically ultra-religious and over-salted lot of believers is hackles up during Ramadan. They don’t mind thronging through necks to place themselves always in the much-prized first saff, preferably, just behind the Imam. The emotionally charged lot, positioned in nooks and corners in the Masjid, one wonders, how many of them making the mistake that most of us make: believing that they shouldn’t believe in themselves. For the month of Ramadan the demography of masjids changes; young and old,…..educated & uneducated,  draals & pathwaris, businessmen & industrialists …… clerks & officers …….accountants & cashiers, …….contractors & engineers, ………bosses & workers, ……ministers & bureaucrats,…… all taking ownership of their Islam. 

The breed of over-zealous that would tumble out of their houses during Ramadan, to fill up the Masjids to overflowing, vanishes into thin smoke, leaving no traces behind. The seemingly ephemeral urge to sweep the dust of sins and inward corruptions shares its last bout on Shab-e-Qadr. People that pledge with great fervour to continue with it after the Ramadan fail to keep their promises. Regular nimazees virtually pushed to the wall during the holy month by the fired-up lot of ‘Ramzan nimazees’ console themselves into thinking that ‘the happy days are here again’.

 Many of the believers might imbue the spirit of charity during the holy month. Abstaining from food and drink gives the kind of a firsthand experience to the more privileged as to what the less fortunate may have to endure the year around. It acts as a spur to donate more to charity and to give out of their wealth to those who couldn’t afford the same luxuries that they did. Mahi-e-Ramzan is the month of practising fearing Allah, accepting little things that one had achieved, preparing for departure from this world to the Hereafter. This is the time one could practice self-discipline, self-control, self-restraint, self-education and self-evaluation. By accepting and parasitizing these criteria the faithful have ample chances to achieveTaqwa.

 By achieving good manners, the faithful could come out of fasting as a better human being in the society…….fasting inculcates self-restraint and self-control as the person fasting doesn’t only have to abstain from food and drink, but she/he must also refrain from many other things: backbiting, gossiping, fighting, using foul language etc. Probably the best thing about Ramadan is that each and every action is done truly for Allah and each served to strengthen our faith in Him. During the holy month, there is a flow of blessings and rewards from Allah. The lucky few, who practise Mahi-e-Ramzan with all the khashu and khazu, repentance and remorse, someone has rightly said, for them; ‘ Arfa cho’ui a’almus  eid  cha’ai  aashqus’.



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