Ramadan: A time of fasting, feasting & connecting!
Nuzhat Aziz, Editor Mid DAY, Pune, India
A friend of mine recently purchased an iPhone and was flaunting the high tech gizmo. Apart from explaining all the crazy applications the phone has and what innumerable things the phone was capable of doing; she revealed that she had also got applications through which she had downloaded verses of the Quran and an explanation of the five pillars of Islam. I was spellbound!
She introduced me to a world where other smart phones have introduced downloadable dedicated Ramadan Calendar applications that enhance the users’ experiences during the Holy Month.
In an age where technology travels faster than the speed of light and where modernity has defied all boundaries, I was face to face with a brilliant balance of traditional values and modern concepts. An age where we are trying to justify our religion and practices, where we are desperately trying to explain that Islam stands for peace and not war, this definitely comes as a welcome change. All was not lost. Even if we are tagged as modern muslims with liberal thoughts, we stand by the tenets of Islam and are proud to follow our religious practices.
So in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar — Ramadan — where thousands of muslims from across the world observe fast and pray, it is indeed a moment of pride in being a part of this. Ramadan brings out a special feeling of emotional excitement and religious zeal among Muslims of all ages.
And where social networking platforms are ruling the opinions of the world, it is a welcome sight to witness explanations of Ramadan being posted on Facebook and Twitter. And all this is being encouraged by the new generation across the world. Communities conducting maktabs are spreading the importance of Ramadan and inviting each other for iftaar parties. A month which also brings people together from all walks of life.
It is heartening to see when I break my fast in office, colleagues buying iftaar and hosting an iftaar party for all – regardless of which community they come from. One of the greatest benefits of fasting in Ramadan is renewing solidarity and cultivating relationships with one’s family and community.
I hope that this year, the 30 day holy period of Ramadan will bond Muslims across the world to make our surroundings a peaceful place and pray for what Islam stands for. And while we are at it, let us celebrate with khajoor (dates), loads of oily bhajiyas (fritters) and haleem. And you are all invited to be part of this grand feast. It’s all about spreading love, prayers and brotherhood!