SRINAGAR – Despite scrunching heat and long days, young Kashmiri Muslims have dared hot summer days to fast the holy month of Ramadan, gathering everyday to recite the Holy Qur’an and pray for peace and prosperity of trouble-torn valley.
“Every day we fix timings how to spend it and the schedule becomes so busy one does not feel hungry,” Mohd Junaid, a student of 10th grade, told OnIslam.net.
“At Iftar time, we assemble in masjids or community centres for iftar (breaking fast),” he added.
For Junaid, the 10th grade student, the experience of breaking fast together at local Masjids is amazing and strengthens the relations of neighbourhood.
The shared iftar is prepared on a daily basis in mosques as every household prepares dishes and send them to Masjids for its distribution among the Rozdars (those who attend Iftar parties), he said.
Almonds commonly known as Khajoors are distributed and special dishes like Furiani and Kada are served among the children and elders at Iftar parties.
“Special Iftar parties are organised by the Muslims and even members of other religions participate,” he said
Israr-ul-Haq Wani, a student of matric in Hanfia Islamic School in south Kashmir, is enthusiastic about fasting his first Ramadan.
“Though it is very difficult to keep fasting during these long hot days, but one has to manage to keep fasts and also pray all the five times besides reciting Holy Quran,” Wani told OnIslam.net.
“I am keeping fast for the first time and will continue with, for full complete month,” he added, noting that fasting does not only keep one healthy but also keeps away all evils.
Saleem Irshad aged about 12 was enthusiastic about fasting.
“I am keeping fast to fulfil ALLAH’s one of the five FARZ’s which not only keep my out of illness but keeps myself healthy,” he said.
For the young student, fasting for complete month is his target this year.
“My parents awake me at suhoor time and have made me habitual of keeping fasting,” he said.
Month of Activity
Though many people might think that sitting idle while fasting is the best choice, Kashmiri Muslims have proved that being active is the best solution to beat long summer days.
“My routine these days is to wake-up at 2 am in the morning and offer Tahajjud prayers and then take meals from 3:15 am till Morning Azan”, Gh Mustafa a school teacher from central Kashmir told Onislam.net.
Mustafa thinks that walking a distance of more than three kilometres from his school to home is preferable to kill the time in too long days.
“Most of the time goes in the official duty and prayers during the day, but the Sundays or holidays seem difficult because of hot weather,” he added.
Mustafa’s work as a teacher was not a big challenge compared to farmers who have to work in villages in the mid of the summer while fasting.
“I have kept fast despite doing agricultural activities in paddy fields for the whole day,” Ramzan Mir told OnIslam.net.
Ali Mohd of north Kashmir’s Kupwara stressed the importance of seizing Ramadan opportunity to stay away from evil and maintain good health.
“Month of Ramadan is king of the year in which most of the Muslims offer prayers all the times and prefer to remain away from the controversies as fasting keeps one away from all the evils and help in maintaining health,” he told OnIslam.net
“To remain for more than fifteen hours without water and food but ALLAH helps me out to over-come the difficulties,” Ali Mohd added.
Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, started this year on Monday, June 30, in India and Kashmir.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
The sick and those traveling are exempt from fasting especially if it poses health risks.
In Ramadan, Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint, good deeds and charity to the poor.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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