Friday, August 24, 2018

Traditions of Ramadan: Reflections of Past Ramadans for Rekindling

This is a time to reflect on our traditions and culture of Ramazan. I am wondering how many of Pakistanis are still experiencing these. There are some disturbing posts on FB and also through some of my interactions with others that inform me that it is not only time to reflect but also to rekindle these traditions through a conscious sustained effort. We can no longer take for granted some of these traditions wherever they are continuing. Here I reflect on my life and learning over the last 55 years with many of these traditions

  1. Sighting of moon. There used to be an effort made before the dusk sets in to find a vantage point from where to see the moon. My mother would ask her to go and see the moon. Once sighted, we will then run around shouting and showing it to others. Ammi would recite the duas for sighting of the moon. 
  2. Preparation for fasting. Buying of phaini, and other stuff for sehri was a daily event. 
  3. Preparation of Iftars. Joint iftar
  4. Sehri preparation. Joint sehri. Kids were not allowed to sleep even if they were not fasting. Everyone would meet and do the sehri. All those entrusted with the task for preparing the sehri would wake up much before the rest of the house wakes up. They will be preparing fresh tikias or parathas and other meal items. 
  5. Giving of zakat was a systematic process. The lists of all those deserving and their allocations were made and the dress cloth to be distributed was bought and kept separately for each one. 
  6. Giving of presents and alms to others was also done. This was done even when there was meager earning.  
  7. Iftar parties. Inviting people to home for iftar was a continuous tradition, and also going to places from where the invitations would come. Iftar outside in commercial settings was not seen. 
  8. Sharing of iftar dishes to neighbors. There was a regular distribution of iftar of the items prepared for iftar. The trays or dishes would go out to the neighbors regularly. This would include shopkeepers or other workers staying around the house. 
  9. Preparation for Taraveeh. This preparation would include having some sleep in the afternoon or before iftar so that one would not doze off in the taraveeh. 
  10. Preparation for Jummat ul wida
  11. Sewing of dresses for Jummat ul wida and Eid
  12. Preparation for other prayers. 
  13. Celebrating fasting
  14. Atikaf
  15. Night matches 
  16. Preparation for shab baidari on 27th, seeking shab e qadr
  17. Reading of Quran 
  18. Abstaining from mukrooh

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