Stories about ramazan

Ramazan shows are like a slice of Pakistan: A bit of religion followed by a lot of gossip

For those of us who grew up watching PTV, religious shows were an integral and beneficial part of the daily routine. Anything that came on PTV, we watched. As a member of the PTV generation, I grew up watching the daily afternoon show where the recitation of the Holy Quran was taught, and I don’t recall missing Majlis-e-Shaam-e-Gharibaan on any tenth of Muharram, even as a Sunni. Religion, as presented on TV back then, was something to be respected and honoured on the media. I recall care being taken even about the kind of advertisements that were run between religious ...

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Is Hamza Ali Abbasi the only one brave enough to broach the ‘Ahmadi question’ on TV?

Pakistan has a complicated relationship with one of its most bankable stars, Hamza Ali Abbasi. For we might love putting him in the line of fire for his over-emphatic, often ill-informed, posts on Facebook; the TV serials he stars in climb up the TRP charts like a pro. Courting controversy is then Hamza’s forte, after all, they say no publicity is bad publicity and Hamza’s getting his share aplenty. Often pointed out for his extreme ideas, borderline hypocrisy and “liberal bashing” on his very active Facebook page, Hamza has circled himself with a group of like-minded people online; most dwelling upon ...

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Why should non-Muslims bear the brunt of your compulsion to fast in Ramazan?

How many times have you gone for a dinner to a restaurant and then told the management to get rid of the beggars outside looking in through the window? If not that, then how many times have you gone to buy a kebab roll with a hungry child staring at you? How many times did you react in an irritating manner saying, “It’s hard to even buy a roll now without them bothering me!” Let’s dial it down even more, how many times have you eaten something knowing very well that there are people right outside the restaurant who can’t even ...

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Dating in Ramazan: Three delicious ways to eat dates

Looking for a different way to “date” this Ramazan? Then check out these recipes for three delicious (and easy) ways to eat dates come sundown. They only take a few minutes to prepare but will definitely give your daily date some serious pizzazz! You only need a handful of ingredients to bring these recipes to life. I like to serve them up on a massive platter and let loved ones pick away at them throughout the night.  Popping your dates in the oven makes them taste even more beautiful – like salted caramel. Ingredients: Honey dates – 16 Sunflower oil – 1 tbsp Himalayan ...

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Facebook’s Ramazan greeting spreads dangerous myths about Islam

Facebook produced their own Ramazan greeting which popped up on news feeds as users logged onto the website. Though this may appear to be a simple, generic seasonal greeting, there are several underlying issues with its visual message. The first thing that struck me was that the female figures in the greeting are wearing hijab. Let me make it clear that I have no objections to the hijab, niqab, or any other type of covering that people may choose to don, as long as it is done with knowledge, awareness, and understanding. With regards to the hijab, this pertains to the ...

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Why I’m not fasting this Ramazan

According to family legend, I first fasted—for a day—at the age of four. I have no clear memory of this fast, although I do have the vague recollection of walking into the kitchen while my mom prepared iftar and her asking, “If you’re fasting, why are you sucking on a lollipop?” Ramazan in our house was a big deal. Ramazan meant we could—at least for a month—pretend we were adults. I insisted on fasting the entire month starting at the age of seven.  My parents agreed, but with three stipulations: I had to wake up for sehri, eat whatever was served during sehri (generally, ...

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My journey as a Pakistani-Hindu

When I went to the United States for a semester abroad, I was frequently asked a rather bothersome question, “How are you treated, being a minority in your country?” My answer has always been very simply, I am treated just like anyone else; one of their own. But if one were to believe the media, then we are victims of discrimination, brutal killings and part of the largest migration in human history. For the last four years, I have been living with a Muslim family as a paying guest and I have never felt discriminated on the basis of my religion, or any other basis for that matter, ...

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I am a Hindu and I will not remove ‘Inzamam’ from my name

It happened seven years ago in Surat, Gujarat. My sixth grade hockey team was staying back for practice, and we were taking a break, cooling off beneath the shade. Suddenly, one of my friends went a bit to the side and spat. This odd behaviour by my well-mannered teammate aroused my curiosity, and I questioned him about it. He explained that it was the month of Ramazan and he wasn’t supposed to swallow anything. I took it as a quirk of his religion and let it go, remembering the several fasts kept by the Hindu aunties in my colony. Looking back, it ...

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Dear Hamza Ali Abbasi, Mahira Khan, Reham Bhabi and Ayyan Ali – Hi!

Open letters are the new ‘in’ thing. Everyone, while not busy taking selfies or engaging in internet wars, is writing them. Unlike personal letters that are addressed to and only read by the person intended, these have a universal appeal. Hence, I decided to write a few of my own, a series of them in fact. Here is the first one: To Hamza Ali Abbasi from an Online Jihadi. Hazrat Hamza Ali Abbasi Sahib, My heart sank when I saw the trailer of your upcoming movie, Jawani Phir Nahin Ani. And it sank even further to the bottom of the very pool you were seen ...

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Dear Junaid Jamshed, Google ‘misogyny’, and then stay away from it forever

Junaid Jamshed has done it again. And it looks like he’ll never learn. Whatever made him say the things he did about Hazrat Aisha (RA) previously which made him run for his life, were clearly not enough for him to understand what he’s doing wrong. And if I were his PR manager (if and so he actually has one) this would be my one single email to him, “Dear boss, Google the word ‘misogyny’. Then stay away from it forever.” In another email, I’d gently explain to him the meaning of hypocrisy. The right to practice your beliefs is clear and there is no disputing that. ...

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