Lessons for Ramazan

Published: August 25, 2011
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PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL/EXPRESS

Ramazan is a month that is big on beginnings and ends. We anticipate the birth of a new moon and then we watch the glowing crescent orb slowly dissolve as the nights pass. After our final sip of water in the morning, begins a period of anticipation, waiting for the sun to kiss the horizon, thereby signaling the end of our fast.

In this holy month of worship, patience, and curbing of all desires, I’m sure we’ve all spent a sizeable chunk of time hungrily reflecting. Here’s what I’ve come up with. Naturally, some reflections seemed revolutionary, while in the state of perpetual hunger, but in hindsight, were anything but. Other reflections proved to be much more insightful, if I do say so myself.

Here are a few:

Facebook

During the month of Ramazan, just like any other month really, Facebook can be your closest confidant or your worst enemy. How? It is the most perfect time to while away the hours (some would argue that ibadat is and should be the means of killing time, to which I agree but Facebook seems to come in as a close second). So, in the sense of providing hours of relief, Facebook is given friend-status. But come iftar time, Facebook can quickly demote you to the lower echelons of society’s banished. Setting a Facebook status (or even tweeting) during or right after iftari time is a clear giveaway that you have not, in fact been fasting like the rest of the ummah.

Social media has just outed you.

Ramazan desserts 

As any person who has been fasting will tell you, the first few bites are usually enough to fill you up. But that doesn’t stop this month from being Jenny Craig’s worst nightmare. But let me tell you this. The best Ramazan sweets are not found in the kitchen, but on the streets. So, put the daily recommended intake of fruits, vegetables, meats and what not to the side. I’d take an evening next to that roadside vendor, who has for many decades been frying goodness in a massive cauldron of hot oil.

 Lassi

Choice drink of champions. This may be an exaggeration, but really, lassi is a noble drink worthy fulfilling the very noble task of curbing Ramazan thirst. I’m serious. Test and proven true: drinking lassi at sehri will make you less thirsty for the rest of the day. My not-so-original recipe: a milkshake of yogurt and water. Yogo-hydro-shake is what I’ve baptized it as.

The kulee conundrum 

Technically, this postulate also falls under the “how to curb Ramazan thirst” category. Enjoy your kulee, during wudhu is all I’ll write.

  Post-Iftar entertainment 

It used to be wholesome family fun over a game of Ludo. Now it’s most likely diddling away on crackberries, iPhones, and laptops. I propose a return to the good ol’ days of familial bonding. So, turn to the person next you and ask:

“Ghalib dekhee hai aapne?”

(Have you seen Ghalib, the movie?)

Best add Ghalib to this Ramazan’s bucket list.

Umeed 

Isn’t that all we’ve been operating in the last few weeks? Umeed that roza will open soon; Umeed that this particular evening’s iftar party will offer more than one-samosa-per-person ration; And also, my album Umeed, which drops roughly around some time after Eid. Keep an eye out for it!

Bilal Khan

Bilal Khan

A singer who graduated from LUMS. He can be followed on Twitter at @bilalkhan and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bilalkhanmusic.

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