Lessons for Ramazan

Published: August 25, 2011


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:


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.


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.


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.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    the last few lines just brought a smile to my face…
    very well written Bilal and i just love the style of advertising ur album ! :)Recommend

  • Nafisa

    “Enjoy your kulee, during wudhu is all I’ll write”.

    I do, I do.

    Subtly put in a word for Umeed.(NOT)

    It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.”
    Sir Winston ChurchillRecommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    how is this picture related to Ramazan?
    is it referring to the Sehri Dhols for wat?Recommend

  • behzad malik

    first of all the need of the hour is that the draconian Ehtaram-e-Ramazan ordinance imposed on our society by an extremist dictator should be immediately repealed.there can be no justification for forcing people to starve themselves.if anyone wants to fast it should be their personal decision,forcing the rest of us to suffer is a blatant violation of our basic human rights.incase the govt. has forgotten there are millions of non-muslims and atheists in pakistan,why is an ideology being imposed on them?
    forcing people to follow religious rituals at gun point can never be justified.the ppp opposed zia ul haq so much,why don’t they repeal this ordinance of his? why must we suffer because of the religious dogma of the islamic fascists?Recommend

  • sharjeel siddiqui

    the hypocrites invading our tv screens daily at iftar time should be immediately taken off air.everyone knows the reality of these singers,actors ,how they were caught by police with the ladies of the night and how they were caught partaking the forbidden nectar.but now they invade our tv screens with their false piety and fake love for religions,they do this for they know that our public is dumb enough to start following everything a person with a beard says.why do we become so scared and intimidated by maulvis?Recommend

  • yawn

    you should stick to singing.Recommend

  • Xari

    God, this article is sick! What a horrible sense of humour, coupled with the self importance of being a good Muslim during Ramzan…and the nauseating use of Arabic pronunciation in English “Ummah” and “Wudhu”…..god help me.Recommend

  • urooj minhaj

    thats a good idea of telling others about ur new album ……Recommend

  • Usman A.

    @Bilal Khan

    I don’t agree with the title. You started off well but linking it to advertise your up-coming album towards the end was lame. Your sense of humor weakened rather became illogical in the end.

    Mujey appse ye UMEED na thee :-) anywyz stick to singingRecommend


    LUMS eh?Recommend

  • Hira Z

    Yes Title is not appropriate otherwise good article bilal khan :)Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/143/taha-kerar/ Taha Kehar

    A well-written and articulate piece. Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Ghalib has indeed dubalakarfied the essence of this Mah e Ramzan.Recommend

  • Saad

    People criticizing the article have no sense of humour!Recommend

  • hamza khan

    @behzad malik:

    calm down…Recommend

  • Amna Pervaiz

    like the way in which u have written the articleRecommend

  • http://Zaghreb BanTheEnemyOfFootball

    Umeed? that sounds so cliched…
    i’ll download it first…
    if its worth a dime only then would buy it…Recommend

  • banaras