It is interesting how Ramzan is often associated with two very opposite entities – fasting and food. All people following the Islamic culture are a part of this mega event that is the holy month of Ramzan, regardless of their nationality and race. But there is more to this festival than meets the eye that needs to be known. Of course, there is the fact that people fast throughout the day, which is followed by some really scrumptious food. But time to delve deep into one of the most celebrated motions of the world.
The people who fast during the month, are supposed to eat either before sunrise (Suhoor) or after the sun sets (Al Iftar). In fact, during the time they are expected to abstain from all worldly pleasures. Well, there are multifold reasons to support this practice. It is believed that doing this reinforces them to focus their unbiased attention on prayer, charity and spirituality. Also, science has its fair share to play in the explanation. Fasting through the day helps detox the body and improve self-control.
The Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars of the religion of Islam. The other 4 being;
- Salat (prayer)
- Shahada (affirmation that there is no deity besides God)
- Zakat (charity)
- Hajj (atleast once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca)
The exact commencement of this holy month is determined by the sighting of the new moon. While in the earlier days, people resorted to literal sighting, today, the advanced technology in the field of astronomy helps determine the exact date and time, without actual visibility. The practice is now observed more uniformly throughout the globe, thanks to high-end astronomical devices.
The completion of the month of fasting marks the celebration of the festival Eid Ul Fitr. The time when the air is filled with love, joy and happiness. The people walk to the nearest mosque barefoot and observe their first-morning prayer. They then follow it with paying a visit to their friends and family to share their happiness. Common sights on this day are charity donations, wearing new clothes, preparing the special sweet dishes, exchanging gifts and probably a Salman Khan movie if you are in India.
The month of Ramzan adds life to the nights of every city. Bangalore showcases a different side of it during this time. Some of the best places to break your fast and have a mighty iftar meal, only next to the traditional home cooked food, of course, are Shivajinagar, Frazer town, Mosque Road, Koramangala and Tilak Nagar. Choose from a variety of delicacies that fill both your stomach, as well as your heart. Relish the succulent Haleem, the crispy Chicken Kebabs, the earthy taste of Patthar ka Gosht, wash down a serving of spicy Biryani with the cool Roohafzah, the crunchy Camel Meat and give it a perfect ending with the ever so tasty desserts of the likes of Firni, Faloodas and the good old Kheer.
Like any other festival, even with Ramzan, there is always a well-explained reason behind every ritual that is followed. We just need to know it. It is all the more fun that way.