Monday, October 01, 2007

In Ramadan, thumbs ups, and thumbs downs

My best time of the day: Post suhur [the prescribed pre-dawn meal during our fasts], when I've cleaned up in the kitchen, everything that needs to go back in the fridge has, and I have settled down for Fajr [the morning prayer]. After Fajr, some tilaawat, lots and lots of dua'as and assorted durood shareefs, which are really beautiful since I more or less understand the Arabic in the different duroods. [One of my favorite duroods is Durood-e-Taj. And then I find this on the web. I am disturbed. Anybody?]

Anyway, after my favorite time of the day, I go to sleep. [:-)] *gasp*

Other random points, being thumbs down-s:
1. Ramadan is not about not eating. I don't understand how a Muslim can get up in order to stuff face till the last permissible minute and then immediately go to sleep after, without even offering Fajr. *shudder*
2. And then to forget about the prayers during the day, leave off shaving [men], act lazy, lethargic and martyred [why for???] but get all perked up in time for the Feast that is Iftar. *shudder again*
3. Watching TV is not more important than Suhur or Iftar. Particularly watching item gaanas to while away the time.
4. Hullo? Lying is forbidden anyway, try not to do it while you're fasting at least.
5. Pigging out at Iftar and Sehri is uncool. And not propagated anywhere. Why act like it's the last meal you'll ever be having?
6. Think about this month in terms of what you've been taught all your life, the example your parents have set for you and the sense of personal responsibility that you really should have if you're old enough to fast.

Ugh. I'm mad.

6 comments:

Jellicles said...

i always thought that iftaar meals have to be light...soups, vegetables and fresh fruits..because the stomach will be all shrivelled after the fasting..how can anyone really pig out after 12 hours of not eating or drinking water!

my afghani 'brother'(funny really...because i am younger than his daughter...i dont know why he insists on that...he doesnt have to consider me a 'daughter'..but the age diff is so much..its quite funny!) here wont even sip water. he owns a cab service and no matter where he is..or what he is doing..he'll drop that carpet thingy and start praying... in the middle of the day even. i like him a lot...i am thinking of calling him and his family for dinner one of these days after ramazan is over.

which reminds me..you owe me a whole bunch of kashmiri recipes.

Fahad said...

Well written.

I must admit I've NEVER heard of something called durood-e-Taj, and after going through both the links you posted, I now know why.

Where did you learn it?

longblackveil said...

@Jellicles: Yes, yes, that's the way it should be. On time every time, roll out the carpet and start praying.
And the way it should be also is to eat light at Iftar. Recommended and more than sufficient is dates, water and fruit, maybe some light snacks. But the all-out food-orgy that takes place sometimes [many times] is scary.

@Fahad: Like many, many fascinating, sometimes ridiculous and incorrect practices of Islam found only on the Asian subcontinent, I believe the Durood Taj is also popular and known only here. I think it's a beautiful durood, but the doubt of 'shirlk' has been sown and now I'll just stay away till I know for sure. Hmmmph. Other highly amusing/shocking traditions carried out in the traditions of Asian Islam:
1. Proliferation of dargahs like Haji Ali, Ajmer sharif, where people are found doing sujood before the graves of the buried maulanas. Astaghfirullah. A lot of villages in Kashmir even have these 'shrines' and I get so mad.
2. You can't swallow your ow saliva while fasting. Haahahahahhahaaa...
3. Pray nafl, nafl, nafl for everything. Erm, NO. Not till you've covered up your fard kazaa namaaz. For life.
4. And cetera....

Fahad said...

This iftar orgy you are talking about also exists ONLY in the subcontinent. As I remember growing up in Riyadh, the iftars were, although lavish, they were short. This is because of course Maghrib has to be prayed fairly soon after the Azan is sounded.

Of course after Maghrib, we'd sit around and eat a little more... as does everyone.

Moving on to the funny/outrageous practices I came across in India - most of them shirk...
- Whatever is a durga? I cannot believe that it is associated with Islam. (I've seen this in some hindi movies. Our muslim hero/heroine goes to the durga to pray. hahahahaa
Anyways, this is shirk in the most common form in India atleast.
- You can't swallow your saliva? This is the 2nd funniest thing. hehehe...This is why spitting is national sport#2
- I also noticed how people celebrate Eid-Milad? This is shocking really. Ask any (at least most) Muslim in Bangalore and he'll say that we have 3 Eids. (hahahaha etc)
- Also, I don't know if this practice is appropriate, but, WHYY is the dua said first and the fast is broken and THEN the Azan? The Azan has to be sounded first. (Correct me if that's wrong)
- The whole concept of finishing the entire Quran in terawee prayers. It's not required. I mean these guys read so fast, that the essence of it is lost. After the 2nd rakaat, you start 'atta hi yatu' midway you hear the salaams. Man!
- Whoever said 27th night is Laylatul-Qadr? No one knows when it is. We are asked to find it in ever odd day after the 20th. It's crazy to see the people act on this day. The Masjid is almost always empty, but THIS day...oh my God...
I can go on, but yes, Islam in India and Pakistan is full of ignorance mingled with cultural practices and in the end...Islam gets a bad name.

longblackveil said...

@Fahad:
1. Yup, open your fast, eat a little and do your salaat. If you want to eat after, do so by all means.
2. The Hindi movie version of dargahs is really fantastic, although unfortunately the real thing is almost as bad.
3. Eid Milad [a Happy Birthday party?] and also Shab Baraat. In the Arab countries, the heart of ISlam as it were, no one has heard of Shab Baraat. I don't understand it. My Ma, entire extended family and everyone in Kashmir is very big on these two. *shakes head*
4. The order of iftar is correct. First dua'a, then open your fast and a minute or so later, the Adhaan sounds. Iftar is a tiny moment before the Maghrib adhaan. Just like Suhoor should stop a little before the Fajr adhaan.
5. Completion of the Qur'an during the Taraawih is the norm, but that doesn't mean the Imam races through. A lot of Imams do a really good job of completing the Qur'an within the 29 or 30 nights at a comfortable pace that is enjoyable for the jamaat. I guess it depends on the Imam.
6. Laylatul Qadr is of course, not only the 27th of Ramadan, like a lot of people in India/Pak think. It could be, then again, it might not. Each of the odd nights of the last ashrah of Ramadan has a 20% probability of being the Big Night. And a lot of people do the Laylatul Qadr on the night of the 21st going into the 22nd, whereas it should be in the night between the 20th and 21st etc.
7. And others...

Fahad said...

- But it isn't like this in the Arab countries. People break their fasts with the sounding of the Adhan.

- Yeah, completing the Quran is the norm. But not necessary. And so it loses it's charm/meaning when the purpose of achieving something else (finishing the Quran on the 27th) is mingled with this.

- Yeah. You're absolutely right. When you say 27th night, it's actually the 26th roza day after Isha. This is done correctly in India atleast...I don't know where they do it otherwise.