SACHI NAIK| NT BUZZ
Ramadan (Ramzan) is the religious month for the Islamic community. It is observed as the month of fasting, hence throughout the month of Ramadan, it is obligatory for every adult Muslim to fast and keep ‘roja’. The commencement and end of this month revolves around the sighting of the crescent moon. As the month ends, there is an air of excitement among the Muslim community to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, this year on June 16, 2018.
During the month of Ramadan, the roja or fasting starts from dawn at around 4.30 a.m. to the dusk till around 7 p.m. After sunset till the dawn of the next day, the people can eat whatever they want. It is obligatory for every adult Muslim to fast with the exception of pregnant women, those who are suffering from any kind of illness or the elderly. They can choose to fast later or are asked to feed two people every day in the month of Ramadan. Considering that this is their religious month, most Muslims read the Quran, attend Namaaz and pray to Allah for well-being of the society. They follow it religiously and end their fast with iftar.
Maulana Zafar Alam Nadwi from Abrar Masjid, Margao mentions that every year the faithful invite their non-muslim friends, neighbours, etc during iftar. They share information about their religion and rituals during the month of Ramadan and for Eid-al-Fitr.
Different Muslim communities celebrate iftar parties in different ways. “Like every year, we provide an Eid kit to all the poor people. Due to financial problems they cannot spend so much on the celebration of this festival. We want them to celebrate as much as we do, hence the kit has all the ingredients like rice, sugar, vermicelli, etc required to prepare special Eid dishes. This year we have sent Eid gifts to non-Muslim personalities of Goa so that they can also celebrate this day with us,” says Maulana Zafar.
Another Margao resident, Amina Shaikh celebrates Eid annually and on the previous day, many women and girls apply mehendi on their palms. On the day of the festival they attend Namaaz in the morning. “If you visit a house of any of your Muslim friends on Eid you will smell aroma of biryani,” sasy Amina. Traditionally, chicken or mutton biryani and sweet dish sheer kurma are made for this festival. However, nowadays preparation of variety of non-vegetarian dishes and Indian sweets are in trend. Keeping roja has health benefits too, says Nadwi. Moreover people who keep roja also realise the importance of food and have empathy towards the hungry and poor. This month is about learning to share and having patience in every situation. Maulana Zafar says: “The month of fasting has a lot of things to teach. We thank Allah and his blessings upon us for being able to fast for a month without any hurdles.”