Chennai: As the Muslim brethren observe Roza, the holy fasts during this divine month of Ramzan, they strongly believe the fasting is symbolic of their absolute devotion towards Allah. For this entire holy month from May 5 till June 4, they will forgo worldly pleasures as they indulge in deep prayer while fasting from dawn to dusk every day, with family and friends. Pregnant women, children and old people are advised not to fast for Ramzan.
It is believed that during this holy month, the devils are locked up by chains in hell and so there would be no distraction or disturbance coming in the way of the prayer from the faithful Muslim and Allah. It was during this holy month and on the glorious night of Laylat al-Qadr that the Holy Quran was first revealed to mankind.
Waking up in the early hours of the morning, even as the rest of the population around them is mostly fast asleep, the devout Muslims will eat their first meal called Sehri, which would comprise of quite a filling of nutritious food such as dates and fruits, sweet vermicelli and milk. After this pre-dawn meal, they eat nothing, not even a sip of water, till sunset.
And in the late evening, those fasting gather together (mostly in their local mosque) to break the Roza usually with a handful of dates. It is said that Prophet Mohammed too had broken his fasting the same way-three dates and little water. After that is the evening of ‘Iftar’ which is celebrated with delicacies, such as biryani and korma, kebabs and tikkas. The unique thing is that all the people gathered for the iftar party after their fasting, gather under one roof and break the fast together. The desserts are unique, such as the delicious milk pudding called sheer-khurma which is made with vermicelli and saffron.
“A significant aspect of this fasting during the Holy Ramzan is that the wealthy Muslim realises the pain of hunger that haunts the poor; so he gets ready with his contribution of the savings made through the year for offering to the poor throughout this month”, said Nurullah Rahiman, vice-president, Masjid-e-Noor at Kottivakkam, ECR.
"And there are restaurants in several parts of Chennai and elsewhere in the state, where anybody can walk in during the night during the sahar between 0230 and 0400 hours (starting of the fasting time) and eat as much as they want. I take my family to one such place known as Dubai Kitchen on ECR", he told DC.