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Islamic Society ( 8 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Ramazan: Bonding with God and Family

By Syed Mohammed

Aug 6, 2011,

Ramzan is the month of fasting and feasting. It is also the month in which God introduced His word - the Quran - to mankind by revealing it to Muhammad, his messenger. It is a month in which Muslims break away from the mundane and try to lead a compassionate and pious life by adhering to the five pillars of Islam: Kalmah (declaration of faith), Salat (prayer), Soum (fasting), Zakat (alms tax, to purify) and Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

The pressure cooker whistles and the cutlery clanks before dawn as Hina Shazli, a content developer, sets the table. Her husband Farhan Khaja is in the kitchen lending her a helping hand. Every day in Ramzan, Hina wakes up at four in the morning to prepare the sahar meal. "During the month of Ramzan, sahar becomes the first meal of the day," Hina says. "My family loves to have roti and Queema, so ushering them into the dining room isn't too much trouble," she quips.

 As soon as the silence of the morning is broken by blaring sirens, Hina's family stops eating and heads to the living room to recite passages from the Quran till the muezzin's call for the fajr prayer is heard. Fajr, literally meaning dawn, is the first prayer of the day. Hina makes sure that her husband offers his prayers in the mosque.

"Those who work from nine to five reach their offices early and try to get work done as quickly as possible," she says. "Efficiency at the workplace increases phenomenally because we are focused and don't take any lunch breaks. There isn't much to think about except the task at hand."

Namaz or praying five times a day becomes the central element of spirituality in Ramzan. Every Muslim tries to align his or her schedule in such a fashion that enough time is devoted to prayer, preferably in a mosque and in congregation, and supplication. Those who find it difficult to leave the workplace, offer prayers in any isolated corner, keeping in mind not to inconvenience others.

"There is a lot to do in very little time, so it is very important to keep track of and manage time," says Ibrahim Bukhari, proprietor, Mohammed Cap Mart. "Shoppers come throughout the day and night. That's why I keep my establishment open till four in the morning."

Despite the heavy workload in Ramzan, Ibrahim says that he finishes his work with ease. This, according to him, is because people are beginning to understand the spirit of Ramzan. They become hardworking, tolerant, charitable, forgiving and exercise restraint and moderation in everything they do.

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi