Ever since I was little, I was curious about religions. I tried to indulge in customs and traditions to simply take back as much as I can without confirming to anything in particular. My curiosity for Islam brought me to observe the roza or fast during the holy month of Ramadan. What I realized is, denying yourself food, has a very calming effect. If you are someone with temper issues or you feel you are losing the grip over yourself, fasting is a great way to focus your energies solely on yourself and emerge a better person that what you were. Before I show you the 10 iftar foods from around the world, I’d like to share 5 Ramzan essentials.
5 Basics To Understand Ramzan better-
What is Ramzan actually about?
Muslims observe Ramadan to mark the first revelation of the Qu’ran to the prophet Mohammed. It’s the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and the holiest. During the entire month, Muslims fast every day from sunrise to sunset to enhance spiritual discipline.
Why fast though?
Fasting is one of the ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam, the others being the Shahadah, the declaration of faith; Salat, the five daily prayers; Zakat, or almsgiving; and the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. But its not just food; abstaining from intoxicants, sexual activities as well as negative thoughts and actions.
What does a typical day during the fast look like?
Muslims wake up well before dawn to eat their first meal of the day. They continue with their routines as they would on any other day. In some countries, work hours are reduced during this period but one mustn’t compromise on their daily life simply because they are fasting. It has to be incorporated into rather than something separate.
Why does the Ramadan dates change every year?
For religious matters, Muslims follow a lunar calendar-that is, one based on the phases of the moon-whose 12 months add up to approximately 354 days. That’s 11 days shorter than the 365 days of the standard Gregorian calendar. So that means the first day of the month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, moves backward by about 11 days each year.
Are there differences between how Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims observe Ramadan?
Well majorly, no. Although there are some minor differences like Sunnis break their fast at sunset, when the sun is no longer visible in the sky, whereas Shia wait until the redness of the setting sun has completely vanished and the sky is totally dark. Along with this a couple of other minor differences but none major.
My favorite part henceforth-
10 Iftar Foods From Around The World
Pakora– Deep-fried, fritters from India
Chicken or Duck Fesenjan– Chicken or Duck in walnut-pomegranate sauce from Persia
Ful Medames– slow-cooked fava beans from Egypt
Tabouli– Bulgur and Parsley salad from the Middle-East
Hummus Bi Tahina– Chickpea and sesame dip from Middle-East
Harira– lamb and chickpea stew from North Africa
Lham Lahlou– Lamb and dried-fruit tagine from Algeria
Fattoush– Arab tomato, cucumber and bread salad
Khoubz or Khubz– Mediterranean pocket-bread
Sindhi Biryani– Meat curry with rice from Pakistan
Hope you have a great, great month ahead of you.
Ramadan Kareem and Happy Holidays!.