“Papa, you know there are some kids in my class who are fasting nowadays”.
“Beta it must be because of Ramazan”.
“Yes they told me, they fast for whole day and eat only after prayer”, she continued to display her gyan to me.
“But Papa, why do they fast? And they told me after Ramazan they will celebrate Eid, and I will also get holiday as the whole school will be closed. Papa what is Eid?”
“Err… Eid is a big festival like Diwali.”
I tried to explain to her what is Eid and what is Ramazan, but after a sentence or two I realised how little I knew about Ramazan and Eid. I have always had Muslim friends since my childhood, in my college as well as in my office, and except for a cursory “Eid Mubarak”; I have never actually tried to know more about the festival and its significance. This is when I have been to the homes of my friends and polished plate after plate of Seviyan and Firni on Eid.
I felt a little ashamed at my own lack of knowledge and decided to learn a bit about it and get out of my ignorance about one of the most important festivals in the country.
But what made me a little ashamed was that I had never tried to learn a little more about Ramazan and Eid, while enjoying Eid Holiday every year. On the other hand, here is my little girl who is not only seeing her friends observing fast during Ramazan, but also wants to learn more about the significance of the same. I decided to help her a bit more about the same. Luckily we live in Hyderabad where Ramazan and Eid are big festivals and there is a lot to learn and celebrate together.
As a first step, I found out about the Ramazan Night Market, near Charminar and we decided to do some shopping for Ramazan and Eid in the night market. But I wanted to learn more than just do shopping, so I thought of calling some of my Muslim friends and learning a bit more about the significance of the holy month and Eid, but was too embarrassed to ask after all these years. See we grownups have so many issues learning new things that we continue to live in our bliss of ignorance. Fortunately, Google came to my rescue and there is a ton of information available online, only I have never checked. The whole concept of Ramazan was an eye-opener for me.
It is believed that Prophet Muhammad first received revelations in the lunar month of Ramadan. Therefore, the month of Ramadan is considered to be the most sacred month of the Islamic calendar. The purpose is to purify the mind, body and soul with fasting which is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. I felt really good after reading the concept and how universal the concept of fasting is. My respect for those who are fasting increased manifold, as I have never been able to fast even for a day in my life. Actually in all religions there is a concept of fasting like in Hindus there are Upavasas, in some forms of Christianity you have the month of Lent and Jains also observe fast. The timing and the method may be different, but the purpose is always the same i.e. to lead a more pure life and stay away from sin.
This Eid I am a sure my “Eid Mubarak” will not be just a formality but will come from heart with real joy, when I hug my friends on Eid.
Eid Mubarak to all of you. 🙂
Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.