Dr Ishrat Lalljee of Hinduja College, writes in with a nostalgic piece; “Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar is symbolically a month of deliverance for believing Muslims who regard it as a month of abstinence, penitence, soul reparation and faith rejuvenation. It is universal in practice and overcomes sectarian barriers since its observance is among the few undisputed aspects of the religion for each of the seventy-two sects of its followers.
“Popularly referred to as ‘The Month of Glory’ since the revelation of the Quran is believed to have been completed in Ramzan, it is also widely accepted that this is the month in which the munificence and largesse of the Lord overflow as he throws open the gates of Paradise to receive invocations and accept acts of goodness and charity for which a seventy fold reward is assured. Deeds particularly recommended during this period include refraining from violence and aggression, purging personal property by alms giving, recalling deserters, making peace with hostile forces and generally displaying a sense of tolerance, which brings to mind a pertinent word play of there being ‘Ram’ in ‘Ramzan’ and ‘Ali’ in ‘Diwali’.
“As Ramzan draws to a close a variety of moods engulf believers. Common is an aura of satisfaction which comes with having fulfilled a duty or having obeyed a worthy command; widespread is a sense of alleviation in the belief that the load of the soul has been lightened, and for the sentimental there is an emotional pang as they bid ‘alvida’ i.e. ‘farewell’ to the month and begin preparations to celebrate Idd-ul-Fitr. ‘Fitr’ being a charity amount which must be disbursed before one commences celebrations so that there is an ‘Idd’, translated to mean ‘celebration’, for one and all.
“On the passing away of Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H., his devout companion Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqui R.A. remarked, “The man Muhammad is dead, his message lives on.” So also, the eternal stream of Time flows on, and will take with it this Ramazan just like it did 1432 Ramazans before it, what must endure however, is the moral of the month.”
And from us to our Muslim readers – Eid Mubarak