Ramadan: Need to Think Again!


Women Offering Prayer during Ramadan: Online Photo

As we all know that the month of Ramadan has arrived in Pakistan. It is a month where the Muslim community fasts from dawn to dusk with an aim to celebrate countless blessings by Almighty Allah.

Okay my blog post is not about Ramadan or its benefits. I want to share something which I guess Pakistani women might relate to.

Coming to the point, I was having a discussion with my friends about how the hot weather have made fasting difficult for people at large during Ramadan.

Suddenly out of the blue, one of my male friends said, “Kitna asaan hy roza na auraton ke liye ke kum az kum tum log ko taraveeh nae parhni hoti is garmi me?” (How easy is the fasting for women as they don’t have to pray taraveeh in this hot weather?) .

While in favor with his statement, my other male friend also jumped in and added, “Kitna asaan hy auraton ke liye is tapti dhoop mei zuhr ki namaz ke liye masjid nae jana parta” (How convenient is the fasting for the women that they don’t have to go to mosque to perform Dhuhr prayer in this scorching sun?)

My question to all those men who have this thought, just because not going to taraveeh or for Friday prayer in the scorching weather, you think fasting is undemanding for the women? How easily is it for men to pass these comments without even realizing that fasting is itself a difficult process regardless whether for men or women whatsoever?

How come they forget about those women who give themselves away in the kitchen just to satiate their hunger? Do you really think that only because women don’t have to go to mosque for taraveeh or Dhuhr so fasting is easy for them?

Here is an eye-opener for all those men who think that it’s easy for the women.

Getting up first at the time of Sehri and preparing predawn meals for everyone in the house. Later waking up everyone in the house including men of the house and what they just do; come to the table, eat their meal and go back to sleep. However, these women not only eat their meal but she has the duty to wash all the dishes and tidy up everything before leaving kitchen.

Afterward while fasting whole day they make lunch for their kids in this hot weather. That is not all, women start preparing iftar in the early hours of the evening for their family.

As it is compulsory in our tradition to have variety of dishes at our iftar table, so they are required to cook various scrumptious dishes in sweltering weather.  Following iftar men usually take rest but women get busy in making tea along with washing the unclean dishes. In all their busy routine they also perform the obligatory duties.  Considering the routine, how do men think that it’s easy for women?

As far as other matter is concerned so I would like to add that Muslim women can attend mosque but proper arrangements need to be implemented. Most of the mosques do not have separate compartment for women and hence special arrangements are made for women to offer their taraveeh prayer but praying taraveeh in mosques is still a rare sight in our country. Meanwhile women do not have an easy access to mosques which have separate section for women as it’s quite far from their homes.

Last year I got an opportunity to spend my Ramadan in Abu-Dhabi (Capital of United Arab Emirates). I never thought that I would offer taraveeh in the mosque. Not only taraveeh, the mosque was also opened for women to pray on Lailatul Qadar nights. Women would come alone or in groups to the mosque after midnight without any fear.

Most of the mosques in UAE have a separate portion for women and it’s just not particular for Ramadan but women were allowed to pray in the mosque at any time they want.

Having said that, most of the women in our country do not have option, they are required to do all this without complain. And going through this entire process do you really think that fasting is easy for women especially in this weather? I believe you need to think it again!



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