Ramadan: Need to Think Again!

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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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You Mean a World to Me!

It’s your birthday, you are just about to cut the cake, but your eyes are fixed on your mobile and in that instant, a blink of light is flashed through the screen that indicates ‘Abbu is calling’; excitedly you pick up the call to hear the birthday wish from your father.  This is one of the best gifts for your D-day.  There are some children who live with their father and then there are those who have lost their fathers, but there is also one more facet-those fathers who have to live apart from their family due to monetary incentive.

My father lives in another country because of his job. It has never been an easy ride. There are moments when you miss your father but he cannot be there with you; even though you are one call away but this does not make up for his presence. I remember during my school days when I used to receive any award, I always wanted my father to see me but it was never possible because of holiday problems. Even in my last convocation where I received a shield and my name was called out, I got teary eyed with happiness and longing for my father to be here and see me receiving an award.  In my birthdays, small gatherings and even in an evening cup of tea, I miss his presence… it’s not like I cannot talk to him but yes as the time passes, you wish more of your father’s company.

It is always those little moments that count a lot, like sitting with him and talking aimlessly about your favourite ice cream or movies. However my father still manages to make his presence felt by his calls, letters and infrequent visits to his home. When I was small, it was always about chocolate and gifts but then as I grow up and after spending a four month long time with him I found a very good friend in him with whom I can joke around and share my secrets. He understands my worries from my voice although I put up a smiley face in front of everyone, but he is the one who recognizes the concealed hesitation in my voice.

It is true that a relation of father and daughter shares a special bond-we are the apple of their eyes. He makes me feel like a princess and for any daughter; his father is an ideal man who supports her, look after her and gives her courage to face the harshness of the world.  He stands tall with full strength to protect you from any evil eye.

Whether it’s Eid, Ramadan or any special occasions or even any outing you plan for, you miss your abbu in those moments. It is true that father does not show love to their children like my abbu cannot express his utmost love to me and he never says that he loves me but his small gestures of care reflects the love he has for me. My father is very bad in giving blessing because of his struggle to choose right words, but deep down in my heart I know that words don’t matter, what matter is his pure love and support for me.

We are two sisters, and I remember my grandparents wanted a grandson but my father felt proud of having two little angels in his life. He used to ride on his shoulder on way back to our home. We have grown up and busy in our lives and get less time to talk but he always make it a point to call us so many times that we did not feel his absence.We love to watch TV and I vividly remember that we used to have a race that who will grab the remote first—this is what our relation was. He is witness to all my stories of first crush, my favourite teacher, my favourite movie and my horrible nightmares. He remembers the birth-date and religiously send the birthday card every year. To keep up this relation he makes all his efforts; I remember I made a burned chapatis and he ate all of it and even praise my effort… The time when he cried alone when he was not able to fulfill our wish, but only beamed with pleasure while making our wishes true.  We miss this beautiful relation that has made our life blissful.  I know he feels that we do not love him because we have a long distance relationship but for now, I want him to know that he is the best dad and will always be.

Today is not any father’s day but what difference does it make? It is all about appreciating your loved ones on each day and to make them feel special because after all you are their inspiration. Thank you Abbu for all the love and encouragement, you are the best father in entire world:)