Another Ramazan season has ended. When the revered month begins, it seems like it would go on a long way. But as it approaches its last week, it feels as if the days of rehmat (blessing) are quickly slipping away.
Ramazan is the holiest month of the Islamic Calendar - the month of blessings. It is the month when it is assumed that the Satan is sealed. It is the month of purity and peace. Yet, ironies commonly surface. The title of this article itself is ironic as 2013 and Ramazan do not fall on the same calendar even.
It takes a while to get into the Ramazan routine. Besides the intensified praying habits to earn more rewards for the later life, one has to cope with the alternating hunger and thirst situations. The latter is worsened by the uncompromising weather scenario especially true of Lahore and other scorching heat regions.
With the onset of Ramazan, people witness drastic price hikes in basic consumer goods. On several occasions, it has been reported that basic food items are hoarded by shopkeepers in anticipation of high consumer demand in the month of fasting to reflect as food shortages in the market. Consequently the sellers make lucrative profits while the buyers strive to meet their needs.
Dramatically, this year the financial year switch coincided with the Ramazan season leading to scary budget revelations in parallel to the dreaded Ramazan-related price hikes. Elevated taxes on various consumer goods left many frantic and frenzied.
On the contrary, Ramazan draws generosity from several segments of society. Many manufacturing corporations and service industries try to entice potential consumers by extending gracious acts such as discounted prices or attractive product deals to mark their respect for Ramazan. There were even discounted flower bouquet deals to honour Ramazan.
The holy month calls for simplicity and moderation as recommended by Islam. However, the Ramazan season commonly observed in Pakistan makes the usual simple living even more complex. Keeping track of the alternating aftaris and sehris, there is unnecessary attention awarded to fried eateries and fancy foods instead of exhibiting moderation.
On another note, it is amusing to see that several fasting Muslims expect to be graced with a margin of error in their daily work routines: “I am fasting, so don’t expect me to work 100%”. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to believe that the average human body cannot perform at its utmost in the midst of lethargy and tiredness aggravated by dehydration and low glucose levels.
Further, though Ramazan should apparently help in controlling anger by teaching patience, the messed up sleep schedules and digestive tracts at times aggravate confusion and mount frustration.
Ramazan seals with moon sighting and announcement of the Eid festivity. Eid is there to rejoice the humble prayers and acts of kindness embraced in Ramazan. The auspicious occasion invites families and friends to get together and exchange greetings with warmth and zeal.