Ramadhan: Its Customs and Rituals in Kashmir

During Ramadhan, Muslims aim to grow spiritually and build stronger relationships with Allah

Every year Muslims around the world anticipate the sighting of a new crescent moon at the end of Shaban which signifies the official first day of Ramadhan, it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is considered as most sacred month as per Islamic point of view.

The start of the Ramadhan fluctuates each year because the Islamic calendar called the lunar calendar follows the moon. The beginning of the month is marked by moon sightings across the world.

Ramadhan Origin

Ramadhan, one of the months in the Islamic calendar was also part of ancient Arabs’ calendars. The name Ramadhan is derived from the Arabic root word “AR-RAMAD” which means crouching heat. It is believed in 610 A.D 610, the angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad S.A.W and revealed to him the Quran, the Islamic holy book. the revelation, Laylat al Qadar or the Night of power had occurred among the last 10 odd days of Ramadhan. Muslims fast to gain mercy for the life after their death.

The month of Observance

During Ramadhan, Muslims aim to grow spiritually and build stronger relationships with Allah. It is done by paying and reciting Quran, making the actions intentional and selfless, and abstaining from gossiping, lying, and fighting. Throughout the month Muslims fast, also refraining from drinking and sexual intercourse between sunrise and sunset. Fasting is a must for all Muslims a few exceptions are there who have been retained to fast like ill people, pregnant, travelling, elderly, or menstruating. For those who miss the fast, they can fast the missed days during the year anytime.

Ramadhan and Taqwa

Taqwa, in Islam, is a means of getting closer to Allah (SWT) spiritually. It strengthens a Muslim’s belief and enables him to become a better human being and an even better follower of the Islamic faith. Taqwa is the consciousness of Allah. It is the outcome of the love and passion an individual has for their religion, Islam, and for their prophet Muhammad (saw) and Allah (SWT).

Fasting is one of the best ways to attain Taqwa. There are many hadith attesting to this connection. The Holy Qur’an itself is very specific about the connection between the two as the following verse below.
“O You who believe! Fasting is prescribed upon you as it was prescribed on those before you so that you may attain Taqwa” Quran – [2:183]

Apart from fasting, religious sermons serve as an ingenious way to create and revitalize Taqwa within a Muslim. Muslim Aid has proudly hosted and taken part in such events, providing Muslim brothers and sisters with the opportunity to revitalize their Taqwa.

In Kashmir, for a long, we have had a beautiful Ramadhan. Here Ramadhan is not different from other parts of the country but we have our customs and rituals which make our Ramadhan more beautiful and charming. Here we have always observed some different things in Ramadhan like:

1. Sahar Khan

when the time of taking the predawn meal comes, we usually notice someone struck a drum he is called the Sahar khan he comes early to wake up the people to take the predawn meal called sehri. He has been our alarm clock for decades. We all have some strong memories of Sahar khan.

2. Wait for the Iftar

Iftar is the best part of the day during Ramadhan we do collect dates and necessary things for 2-3 hours in the day to make our Iftar beautiful. We usually are remaining cautious about the timing of iftar on normal days we don’t know the timing of Maghrib prayers but due to Iftar, we know the exact time.

3.Babribeoul (Basil seed) Drink

the babribeoul drink is famous during the month of Ramadhan people usually drink it with boiled milk it is having high health benefits our iftar is incomplete without the babribeoul drink.

4. Firini with Poppy Seeds

The firni is prepared by our mothers’ sisters beautifully during the month of Ramadhan it is made of semolina added to the milk. And topped by poppy seeds it is having good health benefits.

5. The Duhlkhaw

It is the name in Kashmir given to those who usually don’t fast when you meet them you call them if they are having Roza (fasting or not) if they will say no, we usually call him Duhlkhaw or duhldees.

6. Tarawe

After isha prayers are offered we offer tarawe and in Kashmir, there is a hot discussion throughout the month if tarawe are 8 or 20 rakatas

7. Beggars and the Charity Vans

Beggars often come to the home for collecting the necessary things and some money for their needs also the religious charity vans are seen announcing on loudspeakers for the charity usually for a Darasgah or orphanage home.

8. The Eid shopping and Counting days for Eid

The days remaining for Eid are counted on the fingertips daily people by clothing for Eid also a lot is spent on bakeries & sweets before a day before Eid called Arafa.

04 Apr 22/Monday                                                                                Source: brighterkashmir