Ramzan: Practices and rituals you probably didn’t know about

Indian Muslims offer prayers during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan at a mosque in Allahabad, India. Muslims throughout the world are marking the month of Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic calendar during which devotees fast from dawn till dusk. (Express photo by Pradeep Kumar)

By Shruti Chakraborty 

When one talks about Ramzan, the holy month of Islam, the three things that popularly immediately come to mind for the medium-initiated are roza, salat (prayers five times a day) and iftar. While roza stands for fasting and salat/namaz for prayers, iftar stands for the breaking of the fast. But not known to many, there are actually many other rituals and practices that are associated with Ramzan — from e’tikaaf (a kind of seclusion) to suhoor (the polar opposite of iftaar, since it’s the last meal to be had before dawn).

Interestingly, the suhoor, or sehri, itself is almost equal — if not more — rich in content. As American author Sara Suleri evocatively describes sehri at home in her book ‘Meatless Days’, “The food itself, designed to keep the penitent sustained from dawn till dusk, was insistent in its richness and intensity, with bread dripping clarified butter, and curried brains, and cumin eggs, and a peculiarly potent vermicelli, soaked overnight in sugar and fatted milk.”

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Credit: indianexpress.com