Years back when Ramadhan was in hot summer of Mumbai.. I heard a man selling fish. He was a Muslim, a middle aged man, carrying a basket of around 20 kgs of fish on his head and walked in hot sun for few kms to earn halal in the month of Ramdhaan. He told me that he fasts regularly and sells fish for past ten years on the street of Mumbai. There is another labourer who visits my locality selling pastries and cookies. He carries a huge Basket with 30 kgs of goods and shouts from the road looking for costumers. Once I called him to my house and spoke to him about his hard life.. That man had six daughters in his village and he is here in Mumbai selling cookies to make our suhur tastier.And he fasts as well.
In my neighbourhood there are tournaments of Volleyball, night cricket, and carom boards in the nights of Ramadhaan. Last Ramadhaan I met a grown up boy around 17 years, who was preparing for HSC exams ,so he did not fast ! He told me.. My parents say that focus on your exams and careers you may fast next years onwards.So the boys studied hwole night to get into medicine while the rest of the family did suhur and fasted .
Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, used to pray at night what he wished, until it was in the middle of the night, when he would wake up his family to pray; then he would say to them "prayer.. prayer", and would recite this verse of the Qur'an, "Enjoin prayer on your people, and be constant therein. We ask you not to provide sustenance: We provide it for you. But the fruit of the Hereafter is for righteousness" [Qur'an 20:132].
The Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous of people, and he was most generous during Ramadan. He was more generous with good deeds than the blowing wind. The Messenger of Allah also said, "The best charity is one given during Ramadan." [Related by Al-Tirmidhi from Anas].
Allah the Almighty says, "And they feed, for the love of Allah, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive (saying), 'We feed you for the sake of Allah Alone. No rewards do we desire from you, nor thanks. We only fear a Day of frowning and stress from the side of our Lord.' But Allah will deliver them from the evil of that day, and will spread over them brightness and a (blissful) joy. And because they were patient and constant, He will reward them with a garden (and garments of) silk" [Qur'an 76:8-12].
The Salaf used to ensure feeding others and they placed it before many acts of worship, and it is equally rewarded whether you feed a hungry person or a good Muslim brother of yours. Ibn Umar did not break his fast except with the orphans and the needy. Sometimes, if he learned that his family had turned back the orphans and the needy, he would not break the fast that night.
The only news that national news papers in India carry about Ramadhaan is about lavish food sold in the nights of Muslim streets. At times they discuss about the business done in the nights of Muslims markets.
Ramdhaan is not the month of festival but ibadah which not only includes recitation of the Qur'an but also generosity, charity and caring for poor and orphans.Meanwhile people living in the Gulf will be comforting in airconditions during the hot summer of ramadhaan, while those living in Bangladesh and Bihar and Bengal will be looking for means to save themselves from the yearly flood of Brahmaputra river... How will you pass your Ramadhaan? And Yes how will I pass my Ramadhaan?
Author: Nisaar Nadiadwala speaks and writes on the behalf of Islam and Muslims and ofcourse Humanity.. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org