I love what President A P J Abdul Kalam said. He said that when religions are empowered to become a spiritual force, peace and happiness blossoms in the society.

The need of the hour is that ‘enlightened leaders’ empower people making them ‘enlightened citizens’

My personal view is that one must bring out the gems of all faiths, remove misconceptions, and realize that at the core of every faith, the same message is found.

Read: Interfaith Dialogue

During the month of Ramzan, the Muslim community fasts from dawn to dusk.

Most religions advocate fasting as it is beneficial to health.

Fasting is a method of self purification and it increases self-discipline.

One must not only abstain from food and drink but also from evil habits, which may include lying, stealing, gossiping etc.

Follows what I read in a short article by Saniyasnain Khan:

…Prophet Muhammad included in 5 kinds of people whose supplications were never turned down by Allah-a fasting person at the time of breaking his fast (the others being a just ruler, an oppressed person, a parent who entreated for his children and a traveler in the cause of Allah)

The prophet divided the month of fasting into 3 parts. He called the first 10 days “blessings”, the next 10 days “forgiveness” and the last 10 days “freedom from hellfire”

Ramzan is the only month in the Muslim calendar which is specially mentioned in the Holy Koran. It is during this month that devout Muslims fast and pray, for a month.

They do not eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset.

Not only do devout Muslims fast and pray five times during the day, but they donate 2.5% of their income (zakat) to the poor. Prayer deepens their love for God.

Everyday the roza is broken by eating dates or tasting salt. Muslims, then get together and share ‘iftaari’ (a snack or a small meal) I have read that people who pray together, stay together. Sharing a meal creates a bond. So I believe that the month of roza, generates a feeling of brotherhood. Ramzan Id, also called Id-ul-Fitr comes at the end of the month of fast. The special prayers or namaaz offered on that day is called the kutba. On Id people dress up in new clothes, hug one another, exchange good wishes and enjoy bowls and bowls of Sheerkurma ( sweetened milk and vermicelli garnished with nuts).

Bakri Id is a Muslim festival that celebrates the trust of Man in God and an important happening in Islam.

The great great grandfather of Jesus was Ibrahim? Ibrahim is known as Khalilullah, which means, a friend of God. It is believed that Ibrahim had a son very late in life, and Ibrahim loved him dearly.

God wanting to test the faith of Ibrahim, and asked the latter to offer his son Ismail as a sacrifice to him. I am told by an Islamic Scholar, that God did not ask for Ibrahim’s son, but for who Ibrahim loved most. 

Since Ibrahim loved Ismail the most, he decided to offer him as a sacrifice to God. Ibrahim took his son Ismail to a mountain. Ismail knew what his father was about to do, so Ibrahim blindfolded his father, so that the latter would not suffer at the sight of what he was about to do. After Ibrahim plunged his knife, he removed the piece of cloth around his eyes, and lo and behold, a goat had been sacrificed and his son Ismail stood unharmed! To remember this occasion, Muslims around the world sacrifice an animal. The animal popularly used is a goat.

The Islamic Scholar explained to me that Islam’s message is to feed the poor, not to kill humans and/or animals. One must remember that Islam was born in a desert land where vegetables were scarce. My friend also enlightened me on the fact that the Prophet Mohammed’s diet consisted mostly of khajur (dates) and jau ki roti.

Id Mubaarak!