Ramadan Mubarak

Ramdan is a time of introspection and reflection. Last night I sat thinking of some of the most cherished Ramdan moments. As a child I wanted to fast because all my cousins did. My mother maintained you will fast when you are 12 and after that no matter whether you are at home or away, you will always fast. Much irritated as I was at her stance, she was as usual right. There is a right time for everything. Recalling the family memories of Ramadan, I laughed at some of the memories. Then Ramadan in Dublin (6 of them) – my Irish friends out of respect for Ramadan would never eat or drink in front of me. I would get up in the middle of the night for Sehr and prayers-the Irish land lady would never complain even though I am sure I did disturb her. The Iftar at the mosque had its own charm. From the happy memories, I moved on to a mix of sweet bitter memories – the Ramadan of 2005 in Islamabad. I still remember how my sleep was disturbed by the non-stop shaking of the bed, the banging of utensils and cutlery that could not be stopped by the intervention of human hands- the realization that it was an earthquake, the desperation to find the key to the flat, then running out and the frantic call home only to find out that it was not an ordinary earthquake but one that had swept the entire Pakistan. The devastations that followed, the after-shocks that were traumatic but the overwhelming memories of how the entire nation came together to help the earthquake affected people turned the sorrowful tears in my eyes into tears of pride. Then I recalled the Ramadan of last year. The rains, the floods, large scale human suffering- I have started fearing the rain now. Even these very painful memories turned into one of pride when I recalled visiting reconstructed villages. The people over felt their quality of life has improved in the reconstructed villages. We as a nation did come together at the time of floods too. It is Ramadan again. Having my Sehr in the morning I thought of the thousands of people who might not have had anything to eat or drink at Sehr time. I have decided to spare some thoughts and some pennies for them- I know of many people who need them. Edhi Trust also arranges Sehr and Iftar for people who cannot afford any of these. There is an old people home in Lahore too and it deserves my attention. Shaukat Khanum is being constructed in Peshawar and it would make a huge difference to overcoming the economic, social and health facilities deprivation of the province. Gulab Devi Chest Hospital in Lahore provides free of cost treatments to Tuberculosis patients. There are many other causes and many people in need of my financial and moral help. Ramadan is a time to reflect on our relationships with Allah, ourselves, relatives, friends and the society we live in….if I do it honestly I will be playing my part in making this country the pride of all of us. Do you want to join me?

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