In a rarity, women in Thane had an opportunity to attend the Taraweeh, the special prayers performed during the month of Ramadan.
As hundreds of Muslims across Thane began fasting on Monday in observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the community has come up with workshops and programs especially for women and children to make this spiritual month all inclusive.
The beginning of the holy Ramadan signifies fasting, charity and spirituality for the Muslim community. “However, over the years people have made it a food festival. We want them to understand that Ramadan is about Quran not about food,” said Abdulsalaam Malik, a member of Jamaat-e-Hind Islami (JIH), Mumbra.
Ramadan is the month when it is said that the holy Quran was revealed to Mohammed, the prophet. “It was during this month that the Prophet would fast, stay up the whole night and pray to god. He had also asked people to do the same,” he adds. “We are urging people to spend this entire month like the Prophet, reading and understanding Quran,” he says.
The JIH which is spread across India has also decided to include women in this spiritual practice. “During Ramadan women spend most of their time in the kitchen. Hence, we have booked a special hall in Mumbra where women read the Quran and understand its teachings. These special readings called Taraweeh which were attended only by men earlier,” he said.
Madina Ansari, 32, a resident of Mumbra is looking forward to attending Taraweeh. “Quran is like a catalogue on how to live your life. I am looking forward to attending the Taravi which helps us to reconnect with the holy teachings of the Quran, and inspires us to live a peaceful life,” she says.
In a relief to many, the month of Ramadan has fallen during summer vacation. Thus, abstaining from all food and all beverages from dawn to sundown for around a month would not be so taxing.
Ramadan is divided into three stages of 10 days each. The last 10 days are considered very pious. It was when the Prophet would stay in a masjid and perform prayers and read Quran day and night. “Hence, we are urging children and youngsters to be more spiritual and spend the last 10 days in a masjid,” says Malik.