Blessed Month of Ramadan Around
The holy month of Ramadan is around the corner. Ramadan is considered as the holy month of blessings by Muslim Ummah and has great importance in Islam. Special arrangements are made to observe this month in Pakistan like rest of the Muslim world.
The first sight of the Ramadan moon brings in the excitement; hustle and bustle starts occurring as men heads forward for the Taraweeh prayers whereas women starts preparing Sehri (Pre-dawn) meal essentials.
In Pakistan the Royet-e-Hilal Committee (Moon Sighting Committee) with the help of its zonal and regional chapters coordinates countrywide efforts for moon sighting and announces decision with authentic witnesses about the new moon of the month. Central moon sighting committee will meet on July 9th to decide on Ramadan moon.
The daily routine of an ordinary citizen is quite change in this month. The preparations for Sehri, prayers of Taraweeh and some delicious meals for Iftar are the gifts of Ramadan.
Iftar parties are quite common in Ramadan where families and friends get an excuse to sit together and spend some good time with their loved ones. Reciting Quran, Naat Khuwani and extra efforts for prayers are quite common in this month.
Special arrangements for Iftar including Pakoray, Samosay, Dahi baray, fruit chats and juices doubles the excitement of this holly month in Pakistan.
Unfortunately, Unlikely other Muslim countries in Pakistan effective measures to provide discounted meals and other food commodities are not made practical. Prices of food commodities go on peak in this month as their utilization is more and more. Fruits, chicken, vegetables and food item prices always hike up despite government announcements of special Ramadan discounts and rate list. It seems to be now quite a common practice by the retailers to earn high profits as the ‘AWAAM’ has no other option.
Wholesalers and retailers, particularly of fruits and vegetables, enjoy a free hand to fleece the consumers in Holy month despite of all the claims of officials. Fruits and vegetable prices at the advent of the Holy month of Ramadan went spiraling high by 80 to 100 percent sometimes more. More than 25 daily commodities like sugar, rice, pulses, chicken, beef, mutton, vegetables and fruit prices shot up in local markets without any reason or explanation.
Currently Pakistan is facing quite major problems which might increase difficulties for the citizens in Ramadan. Load shedding, Hike in prices including petroleum and other commodities and terrorism are on the top amongst them.
Public gatherings in Ramadan, Milads, taraweeh prayers and iftar parties are always under security threats by the terrorists. Long hours of load shedding makes fasting difficult for the people also power shortage on Sehr and Iftar timings create lot of difficulties too.
This Ramadan the Punjab government has announced to establish as many as 350 Ramadan Bazaars, 350 fair price shops and 1,000 soup kitchens in the province, so people can buy subsidized food during the month of Ramadan. Free sehri and iftari would be served at hospitals, railways stations, labor colonies and katchi abadis as well.
The Sindh High Court has decided to give special magisterial powers to deputy commissioners across the province so they can keep an eye on price hikes too.
I hope this Ramadan government takes proper security measures. As terrorism is another major obstacle to deal with, the newly formed government is going to witness their first Ramadan in Pakistan if all goes well; I think it is going to be a great achievement for them.
RAMADAN MUBARAK !