New Delhi, April 26 : The month of Ramadan, observed by followers of Islam as a holy month, has set in. Coinciding with the pan-India lockdown this year, has author and historian Rana Safvi seeing it as a chance to observe a simple Ramadan -- the way it should be.
"This 'roza' (fast) does not just mean staying hungry and thirsty from dawn to dusk. It is a month of spirituality. It is a fast also of your eyes, where you see no evil or let yourselves be tempted towards anything which is evil. A fast should also extend to your heart and mind. You should think of good things, you should spend your time in devotion and piety and doing acts of charity," states Safvi.
"It is a month of how Ramadan is meant to be, where you keep your fast and you introspect. A lot of introspection is supposed to be done, but because we are busy rushing around, this doesn't happen, even though the fast and feast parts do," adds Safvi, who has authored multiple books on the history of Delhi.
Ask her what and how it is going to be different this year, now that Ramadan falls during the lockdown, she tells IANSlife over phone: "This year, we are all going to be at home, at least for a major part of it till the lockdown opens. This year there are not going to be iftaar parties, people are not going out to eat sehri (pre-dawn meal) and iftaar (post-dusk meal). We are going to have it very simply at home, and that is how it is supposed to be. It's going to be more about feasting your mind on spirituality." Since one of the key principles during this holy month is charity, Safvi thinks that although it may be difficult this year, "we have to think of ways of how to do it digitally".
Personally, Safvi is engaging her followers - who are quite sizable by the number - on various social media platforms and making the best out of what the internet has to offer. She is also taking online courses and interviewing authors on her social media.
This is the time to introspect, meditate on spirituality and to do what we never had the time to earlier, because of continuing busy schedules.
What can be our lessons both from Ramadan and the lockdown? Frugality, she says.
"One big lesson is cut down on unnecessary spending, cut down on going out and anything that is not essential." (Siddhi Jain can be contacted at email@example.com)