Get-hooked May 22, 2020
India’s disabled community find ways to get closer to God during holy month of Ramzan
Ramzaan or Ramadan as many like to call it is here. The holy month of fasting and prayers is nearing to an end. Muslims from across the world are gearing up to celebrate the auspicious festival. For people with disabilities, following religious practices like fasting can be a challenge. But they are doing their bit to get closer to God. Read on to know more about how India’s disabled community practiced the holy month.
The auspicious festival of Ramadan is here. People from Muslim community across the globe is all set to celebrate the festival. Due to Coronavirus crisis, celebrations are going to be low-key. But that does not dampen the spirits of the millions of Muslims around the world. Cherishing peace, brotherhood and love, this Ramadan too is special.
India’s disabled community is actively participating in all the festivities. From fasting to giving charity, they are doing their bit this year. People with disabilities speaks to Newzhook about how the past one month of fasting was to them. Medical issues, tiredness or their disabilities did not come in the way of getting closer to God.
What is Ramzan?
Ramzan is the ninth month of Islamic calendar. For 30 days, Muslims across the world fast and pray as a means to get closer to God. This is also the month where the Quran is believed to have been revealed to Prophet Mohammed.
‘Fasting’ that lasts from sunrise to sunset is one of the most important practices of the holy month. Not having food or even drinking water for over 12 hours is indeed a huge challenge. But the beauty of sacrifice lies there. Most people read Quran throughout the day. But for those who are studying or working, fasting is the ideal way to do their bit during the holy month of Ramadan.
By giving away for charity and helping those in need, Muslims celebrate the holy month by indulging in different activities.
Beating all challenges to celebrate the holy month
In spite of the many challenges, there are people with disabilities who fast.
Amongst them is Sakeer Hussain, a 54-year-old wheelchair user from Kerala. Sakeer makes sure he fasts every year during the holy month. This time was not any different. “This time the Coronavirus crisis is also there. I do have medicines that I must take without fail. During this one month, I take them before and after fasting. The first few days are hard. But then, you get used to it. In the last one month, we got a lot of rains in Kerala and the weather was cool and nice. So that made fasting easier”, he says.
Zeenath Sadar, another wheelchair user from Kerala has been following all the religious practices including fasting without fail. “The first few days might be challenging. But then, our body gets used to it. You gradually feel great. Apart from religious reasons, fasting is a great break to your body too. You do not eat unhealthy foods”, she says.
Fasting need not be for all
There are many disabled people who are unable to fast this month due to health issues. That does not make them any lesser devotees. The Quran also says that those with health problems need not fast. Instead, they can make it up or feed a hungry person. Many disabled people often come across advice asking them to try harder to fast. It might even lead to guilt for many. It is okay to be unable to fast.
37-year-old Shameer, who is a wheelchair user from Kozhikode is amongst those who did not fast. “I used to fast every year. But this time, I couldn’t due to health issues. I have a spinal cord injury. My health condition demands drinking a lot of water. Otherwise it will affect my bladder. But I’am doing my bit to get closer to God during this time”, he says.
Zeba Hashmi, based in Ahmedabad has an 11 year old son Affan with multiple disabilities. Affan is not fasting. Zeba says, “Fasting is only for those who are physically and mentally fit. It is said that there are two angels who sit on our shoulders to keep a track of our good and bad deeds. In the case of our children, there are no angels. They will not be held responsible for any of their acts. Hence, for them, fasting is not needed”, she says.
One thing that every person, irrespective of whether they fast or not says is to, ‘Think and act good during the holy month’.