Muslims in Kerala observe Ramadan fast (Lead)July 21st, 2012 - 4:37 pm ICT by IANS
Thiruvananthapuram, July 21 (IANS) Muslims in Kerala began their Ramadan fast after prayers early Saturday morning.
“This morning, we went to the mosque for the first prayer session, which took place at 5.30 a.m.,” said Sabry Hussain, an IT professional here.
He is among the growing number of young men and women from the state who have now started observing the tradition.
For the next 30 days, this would be the routine for the devout Muslims in the state.
“It (observing the fast) depends on the situation at home. In my team, some are Muslims and all of us observe the fast with seriousness,” Hussain said.
Rafi Abdul, who runs a real estate business, said that barring his wife who is feeding their new born, all the others at his home observed the fast.
“My daughter, who is 13, is also fasting. This is one occasion everyone looks forward to,” said Abdul.
Muslims are the second-largest religious community in Kerala after Hindus. The community constitutes nearly 24 percent of the state’s 3.2 crore population.
In Malappuram district, which has the highest number of Muslims in the state, Ramadan is observed the way it is in the Arab countries.
Across Kerala, hotels owned by Muslims stay closed during the day. They only open after dusk and see a rush of customers looking for the special Ramadan menu.
Likewise, kitchens in most Muslim homes are busy areas during Ramadan.
“Pathiri, made from rice or wheat flour, is one of commonest items. These are eaten with mutton, chicken, beef and fish. Steaming biryani is another popular dish,” said Rahamath Beevi, a school teacher.
Fruit traders also hope to do brisk business with most people preferring to break their daily fast with fruits and dates.
“Of course, this is one month where we get advance orders for the next 30 days from wealthy Muslims. Everyday we deliver fruits to their homes. We deliver mostly oranges, grapes, apples and papayas,” said K. Prakash, a fruit seller here.
Also, it has become common for political leaders and industrialists in the state to host lavish Ramadan feasts in the evenings.
However, according to a top politician who did not want to be named, the Indian Union Muslim League, a partner in the state’s ruling coalition, has told its ministers that if they hosted Ramadan feasts, these should be done at their own expense, not the exchequer’s.
The party has five ministers in the state cabinet.
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Tags: advance orders, arab countries, biryani, brisk business, estate business, first prayer, fruit seller, hindus, k prakash, muslims, mutton, oranges, papayas, prayer session, rafi, ramadan, religious community, school teacher, seriousness, wheat flour