Ramadan 2020: The meaning of iftar and sehri
In the last week of April, Muslims all over the world shall start observing fasts for Ramadan. Ramadan goes on for AROUND one month and it is believed that it was during the night of Laylat al-Qadr that the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Praise Be Upon Him) for the first time.
It is believed that during Ramadan, all the devils are locked up with chains in hell and the gates of heaven are open, no one can disturb those who are busy praying to Allah.
During Ramadan, many Muslims pray to Allah and fast, which is called sawm or roza in India and Pakistan. These fasts symbolise the devotion of these people Muslims towards the Almighty. For the time period of this month, Muslims let go of worldly pleasures and extravagant behaviour and spending, and observe the fast along with their friends and family.
They wake up in the early hours of the morning to eat Sehri. Sehri comprise foods such as dates, fruits, milk and sweet vermicelli. Then till sunset they do not eat anything, observing their fast. They also do not drink water during this time period.
In the evening, people who have been fasting throughout the day break their fast with dates. If dates are not available, anything sweet or simply water will also do. This is followed by Maghrib prayer. It is believed that even Prophet Muhammad broke his fast with dates-according to some legends, he had three dates and some water.
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After this there is iftar, which is when the spread includes all sorts of delicacies such as kebabs, tikkas, biryani and nihari in the evening. There are also desserts such as sheer khurma, which is a milky pudding that is made with vermicelli and saffron. There are also other options such as kheer and phirni. Shahi tukda, khlaja baklava and khlaja pheni are some other popular desserts.