Ramadan away from home: My kids are missing Iftar fun with their cousins

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Ramadan away from home: My kids are missing Iftar fun with their cousins

Ali pointed to the comforts, facilities and environment that the UAE provides Muslims in terms of working hours and fasting-friendly rules.

By Saman Haziq


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Published: Sat 18 May 2019, 9:57 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 May 2019, 12:00 AM

Hussain Abbas Ali, who hails from a small town called Ujjain in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, has been calling the UAE home since 1992. Hussain said although he misses being with his parents and other relatives in Ujjain, Ramadan in the UAE has its own charm.
"I miss spending time with my parents and relatives in Ujjain, especially during the holy month. Also my children miss having fun with their cousins during Iftar, Suhoor and the times when we'd all sit together and supplicate. But we feel lucky that we have been given a chance to make Dubai our home, and spending Ramadan here has never been any less fulfilling or joyous," said Ali, who stays in Dubai with his wife and two children.
A Bohra Muslim, Ali pointed to the comforts, facilities and environment that the UAE provides Muslims in terms of working hours and fasting-friendly rules. Ali and his family usually open their fasts with their community members at a nearby mosque. "All four of us usually reach our nearby Bohra community mosque a little before Iftar. We have a community hall at the mosque where we all sit on the floor in a traditional way with a tablecloth (dastarkhwan) spread on the floor for us and a huge steel plate called thaal with all the dishes in it. We go to mosque to pray in jamaat where we break our fast with dates and milk. This is then followed by dinner (mostly biryani) that we have all together."
Ali also hosts Iftar at home for his extended family and friends, where they huddle together and sit on a dastarkhwan. His wife then gets a big thaal with some typical Ujjaini dishes in it such as jiggery sherbet, gakher gosht (bread and mutton curry), kalamra (a sweet dish), custard and cut fruits. The traditional way of opening the fast is to first say Bismillah (in the name of Allah) and then everyone tastes a pinch of white salt to "normalise their taste" and then they get on to the Iftar snacks.
Speaking about how Ramadan in the UAE is different to that of Ujjain, Ali said:
"Here, we make more of non-vegetable snacks and dishes during Iftar, but in Ujjain, we would mostly just have vegetable cutlets and samosas. The main food dish remains gakhar gosht and the drink is jiggery sherbet that has a great cooling effect."
Talking about the importance of the holy month, Ali said: "It's been a tradition in our family that every night, we have a majlis for reading and memorising the Holy Quran and donating the surplus food we have so that at least in this blessed month no one goes to bed hungry."
saman@khaleejtimes.com



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