Millions of thirsty – Ramadan in Afghanistan
Ramadan is one of the holy months in Islam which is practiced around the world by majority of the Muslims. Afghanistan having 99% Muslims, is one of the Islamic countries where Islam is respected and counted as their heritage and legacy. Besides that, most of the traditions and behaviors of its people are actually derived from the guidelines of Islam and Koran, the holy book.
How is Ramadan practiced in Afghanistan?!
I am living currently in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan and the most populated city of Afghanistan with nearly 8.5 million population twice a Scandinavian country’s population. I am in my summer vacation here and coincidentally I am spending my summer vacation in Ramadan. I am fascinated by the way the people of Kabul behaves in Ramadan. From early morning, around 3.00 AM, when the prayer calls echo all around Kabul till the early evening, when again the prayer calls voice all around Kabul at around 7.30 PM, all the eligible Muslims in Kabul are fasting. It means, they do not eat nor they drink unless they cannot tolerate.
In a temperature of around 40 degree Celsius, for a duration of about 17 hours, I found it very difficult to fast. The first days, I was about to break my fast although it is very restricted to break your fast unless you cannot tolerate anymore. But, I got very encouraged by the way people were behaving. Luckily, I did not have lots of things to do, so, I could shelter myself in a safer place, like my air-conditioned room, to have a good Ramadan but there were people who were standing in the horizon of sunshine but not drinking any pint or eating any locus. I got very encouraged by their courage in fasting!
Eid is a great followup to Ramadan which brings comfort to the people after a full month of fasting. Everyone gets ready for the coming Eid, after the end of Ramadan. Here, people are used to buy new clothes, paint their houses, renew anything old, starting to make peace with those whom they had fought and more peaceful acts in the escort of coming Eid. Even the prices rise because people of Kabul competes in hospitality. There is a heated competition over hospitality and they want to be the best hospitable. Eid is just a perfect transition for Muslims around the world, especially in Kabul. The picture below is a sample of how tables are laid in Eid for breaking a month of fast: