Saturday, August 03, 2013

On Iftar

Nobody posted pix of the food at the
White House Iftar?!!
This is the only kind of pic I could find.
There are two ways to break the fast, and the difference has to do with personal preference and physiology:

My mother is of the school that likes to break the fast and have a full meal immediately, and THEN pray.

I, on the other hand, cannot eat a full meal immediately, so I go with the traditional "iftar" first. This consists of a favorite hydration source—we South Asians are partial to a rose/rosemary drink sold under the brand "Rooh Afza" [which means "soul refresher/uplifting"], but I'd think the average American might just as well
use Gatorade or, for the hippies, coconut water ;)—and finger food (thus the mention of chaats, pakoray, samosay, and fried things from other cultures). After prayer (meaning 10-30 minutes), I like a full meal. And I am talking meat and potatoes-level stuff.

And a note on hydration: my grandfather would take a small half litter jug (think beer stein size, stuff it with ice and drown it with water and sip on it the rest of the evening. My dad added some lemon/lime to it to add absorption. I guess the modern equivalent would be to do lemon/lime infused water.

The traditional elders told us that the last moments of the fast are one of those times when prayers are heard. But if you just want to focus on the spiritual aspect, those last moments when you've cleansed yourself and forsaken physical pleasures for a whole day is a great time for introspection and prayer, or however you choose to meditate.

Alternatively and supplementarily, it is a time to enjoy and bond with good company, both before the breaking of the fast and during the sharing of the meal and the prayer.

As traditional fatwahs pointed out, WaAllahu Aalam, only a perfect Godhead can have (perfect) knowledge; the rest of us are just blind folk feeling up the cosmic elephant.

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