Ramzan, observed according to the lunar calendar moves forward by 10 to 11 days every year

As Ramzan begins fasting through long hot summer days poses formidable challengeImage for representation/Pixabay
news Ramzan Saturday, June 04, 2016 - 18:55

The holy month of Ramzan is set to arrive in the first week of June, and even as Hyderabadis prepare for it, there is some concern about the difficulty entailed in maintaining the fast this year. With Ramzan falling in the peak of summer, this year, they worry not only about the hotter than average temperatures but also that the fasting period each day is extended, thanks to the longer days of summer.

Ramzan, observed according to the lunar calendar moves forward by 10 to 11 days every year. In those years when Ramzan falls during the winter, the days are short and cool, which makes the month-long fast more manageable, but during summers the long, hot days are very arduous.

25-year-old Sohail Khan, a fitness trainer from Somajiguda, for instance, says that particularly for people like him engaged in physical work throughout the day, going so many hours without water is very difficult. “My day starts at 3am; we have to finish eating by 3.30 or 4am and after eating we have to offer prayers. Then my job starts early in the morning, as when it comes to fitness workouts people generally prefer to do them in the morning so I can’t sleep again.”

He adds that because of the long day of fasting, his own training schedules get disrupted, which further affects the rest of his day. “In the month of Ramadan I often do my work out after 11pm every day, as I only get some energy after eating sometime after 7.30pm. And as we have to get up early we also don’t get proper sleep.”

“It’s not an easy task to observe the fast in summers, but as our timings completely depend on the weather, we are helpless.  Every year the timings (duration of the fast) are increasing: last year it was 14 hours and this year it is 15 hours. Next year Ramadan may come in the month of May so it may become more difficult for us,” Sohail adds.

Like Suhail, many others admit that fast in the summer is a difficult proposition especially if temperatures continue to stay on the higher side. 23-year-old KS Rehan a Digital Marketer says, “This summer is going to be tough for us during the month of Ramadan, as even with the increase in temperatures we can’t consume water.” However, he adds, irrespective of the difficulty, one cannot skip the fast.

Many preparing for the holy month see the situation stoically. 44-year-old Mohammad Azam Khan, an Associate Editor of a magazine says, “Obviously it is difficult as we have to only eat after its dark or before sunrise, and in summer the days are very long. But we get used to it in two or three days. And it isn’t only fasting for a month, it is a test to prove your faith towards Allah.”

Similarly, 19-year-old student Mohammed Jowkar, says, ‘’Yes it is a little difficult, but it doesn’t matter how long the roza is. If you pray and fast from your heart you will never feel the time. In Iran, people are fasting for 18 hours for the past four years so it’s more difficult for them.”

Doctors advise that those undertaking the fast should take more care to ward off the possible stresses of summer. General Physician, Dr Malleswara Rao, for instance, suggests, ''Stay in cooler areas and limit physical activity, as even healthy people can be affected by fasting. Keep drinking water once the fast is broken, drinking 8-10 glasses by bedtime. Mostly avoid deep fried and spicy food. Consume a good quantity of fresh fruits and nuts and avoid gorging when breaking the fast.”