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50 degrees heat during 15 hours fasting in Pakistan

“Weather is extra ordinarily hot this year, and more heat is about to strike next month,” said Gulzar Hussein

Source : OnIslam / 30 Jun 2014

Expecting temperatures to hit fifty degrees, Pakistanis are bracing for a "scorching" Ramadan as many parts of the country will be in grip of blistering heatwave in July, the hottest month in Pakistan.

“Weather is extra ordinarily hot this year, and more heat is about to strike next month,” Gulzar Hussein, a vendor at Karachi’s busiest Empress Market told OnIslam.net.

Cleaning drops of sweats that rolled down his face with a small towel that he permanently placed at his shoulder throughout the day, Gulzar said he had witnessed such a hot weather during this period of the year after a long time.

“I do not recall that when I witnessed such a stifling weather in my life. Perhaps, many many years ago,” Gulzar who celebrated his 67th birthday last December said.

The Meteorology office too forecasts an unprecedented hot weather in July this year apparently due to climate change. It also predicts lesser rains in this monsoon season, which raises the chance of more heat in July.

Gulzar, however, appears to be undaunted by the expected hot weather during Ramadan. Instead, he says he is fully ready to beat the heat.

“At least for Ramadan, I do not consider myself an old man,” he said in a lighter vein with a wide smile on his bearded face.

“I understand that it is very hard to spend 16 hours in this hot and sultry weather without water. But, it will give you an opportunity to better understand the bounties of Allah,” Gulzar said.

Ghulam Mohammad, a laborer from Lyari, a southern slum area of Karachi too is ready to test his nerves against heat.

“I am all set to face the hot weather. In fact, it will give you more inner strength, and zeal to observe fasting in an non-conducive atmosphere,” Mohammad told OnIslam.net.

“More difficulties during fasting man more reward. Therefore, I welcome the hot weather as it contains more reward for me,” he added.

Mohammad, however, is little worried about frequent power outages that may add to the difficulties of common citizens in this hot season, especially for those who will be fasting.

Various parts of the country, particularly rural areas are currently facing 8 to 10 hours electricity load shedding, making life miserable for citizens.

“Even if the government ensure availability of electricity during Sohour (pre-dawn meal known in Pakistan as Sehri), and Iftar (breaking the fasting), I will be happy,” a humble Mohammad said.

Fasting Arrangements

Using traditional food and syrups to maintain the water level in body, Pakistanis have been adopting conventional and unconventional ways to beat the heat.

Lassi, a mixture of water and milk, and mixture of yogurt and water, is the favorite drink of Pakistanis, especially in rural areas at Sohour and Iftar.

A Salty mixture of milk, and icy water is called katchi Lassi is usually used at Iftar time, which copes with the shortage of minerals in the body. Whereas yogurt Lassi is the favorite drink of Sohour time.

Milk and yogurt shops remain open at Sohour time as many prefer to use the fresh supply of these commodities.

In desert and rural parts, which make up 70 per cent of Pakistan, men wear turban permanent during day time to save their heads from scorching heat as temperature rise to 52 degrees in southern and northeastern parts of the country that border Thar and Cholistan deserts.

Women keep the bed sheets soaked with water during daytime to beat the heat, and avoid exposing children to sun.

Youths prefer to spend day at canals, and swimming pools to keep themselves cool.

“These all tactics are aimed at to beat the heat. But let me tell you, your inner strength and trust in Allah are the best things that help you bear the hot weather,” Gulzar, the Karachi-based vendor observed.

“So let the hot weather come to test our nerves, and enthusiasm. We are awaiting that,” a confident Gulzar said.

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, is expected to start on Saturday in North America according to astronomical calculations.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.

It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur'an.

Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.

According to Pakistan meteorological department, Ramadan moon is likely to be sighted on June 29, 2014.

 

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