Pune: Nearly 200 people gathered at the historic Haji Mekkeshah Masjid at Deccan Gymkhana corner to break their fast right after sunset following the religious observances of Ramadan on Saturday.
Iftar is often celebrated by a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is taken right after Maghrib time, which is around sunset.
The All-Pune Masjid Action Committee (APMAC) held the free Iftar party where Dalcha, Chola, mughlai paratha (stuffed with minced meat and spices), pitha, Halim, dates, samosas, Dal Puri (a type of lentil based savoury pastry) and different types of fruits, such as watermelons and bananas, were served following the Iftar sirens and adhan.
“Through this month we give our humble prayers to Allah and observe this fast through the day with complete sincerity. To keep this fast and then break it following adhan, makes this religious experience all the more special for us as we all sit together and enjoy our meal. A sense of community and belonging is felt,” said Liyakat Khan, present during the Iftar party at Deccan corner.
Preparations for Iftar commenced hours before the Iftar sirens at Deccan. Roadside stalls were also set up where observers could buy their food of choice outside the mosque. “The fast can be broken by eating dates or drinking water, if the former is not available,” added Khan.
This year in Pune, Iftar is being celebrated with huge jolt and is being enjoyed tremendously through the city. It is the perfect time for succulent kebabs, sweet something’s and meaty treats for the fasting and the foodies.
Shariff Caterers near Poona College is one of the many places serving delicious Chicken Kababs — shredded chicken with mayonnaise and bits of capsicum and grated carrots. The other specials here are the mutton chops and Kadi Gosht — a mutton strip hammered absolutely thin and fried in egg batter.
Other places to visit for Iftar delicacies are Imdadi at Baba Jaan chowk, Alifiya Caterers at Kausar Baugh, NIBM Rd, Kondhwa, New India at Ravivar Peth and Food Art Caterers at Salunke Road.
Iftar is being celebrated around the world; US President Barack Obama has praised Muslim-Americans for their contributions in helping build the country when he hosted an Iftar party at the White House. “Ramadan is a time of reflection, a chance to demonstrate ones devotion to God through prayer and through fasting, but it’s also a time for family and friends to come together,” said Obama addressing the gathering.
A special time in the Muslim calendar through the month as the ongoing festival continues. ‘Oh Allah! It is for thee that I observe fast and it is with Thine blessing that I break it,’ – prayer at the time of Iftar.