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Hyderabad, Ramadan, Iftaars, Haleem & Charminar!

September 12
23:33 2010

Holy Ramadan in Hyderabad

AQ Siddiqui
Come Ramadan and Hyderabad has a new air. No other Indian city has a flamboyant change of heart for Ramadan as Hyderabad reflects in India. For Muslims, shopping spree begins with Mid Ramadan.

For non-Muslims the taste of Haleem begins with the very first day of Ramadan. In fact, Ramadan is known for Haleem among Hyderabadi non-Muslims. The spicy cuisine is prepared by equal mixture of wheat and meat or chicken. Some call it “Do Ghosta Haleem” as the quantity of meat is double in comparison to wheat. Hyderabad Hindu-Muslim culture has a unique unity.

Beef is avoided by and large in Muslim management restaurants upholding the sentiments of Hindu brethren. Haleem is also prepared by goat meat or chicken only. Twenty years before you could see Haleem stalls only in Charminar area or few select hotels in Hyderabad or Secunderabad.

Now Hyderabadi Haleem is the synonym with Ramadan in city. There is no corner or spot in city where you will miss a “Haleem” stall coming to life just before fast breaking time.  Haleem is so popular now that it is exported daily to all Middle-East countries and part of Europe. “Pista House Haleem” the company is mailing Haleem packets to most countries outside India. Iftaar parties are the other side of Ramadan activities in Hyderabad. Social Iftaars, political Iftaars and even business Iftaars keep everyone busy for the last 2 weeks of Ramadan.

Most popular among all Iftaars is the traditional Iftaar by Majlis Etihad Ul Musleemeen (MIM) party. The political party that keeps Hyderabadi Muslims knotted to each other. As the month draws to the last ten days, religious activities get more momentum. The Odd nights prayers are carried out in mosques throughout the nights. 

Many Muslims take leave from jobs for last ten days of Ramadan in Hyderabad. There are thousands of Muslims visiting Hyderabad from Middle-East countries, U.S. and Canada for Ramadan. Shopping, along with religious fervor gets to its peak momentum for the last week of Ramadan as men, women and children throng to Charminar by-lanes for Eid shopping. 

Vehicular traffic, including public buses is suspended from Madinah building to the Charminar. Both sides, vendor put up their stalls for Eid Bazaar.  “Chute Ki Sewiyan” or those famous Hyderabadi bangles are mostly picked by shoppers.

The last Friday of Ramadan, Juma-tul-vida has its own significance. But in Hyderabad it is a special day. The Makkah Masjid close to Charminar gets the largest Friday congregation in the country with prayer lines stretched as far as to Madinah building a distance of almost two miles. Perhaps, Hyderabad and Ramadan has a traditional linkage which no other city in India reflects.

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