Abdulbaqi, IOL Correspondent
in Afghanistan, as is almost typical of other Muslim countries, witnessed this year some old traditions on their way to disappearing,
while others are setting a solid foot in the turbulent country.
traditions have gone through some changes in Ramadan. These include how often Afghans complete reciting the Noble Qur’an
during Tarawih prayers.
the era of jihad against the Soviet invasion, those memorizing Qur’an were few and they’d finish recitation every
two or three days in Ramadan.
IslamOnline.net correspondent says that due to the Muslim tide following
the anti-Soviet jihad, the number of Qur’an memorizers multiplied and the old method of completing Qur’an recitation
in two or three days no longer exists.Qur’an Courses
Ramadan-related tradition widely spread in some parts of Afghanistan and in refugee camps in Pakistan, is the Qur’an
interpretation courses that start in mid-Sha`ban up to the end of Ramadan.
are usually divided to three stages, according to the degree of their specialization. The first focuses on teaching Shari`ah
sciences to students and graduates of religious schools. This stage is rare and carried out only by senior scholars.
of the second stage are also intended for students and graduates of religious schools, but consider the presence of some of
the public. These are similarly limited.
stage or type of religious course is the one attended by the public, where people get acquainted with Islam's instructions
month of fasting represents a great significance for Afghans. The average Afghan deems inexcusable eating or drinking during
Ramadan to be synonymous to atheism.
Pakistanis, Afghans are of the view that once any Muslim country sees the crescent, Muslims all over the world should start
fasting. Hence, they fast and celebrate the `Eid on the same days as Saudi Arabia.
Consequently, points of dispute are clear in the regions where
Afghan immigrants reside in Pakistan, as Afghans, for example, start fasting while Pakistanis do not.Mass Iftar
in mosques is one Afghan Ramadan tradition that has recently declined.
Qur’an interpretation courses, meanwhile, are the most prominent among the new phenomena accompanying Ramadan recently.
correspondent says that mass iftar banquets in mosques form an Afghan tradition currently vanishing in Afghan towns
but still ongoing in villages.
villagers gather in the mosque to have iftar together. Their food typically contains spinach, potatoes or some sort
of local vegetables.
gather in Afghan villages in a wide yard immediately before the call for Maghrib Prayers, as if waiting to break their fast.
CampsIn Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, iftar is no
longer collective, but rather individual, as every man breaks his fast at home using dates and bakoura, a well-known Pakistani
dish, as well as vegetables and juice.
of the phenomenon of mass iftar in refugee camps is due to the fact that camps comprise people from different areas
of Afghanistan with different traditions and dishes.
so far failed to indulge in new social traditions unique of such temporary communities.
of Afghan refugees in Pakistan is estimated at 800,000 to 1,000,000 living in the four Pakistani provinces, particularly the
northwestern border province.
in Afghanistan mostly have their sahur early. There is no particular system to wake people for having their sahur, but where
there are mosques with loudspeakers, the job is easily done.
have a complete sahur meal including cooked vegetables, bread prepared especially for sahur, and green tea, which is deemed
an integral part of the late night Ramadan meal.
the most deeply-rooted traditions is Afghans’ keenness on performing prayers in mosques during Ramadan.
due to the fact that people during other months perform their prayers individually in their fields or work sites.
Tarawih, mosques teem with worshipers. Also the majority of people stay awake after sahur to recite the Qur’an until