For many young Pakistanis, Ramadan is about redemption
By Faisal Aziz
KARACHI (Reuters Life!) - For many young Pakistanis, the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan heralds a lifestyle change, albeit a temporary one.
Less partying and more prayers are the norm in Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, and even for many of the country's liberal, western-oriented youth, it is a chance to seek redemption.
"There is something different about Ramadan, and you feel like praying more and getting closer to Allah during the month," said Noman Sayeed, a telecom company executive.
"I cut down on other activities, including watching television and films, to offer prayers regularly as well as recite the Holy Koran and ask for forgiveness for whatever sins I commit all around the year," he said.
Ramadan requires Muslims to fast from dawn to dusk, and Islamic scholars -- citing the Koran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad -- say any good deed during the month gets rewarded much more than the rest of the year.
Cinemas are almost empty in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, and there is limited social activities other than iftars, the communal meals to break the fast.
Amina Ansari, a 26-year old energy sector executive, said she had been brought up in a household where nearly everyone fasted and prayed more at Ramadan.
"It means a lot in the sense that I feel it is the time of the year when usually my bond with Allah becomes stronger and chances of Him listening to me become higher," she said. Continued...