Ramadan Walk at Jama Masjid
My memory of Ramadan as a festival and fast goes way back to college where I had a friend who used to fast during Ramadan. I couldn’t have possibly imagined the hardship that he used to go through during fasting partly because he never made a big deal out of it. I was too naive to understand that it was also a part of his conduct which made everything looks so easy. From the little discussions that we had around fasting I only remember him saying “It is the test of your patience and self-control. It is about the mettle which abstains you from enjoying the pleasures of world even though all of them are available at your footsteps.” After college the closest I went to Ramadan as a festival was in Malaysia. It was one of the biggest and grandest festivals which was celebrated with a lot of fervor. So one fine day when I got the opportunity to be a part of the Ramadan walk at Jama Masjid I nodded instantly in agreement. Though I got my slot booked at the last moment but I am so glad I could be a part of it.
I have never been inside a Mosque before, not even at the common assembly area. This was first and to my fortune the debut was done at one the best Mosques in India, the Jama Masjid in New Delhi. It was a group sixteen travel and history enthusiast who embraced this exciting Ramadan Walk at Jama Masjid. We all met at the entrance of the mosque from there we moved in a single big group. We paid Rupees 300 to take the camera inside the mosque, which I thought was a little pricey but nothing I can do about it. The walk started with the Imam of the mosque showing us Prophet Muhammad’s hair strand, his satchel and his footprint engraved in stone. He also showed us some of Quran’s verses, all of these things were nicely secured in wood and glass frames. We were then escorted to the courtyard of the mosque and the walk was then taken over by Dr. Navina Jafa who is an a cultural activist and heritage enthusiast.
Dr. Navina Jafa then enlightened us with few interesting facts about Jama Masjid. It is one of the biggest mosques in India and is designed articulately and differently from all the other creations of Shah-Jahan. One of the common feature of any of Shah-Jahan’s creation is the existence of four minarets but Jama Masjid has just two minarets. Isn’t it an surprising trivia and the reason behind this is that Jama Masjid was built over a hill and the from no angle you would be able to tell that there are just two minarets, until you know it already. Also Jama Masjid is itself synonyms to the strongest foundation of secularism, if you are wondering how then let me tell you that Jama Masjid is located between Hindu dominated and Muslim dominated area making it the perfect example of secularism and harmony.
After a short while we were left to wander in the mosque and shoot our heart out. Jama Masjid is a photographer’s delight. The perfect sunset and mesmerizing hues gave all of us amazing silhouette shots of the mosque. Soon it was the iftaar (breaking of fast) time and I witnessed hundreds of families feasting together. After such a long hot and humid day the content of sipping on water was clearly visible on everyone’s face. After quenching our thirst for some good shots we all headed out of Jama Masjid from gate no.1.
We then made our way through the nicely lit up boisterous lanes of Chandani Chowk. We literally brushed every other person on the road. It was jam packed and the revelry was all in air. The aroma of festivities was evident in the form of varied colors as well as on the smiling faces.
Have you visited Jama Masjid during Ramadan, if yes then do share your stories and if no then this is the right time to pay a visit. You can thank me later. 🙂