Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Iftar Time

Sunset is just around the corner, and you are at an iftar party, getting ready to break the fast. If you were a non-Muslim observer, you would think the ritual is pretty simple, right? At the appointed time, eat and the fast is broken - voila! Alas! If it was only so simple. Observe.

"So what time is the iftar today?" One uncle asks.

"7.20." The host dutifully answers.

"Are you sure?" Another queries. "Yesterday it was 7.22."

"Well, it's different everyday..." Yet another starts to explain.

"I read somewhere it's 7.15 today." A kid offers, probably hungry.

"I have the paper of timings." The host announces decisively, before triumphantly flashing a flier in front of the crowd. On one side is the advert for the local butcher for chicken legs at 1.49 per pound. On the flip side are the timings, as attested by the local mosque. 7.20 it says. Surely, that is that, you think? Nope, the fun has just begun.

"Only three more minutes." The host announces.

"Surely you are wrong." The first uncle again objects. "My watch has 7.16 now."

"My watch is correct." Says a third. "It's now 7.18."

"I set my watch by 680 news," The host desperately cuts in, "and it's now 7.17."

"680 news!!!" Suddenly an older gent who everyone has ignored till now exclaims in a loud voice. He is usually ignored because he can be trusted to forever interject with politically incorrect comments (usually about Jews), and true to form he doesn't disappoint.

"680 news time is wrong! It's a Jewish conspiracy to make us Muslims break our fast one minute early!"

There is silence for a minute, then the host exclaims, "7.20! It's time. OK I am going."

The sight of him filling his plate with with delicious food is soon too much and everyone joins in, whether is 7.20 by their watch or not.

On to the next debate - the Maghreb prayer - and which direction is REALLY the Qiblah.


NAB said...

aah mezb, you crack me up!

'liya said...

Hehe.. the kid who offers the "7:15" sounds like my sister :D

My family has always listened to a radio show that plays the adhan when it's time to break fast ... of course, they do mention that depending on where you live there could be a few minutes of time difference!

mousehunter said...

HAHA...too funny. With us we just wait until somebodys loudly exclaims "OK IT's TIME". At home I use my cable box to determine what time it is, since most companies use an atomic clock to sync with. As for what time iftar is....the timing sheet from the local masjid with meat shop ads is the way :)

Anonymous said...

I use my cable box too, coz one of the kids *banged* on the computer on the weekend and the adhan didn't *come* up! I was breaking my fast while dh was busy trying to figure out why the adhan on the computer was not working(and kids all on the computer trying to help too). It's crazy in my house too during iftar time, I have 2 young kids and you just can't eat your meal well! :(
I remember when I was younger, we would all *surround* the found(kids)about 5 minutes b4 the adhaan and some of us would start *hearing* adhan and try to break our fasts. :-)sf

Anonymous said...

LOL.... funny :)


Anonymous said...

We don't have that problem here in London. We just switch on the adam radio for our local mosque and voila, the adan goes and you break your fast!

No, our problem is the never ending question of, 'Is it time yet?', 'No.', 'Is it time yet?', 'No.', 'Is it time yet?'... you get the drift.

Anonymous said...

*food. sf :(

mystic-soul said...

good one

Elyria said...

Just set your adhaan clock and be done with it.

The real arguments I've noticed occur after you eat your date. Someone is always arguing over whether or not they should pray first or eat iftaar.

Is it better to speed read so you can get to the good pakoras first or gorge yourself with everything on the table so it's impossible to get up from sajdah (not to mention the gas produced from eating said pakoras)?

Sumera said...


We just switch the radio on and wait for the adhaan to go :D

mezba said...

Nab: always a pleasure.

Liya: what radio station was this, with adhan? We have them in Canada?

Mousehunter: God bless Rogers digital cable box for the time.

Sf: when we were younger, it was much simpler. Just the adhan from the mosque! Then again, each mosque did give the adhan slightly differently ...

Behbood: :-D

Anon: you are lucky. lol

Sf: chicken wings....mmm....

Mystic-soul: thanx.

Elriya: the problem is our adhaan clock timings does not exactly gel with the local mosque timings.

Sumera: so Britishers have an adhaan radio too? lucky.

Anonymous said...

mezba, i'm so glad you're back and blogging again. funny stuff man! lol.

in cairo i just listen for the azaan and pop a date in as soon as i hear it :)


Safiah! said...

I live in Toronto and am Bengali and never had that experience. Ever. Reflections on Islam forever!!! "This is Reflections on Islam coming to you on CJRN 7.10, everyday for half an hour before Magrib sunset time, on the blessed occasion of the month of Ramadan, and celebrations of Eid al Fitr, the feast after the fast.

Adhan al-Magrib, the call to Magrib prayer to break fast and perform the sunset prayer, according to Toronto local time. Those living outside the city should observe time differences"

YES I MEMORIZED IT after all those years of listening to Br Jaffry. AWWYESSS

mezba said...

Muse: :-)

Safia: I never heard of that radio! Which station was it on?