A large number of Muslims in Bhopal prefer to feast only on ‘vegetarian’ delicacies in daily ‘Iftar’ during Ramzan, a food trend which the locals say has been prevalent for long while observing fast in the holy month. According to prominent Muslims here, it is no novelty that most of them strictly eat vegetarian food to break their fast at ‘Iftar’ (meal eaten after sunset during Ramzan). “The practice of serving only vegetarian dishes and fruits during ‘Roza Iftar’ among Muslims in Bhopal, which once had been ruled for about two centuries by the Nawabs, has been very much in for the last several decades,” activist Abdul Jabbar said.
A native of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, banker Rameez Khan who moved to Bhopal, which has a sizable Muslim population, said it was quite astonishing for him to see Muslims feasting on fresh fruits, vegetarian snacks and sweets during Ramzan.
“I was transferred to Bhopal in 2004. I was taken aback when I found vegetables, fruits, dates, sweets and other food items in place of mutton and chicken kebabs being served at Iftar parties,” Khan said.
“I come from Aligarh where kebabs and non-vegetarian dishes take prominence at Iftar parties. I think this is possibly the only place where Muslims in large groups break their fast with vegetarian dishes,” he added.
Businessman Iqbal Baig said he and his friends organise Roza Iftars daily at the Iqbal Maidan, located in the old city, and they only serve vegetarian food items and the veg platter is consumed by a large number of people including Hindus.
Last week, RSS’s Muslim wing Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) served cow milk to fasting Muslims in Betul and Jabalpur districts and the response they got was highly encouraging.
Manch’s co-convenor S K Muddin had said cow milk has multiple benefits over beef, the “unhealthy” effects of which are endorsed even by Muslim scriptures.
He had said that cow milk digests easily and that is why it is given to the infants too.
“The Hadith (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) too says cow meat is very unhealthy and harmful for the body,” he said.
The Manch had said that they have plans to serve milk in each district of Madhya Pradesh during Ramzan.