Mobiles replace wake-up call for pre-Ramzan fast meal


Bhopal : “Roza rakhne walon jag jao, Sehri ka waqt ho chuka hai (Wake up all those who have to keep the fast, it’s time for breakfast) — the call from an old “Sehri Awakener” which used to awaken people during the Ramzan month is now yielding place to mobile phones.

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“In the changing times, the place of the sehri awakeners has been taken by mobile phones as friends and relative – mostly in urban areas – now call each other in the morning to wake them up. This is considered as pious work as per Islamic beliefs,” said Razi Hassan, a computer vendor here.

However, Hassan said the age old practice has not completely disappeared. “At a few places in the dense city areas, one can still hear the loud call to wake up people for Sehri (the meal eaten in the morning but before the fast),” he said.

Those who used to awaken people for fasting mostly used to be old men who did the job not only for piety but for some monetary benefits too. However, mobiles have come to replace their services as their reach is far better than the man calling from outside your house or on a loudspeaker from the mosque.

“When fast asleep, we often used to miss the call from the mosque but that is not the case with the mobile phones,” said Noor Jehan who keeps all the fasts during Ramzan even though she is nearing 70 years of age.

“Times have changed and so have the modes of communication. Forget calls from friends and relatives for Sehri. Now even some service providers have started providing this service,” said Rehbar Jaunpuri, an Urdu poet.

“You only need to register on their website with complete details and the service provider would awaken you at the prescribed time, that too free of cost as it is not a service to you but to God,” Jaunpuri said.

“The tradition of call for Sehri is gradually coming to an end also because no one among the younger generation seem to be too keen to take on the difficult job of roaming the streets and calling out to wake up the people,” said Arif Aqueel, a local legislator.

“They also feel shy in doing so. Moreover, the youngsters are more receptive to the latest techniques and find mobile alarms and calls more suitable,” said Abdul Masood, a local politician.