[Faithful offering Friday prayers at Jama Masjid in Malegaon during the month of Ramadan in 2017. (File photo/ummid.com)]
Mumbai: Weathermen predicted hottest season this summer in India. But even they are now surprised over the alarmingly high temperature and the heat wave which has taken into its grip some parts of the country, especially Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
However, as temperature soared to new heights in the last three days so did the stamina, determination, devotion and belief of the faithful who are fasting for more than 15 hours in India – among the regions in the world with longest fasting hours.
According to the local Meteorological Department (IMD) Nagpur, Malegaon, Parbhani, Amravati and Wardha – all having sizeable Muslim populations, are among the top ten hottest cities in India.
The local Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said Bramhapuri and Chadrapur recorded a maximum temperature of 47.5 degree Celsius and topped the list of the hottest places in the county. They are followed by Nagpur, which recorded a maximum temperature of 46.2 degree Celsius, and Malegaon in North Maharashtra, known as the City of Mosques, which sizzled at 46 degree Celsius on Monday.
Wardha, Adilabad, Prabhani and Amravati in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, respectively recorded a maximum temperature of 45.8, 45.1, 45 and 44.8 degrees on Monday. Incidentally, these cities are also among the places where Muslims are fasting for longest hours during this Ramadan.
Other cities in the list of top ten hottest cities in India are Bundi, Sawai Madhopur and Chittorgarh in Rajasthan.
Heat wave has also taken into its grip Karachi in neighboring Pakistan where temperature soared to 44 degree Celsius on Sunday. Among the countries in the world where temperature crossed 45 degree Celsius this summer is only the Mezaira area of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Meteorological Department in India (IMD) last week said this May is warmer than that of 1985. The department is also predicting that the heat wave will continue for whole of the ongoing week. Ramadan comes in the month of May – normally the hottest month in the Indian subcontinent, every 30-33 years.
The intense and scorching heat has not dampened the spirit of faithful, including small children, who are fasting from dawn to dusk as part of the tradition during the 30 days of Ramadan. “Intense heat, but we are enjoying the Ramadan fast”, Altaf Ahmed, a local Muslim, said while talking to ummid.com.
To combat the heat wave, children are seen playing with spray bottles filled with water while men would walk out only after covering their head with white clothes. Fortunately for them, majority of the mosques are installed with water coolers and some even with Air Conditioning System, and they try to spend most of their time inside the mosques.
Not everyone however is so lucky. People, who are working on fields and in textiles and other factories, have no relief, and fasting under such a condition is really a challenge for them. “Somehow we work till 04:00 pm. After that it becomes impossible to continue”, Abdur Razzaq, a weaver, said. Abdur Razzaq (52) is working in a textile factory since he was 24. He was 19 when the last time Ramadan – the Holy month of fasting, fell in May.
“This summer is warmer and fasting is even harder than the last time”, he recalled.
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