Situated in west Asia is the country of Iran, formerly known as Persia. With Tehran its capital, Iran is a developing country and also a regional power. Islam is the official religion and Farsi is the official language. Muslims constitute about 90-95 per cent of the Iranian population.
Ramadan is deeply followed by the Muslims in Iran. It is considered as the month to strengthen family bonds and thank the Almighty for His blessings. Gratitude, charity and spirituality are forms of worship. Muslims pray collectively during the holy month in mosques across the country where Iftar meals are also held. Many people spend generously during Ramadan to support the needs of the poor. Food, clothes and other items are distributed among the poor and under-privileged.
In Iran, eating, drinking and smoking in public is prohibited during the holy month. Coffee shops and restaurants are closed while working hours are reduced to make fasting easier for Muslims. They are expected to use the time to get closer to Allah and indulge in worship in the form of prayers or recitation of Holy Quran.
The meal consumed before dawn is known as “Sahari”, which varies from family to family. Some prefer hot meals while others eat bread, jam, cheese, and eggs. Many families also consume dates and hot tea.
According to Elham Pourmohammadi, a Tehran-based journalist, Iranians traditionally break their fast with dates and a cup of tea or hot water. Some families combine Iftar and dinner into one meal, while others prefer a gap between the two. Tea, bread, cheese, fresh vegetables, Zoolbia and Bamiyeh (two traditional Persian sweets coated in sugar syrup), Halva, Shole Zard (a sweet Iranian dessert made of rice, sugar, and saffron), Ash Reshteh, and Haleem as well as various kinds of soups are commonly served during Iftar time.
Photo courtesy – Masoomeh Mofidi/IRIB.ir
The young Iranian journalist added that children who have not reached the age of puberty but are interested in experiencing fasting observe a kind of fast known as “Kalleh Gonjeshki” (literally head of sparrow), meaning that they do not eat or drink until Dhuhr prayer time, then break their fast, and again observe a second fasting period until sunset.
source: times of Oman