SRINAGAR: In a video clip that has gone viral in Jammu and Kashmir, an elderly Sikh man beats the drum to wake up his Muslim neighbours for Sehri, or the pre-dawn Ramzan meal. The short clip has been shared widely on social media in the state.
The man takes on the role of “mesaharati”, or a public waker for the Sehri meal in the Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir. “Allah Rasool de pyaaro, jannat de talabgaro, utho roza rakho (The beloved of Allah and his messenger, the seekers of paradise, wake up to start your fast),” he shouts before starting to beat his drum.
The video has earned the Sikh man praise, with people saying that he embodied the communal harmony that has existed in Kashmir for centuries.
Sehri is the pre-dawn meal that Muslims eat before the start of their dawn-to-dusk Ramzan fast. The holy month of Ramzan is of great importance ot the Islamic calendar as it is said that it was during this month that the Holy Quran was first released. They have Sehri before they begin their daily fast, and have Iftar after dusk.
While the task of being the “mesaharati”, or a drum beater who goes around their locality to wake up its residents for Sehri, is usually taken up by one of the Muslims from the locality, but there are incidents of members of different communities doing it as well.