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Foreign Affairs

Tradition of beating drum to signal Sheri is fading away in Pakistan

Islamabad, Old tradition of beating drum to wake up people for sehri in Ramadan is fading away in Pakistan; however this custom is still practiced in rural areas of the country.

Muslims across the world observe the holy fasting month of Ramadan. In the month they abstain from food, drink, and other certain activities during daylight hours.

Muslims across the world including Pakistan begin their fast with an early morning meal called as sehri' and end it with sun set which is called iftar'.

Some years ago, most Pakistanis would wake up to the loud drumbeats at sehri time during Ramadan, however, with the modern technology, this tradition has declined.

The tradition of beating drum is centuries old. It goes back to times when there were no loudspeakers and no alarm clocks for people to rely on.

Shortly before Fajr prayers, the drummers walk about in the streets beating the drums and shouting and calling the people to wake up and prepare for a fast. They neither knocked at doors nor asked for food.

At the end of Ramadan before Eid these drum beaters used to visit every house in their area and the people gave them some money for the service they had provided during the whole month.

They were respected as pious people doing a job to receive God's blessing.

The introduction of new technologies especially the mobile phones have left no space for the drum beaters at sehri as the people can easily wake up on alarm set in their mobile phones.

But the custom is still practiced in rural areas especially in the villages of Punjab, Southern Sindh and North-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

With advances in technology, there's less of a need for someone to wake people for sheri however many in Pakistan believe that Ramadan wouldn't be completed without the traditional drum beaters.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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