This Quaint MP Town Marks Ramzan with Cannon Fire
Amid all the technological advancements of the 21st century, this quaint town in Madhya Pradesh has managed to preserve an age-old practice during Ramzan.
It was the Beghum of Bhopal who had started the tradition in 18th century and the Nawabi army used to fire the cannon under the supervision of Shahar Qazi. (Representative image/Getty Images)
Bhopal: Amid all the technological advancements of the 21st century, this quaint town in Madhya Pradesh has managed to preserve an age-old practice during Ramzan.
Raisen, around 45 km from the state capital, still practises the 18th century tradition of firing cannons to mark the commencement and completion of fasts during the holy month of Ramzan to disseminate the message of Sehri and Iftar.
Atop the ancient Raisen fort, cannon fire marks the completion of early morning Sehri (consumption of meal before fasting starts early morning) and another cannon shot signifies commencement of Iftar (the meal consumed by Muslims to break the fast in evening). The district collector issues the licence for cannon fire for a month and the firing incurs an expense of Rs 40,000. With the local municipality extending a help of Rs 5,000, rest of the amount is raised through community funding.
It was the Beghum of Bhopal who had started the tradition in 18th century and the Nawabi army used to fire the cannon under the supervision of Shahar Qazi.
Now, a local resident, Sakahwat Ullah, and his family shoulder the responsibility of firing the cannon at the stipulated time and also keeping a watch over the cannon. The family has been keeping up this tradition since the last three generations.
As soon as the mosque beams a red light, Sakhawat fires the cannon prompting Sehri and Iftar to the locals of the town and nearby villages.
“Earlier the cannon shot used to echo far and wide. But now with increasing noise levels of the city area, it has gone down. But it is still heard till a certain distance,” said Mohammad Suleman, an elderly resident of the village.
Another local, Rafiq Siddiqui, said that the size of the cannon was now smaller so there was no damage to the fort. “The place of firing has also been changed,” said Rafiq.
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