From Dawn To Dusk: A Chronicle Of Ramzan In Lucknow
Image Credit: The preparation of iftaar food for rozedaars (people who are fasting) begins in the morning and continues till night. Photo © Fatima Juned for Slurrp.

MUSLIMS all over the world look forward to seeing the crescent moon each year because it indicates the first day of Ramadan or the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The Holy Quran is believed to have been revealed to Prophet Muhammad during this month, on the night of the revelation known as "Laylat Al Qadr" or the "Night of Power." Muslims fast from dawn until dusk during this month in an effort to deepen their relationship with Allah, engage in worship, and carry out acts of kindness.

In Lucknow, a city known for its culture and cuisine, people gather together for the pre-dawn meal known as sehri or suhoor, which occurs before the morning prayer called Fajr, as well as for the evening meal known as iftaar (where people break their fast) after hearing the maghrib azaan. Iftaar is a closely observed meal where special dishes that are typically only offered during Ramzan take centre stage, especially in Lucknow. Though these shops are a hit with the buyers, the process of preparation for iftaar food for rozedaars (people who are fasting) begins in the morning and continues till night.

Preparation of biryani at Idrees begins in the morning for iftaar in the Chowk area of Old Lucknow.

Chicken pakoras being freshly fried right before iftaar for rozedaars — a Ramzan special at Al-Madina on the Akbari Gate road.

People purchasing from a variety of iftaar options at Al-Madina.

A woman waiting for galouti kebabs from Mohammed Jaan Sheermaal at Akbari Gate road in the evening.

(ABOVE) A street vendor hurriedly packing biryani for a woman, right before the maghrib azaan.

(ABOVE) Women and children wait outside a shop on the busy street for freshly baked sheermal.

(ABOVE) The crowd outside a shop selling Ramzan special suhaal, samosa and shakhein.

Even though many people break their fasts at their homes with their families, we also spot the togetherness of the community through sharing meals and breaking their fast together. Passers-by in the area would feel at home, being invited by people to share a meal with them to break their roza (fast). Many people head to famous outlets to break their fast with their families and friends.

(ABOVE) A father and son duo breaking their roza at Mubeen’s in Old Lucknow, known for its nihari and kulcha.

During Ramzan, meals are a means for people to get together. Ramzan is a month known for the community to congregate, where everyone gathers to break their fasts in mosques and community halls.

Shopkeepers breaking their roza and partaking in iftaar together.

(ABOVE) Women breaking their fast with fresh juice as they shop in Nakhas.

The street, though not as crowded as it was before iftaar, remains a place of togetherness. The visuals of people eating together, fasting or not... All are invited to the dastarkhwan. After the last evening prayer and taraweeh, the streets begin to get crowded and people complete their day with the famous Kashmiri chai, followed by dinner.

People chat at a Kashmiri Chai stall situated on Akbari Gate road.

A tea-seller is all smiles as he prepares chai at his stall.

All photos © Fatima Juned for Slurrp. Follow more of Fatima's photography on Instagram.