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Capturing The Spirit Of Ramadan, Photographer GMB Akash Captures Stories Of Love And Dedication

  • IWB Post
  •  May 20, 2019

Every year the holy month of Ramadan observes Muslims fasting and performing special prayers which are undertaken as a means of learning self-control, gratitude, and compassion for those less fortunate. It is a month of intense spiritual rejuvenation, during which people devote their time reading the Qur’an and visiting Mecca to perform the hajj, the Islamic religious pilgrimage.

At sunset families break their fast with a few dates and water followed by food, which is referred to as iftar. The ceremony also involves inviting guests to break the fast. Capturing this spirit of Ramadan, photographer GMB Akash brings forward two heartwarming stories of pure love and dedication.

With her mother struggling to make ends meet, slum dweller Sumon shared that he has never seen his mother smile. “When I asked her why don’t you smile? She replies, “I forgot how to smile”! For the last few nights, neither my mother nor I could sleep because of the hot weather. We live in this slum,” he said.

Photo and story @gmbakash I usually don’t get to see my mother’s smiling face. When I asked her why don’t you smile? She replies, “I forgot how to smile”! For the last few nights neither my mother nor I could sleep because of the hot weather. We live in this slum. The whole night she fans me so that I can sleep. She wakes up in the very early morning in order to go to work! The whole day she works at peoples’ places and after coming home again she cooks for me! I didn’t used to do anything except going to school before this Ramadan. Now my vacation is going on for Ramadan. So I go to collect plastic bottles from the roadside with the other slum boys. My mother doesn’t know about this. I collect only a few bottles and by selling those I can earn 10 taka every day. The shopkeeper charges 10 taka to keep this bottle in his refrigerator. My mother loves to drink cold water during Iftar time. I love to see her smiling face when I bring this cold bottle of water every day before Iftar time from that refrigerator. _Sumon

5,010 Likes, 79 Comments – GMB AKASH (@gmbakash) on Instagram: “Photo and story @gmbakash I usually don’t get to see my mother’s smiling face. When I asked her…”

The whole night Sumon’s mother fans him to sleep and wakes up early in the morning in order to go to work. “The whole day she works at peoples’ places and after coming home again she cooks for me. I didn’t use to do anything except going to school before this Ramadan, but now my vacations are going on for Ramadan and so I go to collect plastic bottles from the roadside with the other slum boys.

My mother doesn’t know about this. I collect only a few bottles and by selling those I can earn 10 taka every day. The shopkeeper charges 10 taka to keep this bottle in his refrigerator. My mother loves to drink cold water during Iftar time and I love to see her smiling face when I bring this cold bottle of water every day before Iftar.”

In another story, Akash captures the love and dedication of Abdul Motaleb, whose wife passed away 12 years ago, but he makes sure that he keeps her iftar tradition alive.

“I was never a religious person and I don’t know why God gave her to me. The best gift in my life was my wife. She was black but more beautiful than an angel. But I had never paid much attention to her face because her heart was so much more beautiful to cherish.

Photo and story @gmbakash I was never a religious person. So I don’t know why god gave her to me! The best gift in my life was my wife! My wife was black but more beautiful than an angel. But I had never paid much attention to her face because her heart was so much more beautiful to cherish. I had never seen a happier person than her! Even though we had nothing to be happy about! I couldn’t even give her a child or a rich life! But she never complained about anything, ever! To make me happy she used to say, “God did not give us children intentionally so that we could look after needy poor people like ourselves.” She was someone very caring about everyone! If anyone in our village got sick, she had to be there. She never let hungry people go empty-handed although we never had enough food. She loved to pray and fast and feed poor people during Ramadan. Every day she used to feed 4 beggars and used to eat Iftar with those beggars all the time. She always used to try to motivate me for praying and fasting. But fasting was very tough for me so I always used to make fun saying that I had enough time left to pray and fast. I loved her with all my heart because she was my everything. But she left me alone12 years ago in a month of Ramadan. That Ramadan she could not fast because of her illness. She was so sorry and regretful saying that when she will be fine again, she will fulfill her fast. But alas, it was not in her fate and she could not fulfill her promise. So, for the last 12 years I am fasting on behalf of her and I have been eating my Iftar with 4 beggars. I don’t know if it works that way or not, but I know if she sees me then she is smiling from heaven’ – Abdul Motaleb

4,411 Likes, 76 Comments – GMB AKASH (@gmbakash) on Instagram: “Photo and story @gmbakash I was never a religious person. So I don’t know why god gave her to me!…”

I had never seen a happier person than her, even though we had nothing to be happy about. I couldn’t even give her a child or a rich life, but she never complained about anything, ever. To make me happy she used to say, “God did not give us children intentionally so that we could look after needy poor people like ourselves.” She was someone who was very caring about everyone. If anyone in our village got sick, she had to be there. She never let hungry people go empty-handed although we never had enough food. She loved to pray, fast, and feed poor people during Ramadan. Every day she fed four beggars with whom we used to eat Iftar.”

Motaleb’s wife always used to motivate him to pray and fast, however, “Fasting was very tough for me so I always used to make fun saying that I had enough time left to pray and fast.

I loved her with all my heart because she was my everything. But she left me alone 12 years ago during a month of Ramadan. That Ramadan she could not fast because of her illness. She was so sorry and regretful saying that when she will be fine again, she will fulfill her fast. But alas, it was not in her fate and she could not fulfill her promise. So, for the last 12 years I am fasting on behalf of her and I have been eating my Iftar with four beggars. I don’t know if it works that way or not, but I know if she sees me then she is smiling from heaven’.”

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