Jul 16, 2015

The beautiful surprise, not knowing when is EID

The beautiful surprise, not knowing when is EID

I really do love the uncertainty of not knowing if Eid is tomorrow. It was a tradition in Guyana when we were growing up. The children would be outside looking for the moon, the first one to see it would run inside to announce that they saw it. A special Dua would be read by the elders when the moon was seen. Then and only then the making of vermicelli will start.

In Canada we can't see the moon, even if it is there. Our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, if you don't see the moon, then fast for 30 days. There is a small chance someone will see the moon at the tip of Chile this evening, the Hilal Committee might declare Eid for Friday. Our Naasir said he will continue fasting on Friday, because he wouldn't be able to see the moon.

Me:         Why would you do that? Where would you pray?
Naasir:   Traditions, Mother. If we follow the Prophet (pbuh), it's what we should do. If we kill all  traditions of the Prophet (pbuh), eventually there will only be a very bland form of Islam left. Would you be happy with that , mother?
Me:         No, but ....
Naasir:    Food for thought Mother, eventually when you get a bit older, we can continue this conversation ( smile on his thin weak looking face)...

Talk about confusion, even in our home. But I still love not knowing.

My brother describes the whole Eid decision thing like this. Some couples don't like to know the gender of their baby, because the surprise is beautiful. Some couples must know the gender of their baby because, everything have to be planned out perfectly, before the baby is born.

So, it all depends on  what kind of people we are. Do you love surprises or not....

Jun 28, 2015

Ramadan Thoughts - 10th Day of Ramadan

Today was the 10th day of Ramadan.

The five of us sit quietly breaking our fast. Not a lot of talking at Iftar time. The days are long, fasting from 3:45 am to 9.05 pm. We are all so drained with no energy, it is a struggle! I really admire the people who say fasting is so easy.

We break our fast with the same food every day. Chana (chick peas), samosas / or spring rolls, dates fruits and tea.

At the beginning of Ramadan, my son Naasir said to me, "Mother you don't have to do that date and water thing and rush to pray Maghrib. Allah will surely understand if we delay the prayer a few minutes, after all we live in Toronto and it is the longest days of summer. So, we started to enjoy our Iftar properly. I must say a cup of Tea has never tasted so nice. This is one of the simple pleasures of Fasting.

Today I tried to start a little conversation about fasting. My mom says she is not really that hungry at Iftar time, she said maybe because she was ill and lost her appetite. Everyday she sits in her usual seat and I would ask her what she wants to eat, she says anything and everything I put on her plate she eats it all out. So everyday, I pile it with a little bit more food and she eats it. She is missing not getting to go to Taraweeh this year, to listen to Naasir recite. Taraweeh starts really late in these long summer days. My dad who is not fasting, he is diabetic and on insulin. He also enjoys the simple Iftar with us every day. He likes when I hand him a cup of tea. He wakes up every morning with my mom at 3 am.

Still struggling with Iftar conversation. I asked them if they are feeling the hunger, and if they feel what hungry people could be feeling.

Again my son, Naasir who has a "smart" answer for every question, he said, "Mother, I really can't feel for the poor Nigerian kids right now. I have empathy for them the other months of the year. This month of Ramadan is between me and Allah. Fasting is something I have to do, it is required of me, I don't want to feel and think too much right now." Talk about being honest. After a few minutes, he does get a little bit more chatty. He finishes his dinner and prays Maghrib and then rushes off to lead Taraweeh prayer at 10:30. Naasir and his dad get home around 1:30 am from Taraweeh, if I am up Naasir will keep me until Suhoor, at this time he is so energetic and have so much esoteric knowledge and stories to relate.

This is our typical Ramadan day....

Jun 26, 2015

Ramadan Words

Some information about Ramadan.

1. Ramadan is a lunar month in the Islamic Calendar

2. Arabic word for fasting is Sawm or Siyam, comes from the root word ...Sawama, meaning 'to restrain oneself' and 'to be patient'.
(Read Imam Mohamad Jebara article on Fasting and Purification of the Soul, he is on Facebook)

3. Ramzan is the Persian word for Ramadan

2. Roza is the Persian word for fasting. Many people in Guyana and the Sub Continent say "Roja". This is because in some of the Indian dialects, probably Bhojpuri, the "Z" sound doesn't exist.

Jun 18, 2015

Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak

Ramadan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak. Some people say Ramadan Kareem and some say Ramadan Mubarak. So today I had the discussion with Naasir. He said Kareem is a name of Allah and it means generous, bountiful. So when you say Ramadan Kareem you are wishing the person a generous Ramadan with lots of rewards, May Allah be generous with you, because Ramadan is generous month.

Mubarak comes from the word Barak which means blessings. When you say Ramadan Mubarak you are wishing that person a Blessed Ramadan. Ramadan is blessed month because the Holy Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan.
We came to the conclusion, they are both beautiful to say. One is not better than the other...