I fasted today!
I went out.
Recluse that I am…went out to socialize.
After muttering about not knowing anybody etc etc (silly me! it’s an event…you come whatever).
Bump into one undergrad friend who I haven’t seen in aeons and two more appear behind her/me who I’ve seen in about a year.
Being the daughter of an Imam has some…negatives, shall we say.
In Ramadan, there is a special night prayer. It’s optional but very beneficial. After Isha (the last prayer of the night), but before Witr (an optional but strongly strongly strongly encouraged prayer that’s done after Isha), one prays Tarawih. The prophet used to pray eight rakaat (it’s how we count how much times we go up/down etc) in twos. I think it might have been Umar who started praying 20 in twos (I can’t recall. I could search. I’m dead beat and have another search lined up).
There is a hadith that says whoever prays Isha, Tarawih and Witr all with the Imam it is as if they prayed all night long. So, Ramadan is more than just not eating. There’s a lot of blessings and forgiveness and prayers to be had if you make the time. I’m trying my best this year to pray all I can.
Here are a couple hadith on Tarawih that include the above. I NEED TO CHECK THEIR AUTHENTICITY or the VERACITY OF THE WEBSITE but the one my brother has mentioned a lot (above) is there and so for now it will suffice (I’m tired! But I did my search)
Back to your dad being Imam (or your spouse or some close relation):
Because of this, we never went anywhere else for Eid prayers. You might wonder why would we go somewhere else? Isn’t it nice and more fun to go with the people you grow up with and lime and enjoy the day? Well yes and…but…you have other friends. And also, there are the Eid-gas, the big open air Eids where lots and lots and lots of people assemble for Eid salaah and to eat and celebrate. Well, there was at least one when growing up, couple last year? I always wanted to go. How many muslim people would we meet, people we might not have seen in ages. I always think it would be *awesome*.
But, we never went. Why? Well, I guess there were no Eid-gas before my dad was Imam (I don’t know) and we were very young. But being Imam means that someone has to do Eid at the masjid here. It’s a celebration. Whether we want to or not, some of us wouldn’t go for Eid one place while the rest of us are at the other place. What’s the point! The only way we could go to Eid-ga is if somehow we could arrange for the whole jamaat to go…hire buses, or if we joined with the central masjids for a central Eid-ga.
Similarly for Tarawih, dad as the Imam, is in charge of arranging it. Some masjids import a reciter or a qari (perfect reciter) or a hafiz (knows the qur’an by heart) and that person leads the Tarawih salaah every night. There are 29 or 30 nights of Tarawih and the Qur’an is divided into 30 juz (sections, parts; this is different from the surahs or chapters) and so they try to recite the whole Qur’an in the month, one Juz a night. Very long Tarawih. Some can’t afford this and the Imam (who might be a qari or a hafiz or very good) will do this or close. Some might alternate from community members.
Which do you think ours is?
Well, if you think ours is the one where the Imam does it all, you’re wrong…sort of.
Growing up, the boys in the village would prep their surahs (the last ten, twice because we, of course, do TWENTY!) to lead Tarawih. And they’d take their turns. On the same list which we wrote who was doing Iftar that night, we would record who was going to lead or led the Tarawih on a night and we’d keep count of the number of people who came. I think we also recorded who called the adhaan (call to prayer). It was all part of the fun, checking the list etc.
I think, once, we finished all 20 in under half hour…maybe 22 minutes? Boy they would race. But they were involved. It was great.
Now, well, it’s mostly dad. When my brother was here, he did it. Dad always takes advantage of his son and son-in-law and any capable visitor coming and offers or *lets* them do Friday sermons or lead prayers. There are a few others in the Jamaat (muslim congregation) that will also take a few nights.
Basically, regardless of who was leading dad would be around, for backup or so they’d know.
What this means is, I am not sure if I’ve ever prayed Tarawih in a masjid that’s not this one in the village. I’ve prayed it by myself lots of places, but…in a masjid?
So going into another masjid and praying Tarawih with them always makes me self-concious. For that matter, I went to a muslim primary school (heh! I wonder where I was tonight) and so I’d always go to Friday prayers on the compound and thus, whenever I was on holiday and went for Jumah here at home, I always was self-concious and sure I was doing something wrong too. Yeah. I think too much. Or, I worry too much.
Why all this backstory?
Well, we went out of the village for an Iftar tonight. And because neither mom nor I wanted to be rushed rushed rushed to make it back for Tarawih, dad arranged for someone else in the Jamaah to lead tonight.
So, we made it to the Iftar at about 5:35 pm. We didn’t want to be running late. We break fast at 6:13 pm. Ooo! Chennette! guess who we sat with. *sigh*
Anywayz, it was like *everybody* hasn’t seen mom and me in ages. And it’s probably true. Oh well. I’m reclusive. I’m a recluse who wants to go to Eid-ga.
I even wore a skirt.
When we realized it was like 7:20 pm and nobody was sure when they would pray Isha here (it’s not a masjid. We went to the university’s islamic society’s iftar so…a university hall/area and they were going to pray right there too) or we got differing answers…we figured we could go to another masjid. And meet more people we haven’t seen in ages. And we did. But of the three nominees, we of course went to the one without air conditioning. Aw man. Yet again did I meet at least one school friend who I’ve not seen in ages. I got asked if I remembered here. Very barely. I only went to primary school there for oh how much years? And been in and out of it for…argh…so I’m on a break.
Anywayz, we enter the masjid and yes, I feeling ahow. I already feeling strange because I socializing with people I eh see in ages. Now I’m going to pray Tarawih outside of my masjid. Oh noes!
So, we went to a masjid that prays eight rakaahs. Now, we used to pray it in twos and after every four (two sets of twos), we’d recite tasbih (kinda like when you repeat a “hail mary” some number of times? we have different tasbihs for different things) and then a dua (a little prayer/supplication where you put your hands together and recite set duas plus whatever you want). Our masjid doesn’t any more because our…let’s say we’ve learned it’s not done. This masjid still does. No big deal. We just don’t say these tasbihs and duas.
However, it almost seemed like the tasbih was waaaay longer than the four rakaat. Seriously. At least when our speed racers led our Tarawih (and this guy prayed about 4 rakaat in 5 or 6 minutes) the tasbih was equally fast. Okay, it felt like the tasbih was longer than the four rakaat. It might not have been. But he did elongate it. What do you call it, the beat? Like if he said “la” while praying he would say “la-a-a-a-a” while reciting the tasbih. So weird.
Anywayz. I’m not dissing anybody. I’m just saying.
Especially as I’m wondering if this post makes me recognizable. Ooo poor Chennette.
Now, back to the most important matter.
Ramadan 10: Suhur 10
Um, yeah. This is a funny (not!) story.
Someone woke me up.
I went and sat on the couch until I woke up properly.
I think I thought they were waking me up to pray.
Then clicked it was for suhur.
So, I asked dad if Chennette was downstairs.
I think he’s still laughing at me, if he remembers.
And when I reached downstairs, it was 4:33 am! We stop eating at about 4:45 am!
And of course, when I’m panicking, I can’t think about what to eat. I can’t make choices under pressure.
Okay…water…yes…pita okay…no mom! no macaroni salad…too spicy…banana…ooo hungry…get macaroni salad.
Water water water is it time yet?
Ramadan 11: Iftar 10
We went to the university’s Islamic Society iftar last night.
Some of us were craving outside and dad always wants to go.
He must’ve gotten the shock of his life when mom told him to arrange Tarawih and also that we were making something. And that we…his wife and daughter were going…not just we were going…we *wanted* to go.
Yeah, somehow we got roped into making something. Don’t blame me. I’m not saying it’s not my fault. I’m just saying don’t blame me. Here. Please.
So for Iftar, we broke fast with aloo pie, channa, chutney and a date.
And for dinner, we had stew chicken, fry rice, macaroni salad and green salad.
There was also cake.
I’m not reviewing the food.
It was fun, going out. But man…I hate living so far. That’s another reason to not go masjid shopping for Tarawih. Why? When you can be home so quickly and sleep or rest from fasting.
I took pictures of stuff. You can see.
In fact, my whole Ramadan set on flickr is here.