Sunday, October 30, 2005

Holy Month of Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holiest. It is during this month that Muslims observe the Fast of Ramadan. Lasting for the entire month, Muslims fast during the daylight hours and in the evening eat small meals and visit with friends and family. It is a time of worship and contemplation. A time to strengthen family and community ties.

During the last ten days of Ramadan, Muslims seek and observe what is known as the "Night of Power," which marks the first revelation of the Qur'an Muslims worldwide spend these last ten nights of Ramadan in solid devotion, spend extra time in prayer and devotion, retreating to the mosque to stay all night(i'tikaf), reciting special supplications (du'a), and reflecting on the meaning of Allah's message to us.

To me, the last 10 days are the most beautiful 10 days of my life. Connecting with my creater and just being moved to the degree of tears is the outmost beautiful experience in my life.

Last year I've never felt closer to God as a prayed and supplicated all night long. My cousin who's like my baby sister was by my side and I couldn't ask for anything more. The prayer was well organized with the Imam and everything just went smoothly and perfectly. His beautiful voice reciting the Qur'an as we prayed just filled my heart and couldn't help but to be moved, the supplication was the most beautiful thing. It touched everything I was feeling and it was one of the most peaceful supplications. I People were nice enough and clean enough. It wasn't crowded at all. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Unlike in Abu Dhabi, here in Damascus this year, the experience was horrifying. I wasn't too sure if I was crying because of me being moved for connecting with God, or is it I was feeling sorry for myself, or for this Ummah. People were all on top of each other, nothing was organized. Women, are just horrifying throwing trash everywhere, bringing their kids around like it's some picnic with food all over the place. I couldn't concentrate on praying. My mind wandered 10 million miles away. I wanted to pray for this Ummah and for me being able to make a difference but nope, instead I ended up praying for me to be back in the UAE next year in the last 10 days in Ramadan. The supplication that the Imam was reciting somewhat threw me off. It got political and supplicating for the Imam of the mosque. I found that totally strange.

I tried to make the best out of it anywyas, I got some sort of enjoyment but mostly I was seriously disappointed. As my thanks, I usually pick up trash, cleaning the mosque as I leave. It's said that one is rewarded greatly for cleaning up the mosque. I wanted to do that because that is what I usually do... It brings joy to my heart but last night as I was doing that, women were looking at me, with the weirdest look in their faces. It's like they had no idea what I was doing and why. I was thinking, don't you people want to be rewarded or at least be clean?

I have no idea what more to say... All I can say is that, I hope it's not like that in all the mosques in Syria.

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