Saturday, May 27, 2017

DAY 1 Ramadan 2017

Ramada Kareem,

Each day during the Holy Month of Ramadan, I will be writing a little about my experiences.


2: 30 AM

Last night, my husband bought plain yogurt from the dairy and I stirred some uncooked oatmeal into it.  The oatmeal soaks up the moisture, so you don't need to cook it.  Oatmeal is one of those foods which fills you up.  This morning, I added sliced peaches a little more yogurt on top of that and then a sprinkling of muesli.  It's too expensive to add more than that.  I did not add sugar.  It's best to keep sugar to a minimum throughout the month as it only makes you thirsty.  Having said that, I did down half a glass of a pistachio drink.  I also had one pita, or aish baladi, with a little butter and (in a mad dash to grab more protein) a little peanut butter.  Of course we all drank water.  My husband drank tea because he's addicted, and without it, a headache would set in.


3:00 AM

I am doing something different this year.  Instead of reading from a physical book, I am reading Quran off my tablet through a Quran app from Quran Reading.  This way, I will be hearing it as I am reading it in English.  When there is time, I check out the transliteration of the Arabic words.  Maybe I'll learn more Arabic inshahallah.  I just made it into Baqarah, but alhumdulillah for starting an inroad.  ANY advance into the Holy Quran this year is for good, and I want to focus on what I did read each day instead of what didn't read or have yet to read.

Here are other good apps for Ramadan that I have tried and can recommend:

Quran Stories in a series that also includes the life of the Sahabi, companions of the Prophet (pbuh)

Masjid Now for prayer time reminders

Hijri Calendar very fun for converting important events into hijri dates.  Found out that, on the hijri calendar, my birthday is one day after the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh) and that my son was born four years to the day when I met his father.

Muslim Pro kind of a one-stop shop for various Islamic needs

99 Names of Allah Memorizer  I can't find the exact link.  Basically, this app is a low tech match the cards game.  One card is the name in Arabic with how it is written in English and the other card is the attribute explained.  I have gotten into the habit of playing that first before any other game on my tablet.  It is fun for me, and I am reducing my high scores from over 100 tries to under 100 tries---don't judge.  I have been trying for years to force myself to somehow learn the 99 Names of Allah, but this is the first time I feel like I am actually learning them.

Sites in VR to download AMAZING virtual reality images of mosques from many countries.  It feels like you are inside the mosque and can look around and see all the beautiful details.  No need to have any other devices than your tablet.  It might work with a phone, but I haven't tried that.

While I was grabbing links, I saw this ad.

My son is a big Clash Royale addict (not too strong of a word).  I actually told him that his addiction to a fighting game that has elements of gambling is NOT compatible with fasting.  He can't play it during the day, but I will let him play it after dinner inshahallah.



When the azan sounded, I thought of my husband's cousin who died yesterday.  It seems like I'm always writing of someone dying, but with a lot of people in Egypt, come a lot of deaths.  This man was a muezzin, a man who calls Muslims to prayer.  Not to speak ill of the dead, but he did not have the golden voice you'd expect of someone holding this job.  As he grew sicker, his voice sounded worse.  In the beginning, years ago, I had tensed up listening to his voice, and I resented his inadequacies.  Later, I realized how even with his lack, he still had such commitment to get up and go to the mosque many times a day.  Would I?  I mean, I can't be a muezzin (it can only be a man), but that's dedication.  I began to send prayerful energy out to this man hoping that he was OK.  During the Revolution, it was his voice which told me that somehow we were still safe because God was with us.  He passed away before the start of Ramadan because not everyone has the chance.

I also thought of how unusually quiet this year's start is.  This is due to the horrible shooting deaths of Copts Christians en route to a monastery south of here.  Yes, we're Muslim and, yes, those terrorists called themselves Muslim.  Obviously, there's not a lot of Islam going on in their heads or hearts.  As much as we need to pray for the Copts to be protected from predators like that, we also need to pray for the wayward Muslims to find their way back again.

I looked down onto the street as I listened to the azan, and there was this little bruiser stuffed into his clothes and holding onto a big stick.  Three other primary school boys came around the corner and they started a fight with sticks as the azan kept going on.  I spoke from up above down to the street below.

"Oozabellahi min a Shaytin regime."  I said it three times and they looked up.

"Eh, Hajja?"  The little boy addressed me the way you're supposed to talk to old ladies.

"Salahi!"  I told him to go pray.  They stopped their fight and walked away.  I will never know if they prayed or not, but at least they didn't fight on my street.

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