Saturday, July 1, 2017

Eid 2017

Eid Saeed,

There wasn't much of a schedule any more.  Didn't have to rise early and eat suhour!  Freedom.

Woke at 4:00 instead of 2:20. myself.  No one else was awake.  It felt lonely for sure.  Both of the guys were still asleep.

I woke Ahmed up at 4:30.  I had already looked out the window and seen all the new clothes worn by the young boys and girls ready to show them off at Eid prayers.  Ahmed always goes for prayers on the grassy...sometimes muddy...meridian strip in front of the mosque.  Usually, in the mornings during the year, we see rats running around in this area, or maybe old men or little boys peeing in the bushes.  It is NOT where I like to pray.  Maybe bringing a prayer rug makes it better, as Ahmed did, but I stopped going after the first year.

Instead, I listened to some nasheeds from Maher Zain and Dawud W. Ali and organized those computer files.  I couldn't do much else on the computer since I'd used up my limit (with help from El Kid taking half a giga without asking).

When my hub came back, we ate some Eid cookies from his sister's family and drank coffee.  It's weird to re-start our normal lives again.  It feels odd, like we're doing something wrong.  Ahmed went back to bed.  He was as tired as I'd been the day before.

I would try to make some peach waffles, but they turned out to be more like peach wobbles.  I didn't have a waffle recipe in my book, couldn't look it up online, and so made a facsimile of them from a pancake recipe.  Didn't work.  

El-Kid and I ate them while watching the Bollywood epic Diwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (known as DDLJ).

I used to own a copy of it and know it by heart.  I got rid of the movie when I thought I needed to get rid of everything that was not Islamic in origin.  DDLJ is a fabulous Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol epic.  Sigh.  How wonderful to be able to watch that.  The subtitles are always in Arabic here, but I knew the story (and it isn't a hard one to figure out).  El Kid needed a little plot input and it was fun to share one of my favorite movies with him.


When Ahmed woke up, he got a peach pancake with honey as I'd given up on the waffles...or wobbles.  It still didn't turn out!  Whatever.  He still ate it as he watched the news from Egypt.  Thankfully, it was all about peaceful celebrations, alhumdulillah.  It was fun to see Alexandria and places we knew and would soon see again, inshahallah.


The time was speeding through the day.  We didn't have to plan the menu so carefully.  We didn't have to do anything so carefully!  We were carefree, alhumdulillah.

The crazy thing is that Ahmed was thinking to fast again the next day.  No one is allowed to fast the first day of Shawwal, the month after Ramadan.  Remember:  Ramadan is the name for a month in the Hijri or Islamic calendar. It's always misunderstood as the name of a holiday and it's NOT a holi-day or even a holy day; it's a holy month.  Fasting a day in the holy month of Ramadan is the same as fasting ten (for a total of three hundred days).  A year has 365 days, so to get a full year's coverage, fasting six more days in Shawwal is a good idea as each is worth ten.  Only the most observant go for it.  I wasn't planing on it---not yet anyway.

I talked to El Kid about his choices after Ramadan.  He doesn't want to fast additional days at all and it would be unusual if he did.  Additional fasting is optional, not mandatory.  What is mandatory throughout the year is doing his five prayers.  I want him to keep his five prayers now.  He's almost twelve now and it's time.  Yes, he's done so much better than his friends, but we can't live our lives based on being better than our friends; we have to be better today than we ourselves were the day before.

I made a deal with my son.  He did not have to fast additional days UNLESS he does not pray his five prayers each day this month.  If he does not do five prayers, then he fasts.  He needs motivation.  It's hard to be a mom and know how much to push your child and when.  Inshahallah, this is the right thing to do and that it will be an effective transition from boyhood.

Everything started to go badly at this point in our day, or at least in my day.

"Happily ever after" hardly ever happens.

I had watched my Indian movie and now my hub had control of the remote.  He watched an Egyptian movie.  My hub is fond of telling me that old Egyptian movies are so much better than anything currently on the screen. Well, the plot of this "comedy" was how the men were all cheaters behind the backs of their wives.  They were in bed, drinking, dancing, and WHAT THE HELL?  The worst part is that I couldn't really complain because each one of those elements had been in my movie (all be it in a different, more palatable form).

I fell asleep as I often do when I hate a movie (the movie Brazil comes to mind).  When I woke up, it was with a sudden start because my husband had gotten up and made some canned fish into mush in a bowl.  He was now mad as he thumped his dinner down on the table.  He wanted to eat when he wanted to eat and it was NOW!

The time was 5:00 PM and I was surprised that dinner time was happening without me knowing about it.  I looked at the food and couldn't eat it the way it was.  Instead, I went out to the kitchen and boiled some potatoes while I cut tomatoes and onions.  My one-month stay in Spain at sixteen had taught me how to make a delicious fish salad.  I was only missing some olives.

By the time I was done cooking, my husband was done eating.  My son and I sat at the table alone, said our blessing alone, and ate alone.  It was sad.  I was so sad.  It was a definite end to togetherness, routine, and Ramadan.

As if that wasn't enough, when magrib happened, my husband went to the prayer rug alone and prayed alone while I quietly cried.  He turned the TV on to the last episode of Ramez, but I couldn't watch.  I made my wudu and prayed with El-Kid in another room away from my husband.

I'm not sure what exactly snapped in our family that night, but it hurt like hell.  It reminded me of my son's father back in 2006 when I had seen so much good in him during Ramadan only to have him race to the divorce lawyer right after Eid.  Telling that to my son was a mistake.  My boy had stuck by me to cheer me up, and now I had brought him down.

Bad mom.

I had to stop this spiraling down before I crashed----not just myself, but my son.  It was not OK to let anyone else dictate my mood or my mind.  Yes, this had happened before, so I didn't need to freak out.  It did make me wonder what this meant for our family, our relationship, and our future AND THEN I had to STOP.  It was one day---not even one day!  It was one evening.  One evening does not forecast a future.

What to do?

I read Quran. I really did.  Ramadan was done.  My quest to read as much of Quran as possible was over, yet I needed Quran.  I read Surah Hud in the dark on my tablet.  I got really quiet and really alone.  I got centered.

After that, I could spend time with El-Kid without ruining his night.  I could see my husband without crying.  I re-entered my life with some acknowledgement of how tricky the transition is from Ramadan to real life.

The next two days of Eid went better.  We regrouped, ate together, went out together, and prayed together.  On the third day, we went out, bought clothes, ordered pizza, and watched the third mummy movie.

I haven't forgotten how bad that moment on the first day was, but I have forgiven.  None of us stay mindful 24/7 of those we love.  We screw it up.  All of us screw it up.

Being so very alone in the world---without friends or family nearby---means that I have to deal with my issues on my own without them and without their input.  It's a blessing and a curse.  Everything is like that.  Somehow, we have to exist in the middle.

Ramadan places us in the middle.  Eid shakes us a bit to see how much we'll stay centered.  Will we continue to pray?  How much of dunya did we miss?  Is Quran going to remain an active part of our lives, or will it become a dusty decoration?  Who or what will we worship alongside Allah?  Astragferallah for all our missteps in Eid as we try to navigate back into daily life.  

May Allah accept our prayers and fasting.

May Allah forgive us our mistakes during the month.

May all of our bad habits stay broken.

May we live to see another Ramadan.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was one of only three Hindi films in the reference book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and was placed twelfth on the British Film Institute's list of top Indian films of all time. It is the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema. As of 2017, over 20 years after its first release, it is still being shown at the Maratha Mandir theatre in Mumbai, India.