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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Ramadan in Damascus|
|11/21/02 at 08:02:41|
I got email from my brother describing ramadan/life in Damascus - thought you guys might also enjoy
ITs nice here during Ramadan. YOu all remember the 'raunaq' in ramadan in karachi. Well you get something of that sort here. People stay up late or all night. THey dont sleep all day like, you dont get any vacation during ramadan. All they get is reduced hours. The shops close just before Iftar and remain closed until Isha. There is very little traffic in the streets during this time. Just before Iftar you don't want to be on the streets. Crazy taxi drivers and micro-busses are speeding to get to their desitnations before sunset. Sometimes, occasionally, tempers are running high due to the intensity of fast, traffic etc. But the good thing here is that people are very well mannered. Very well mannered. Their manners, at least outwardly are very sublte and soft. For example, if you want the micro bus to stop and let you off you have to say it with a little dua in Arabic. I usualy say "al yameen Zakatak" which literally means "on the
right side, your Zakat. What it means is that if you let me off the micro-bus its like your Zakat for me. Sounds funny but that's how it is. You don't demand to be let off the bus. You simply ask politely wiht a little dua. That's also true if you ask for direcctions on the street. I've never felt out of
place or foreigner here.***** also fits in well. She's started wearing the Syrian style jilbab and hijab and you can't even tell she's not. Unless of course we open our mouths and talk which is when our non-Syrian accent is releavled and they ask us "min aiyna hadarta" or where do you come from. When doing business or meeting friends or buying things at the local store you often hear people meeting and greeting and departing with a lot of praises and duas which may seem like extreme flattery to us but that's how the arabic culture here is. I dont mind it. It introduces a level of mannerism and its nice. The Azhan is heard five times a day, of course as usual. But in Ramadan masajid are more packed and TAraweeh is done. AFter every Azhan they recite prayer on prophet and it seems almost as if its part of the Azhan. It would seem like they've added something to the Azhan since they do it all the time. I checked with Fiqh and its ok to do it. Of course its not part of the Azhan.
I try to sleep right after tarawih (try to!) and don't go out. The city is quiet awake all night. Overall its not bad living here. I actually still like it here better than US and so far so good. The pollution is heavy
here and its the main problem one just has to put up with. Its similar to karachi except much better.
***** buys Sambosas (samosas with cheese), Kibbay (its like pakora with meat in it) from the nearby shops just before iftwar. they're nice, although nothing like pakistani food, which is the best. You can not get most of the pakistani spices here including basin. ***** is still using some of the spices she brought over. They'll run out soon. OF course pakistan is only 3 hours flight from here but i 'm not thinking about hoping over to pak nowadays. Its just not practical. We ate too many FAlafels and Shawermas in the beginning.
/*deleted personal stuff*/
A syrian family invited us for dinner/iftar few days ago. IT was quiet nice to experience the arab hospitality.
Ultimately, Ramadan is not about staying up all night to have fun and sleep all day. Its about spiritual purification and really its a boot camp for us to enter the next year prepared. Forget haram, even halal (eating/drinking, etc) becomes haram. ITs a boot camp. You work hard. Forget 5 prayers,
we have 6th prayer with extra RAkats. Forget getting up for Fajar, you have to get up BEFORE fajar which is TAhajjad time. Work hard during ramadan to help you stay spiritually fit for the next year. Half of it is gone already. Every deed is reward 10 times more so let's cash in on the reward. With the current world events things are only likely to get worse and before you know it there is the appearance of DAjjal (the False Christ). After he comes it will be the worst time for Muslims worldwide. If you haven't built up your Iman by then you're not going to get any better. The signs of the End of Time are appearing one by one. MAny have appeared already and are litkely to increase in frequency. WHile other big signs like DAjjal and Imam Mahdi are yet to appear. I won't besurprised if DAjjal and Imam Mahdi time period comes in OUR life time. I won't be surprised if it happens within next few years. I have read these signs and they scarry. We need to work on our islam as much as possible. Tough tough times ahead for Muslims. I think
its not the time to be indulding in fun and worldly things. Its a seirous time. We live in a very different world form our predecessors and it requires extra ordinary effort just to be a normal muslim. EVery day is a struggle. Koran says " SAve yourself and your family from the Fire".
|11/21/02 at 08:03:09|
|Re: Ramadan in Damascus|
|11/21/02 at 08:34:52|
oh man tq... i've been missing damascus hard this ramadan and this brings back all the memories... ahh
i'm glad to see they're adjusted to life there though, when i was there things were really crazy for them..
when you write back please send my duas to the family and for the lil one's too :)
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