Friday, August 27, 2010

Ramadan, Day 16: Muse

The most amazing part of a Ramadan day is the few minutes right before sunset.

I almost always spend this time at my window where I watch the sky turn different shades of pink and orange.

The streets are completely empty at this time, and if you listen closely, you can hear plates and pots being put on tables. At the very moment the sun sets, the azan, which is the call to prayer, resonates loud in Alexandria.

Mosque by mosque, the azan marks the time to break the fast. My musing is soon to be interrupted by my brother’s loud run to the kitchen, so I go, too. All I can think about these days is after 16 days of being connected with my family again – even if only at iftar, when we break the fast – is what is going to happen after Ramadan when life revolves around life again, like school and work and schedules.

It’s ironic how much we worry about life when it really is just a temporary state.

Of course we should work to make that temporary stay as pleasant and fruitful as possible, but really, when was the last time you took the time to reflect and think about how you can be happy using what you have?

Make the most of anything you already have.

That’s what I’ve learned the past few days. Going to pray with my 10-year-old sister, I realized that she can be my friend despite her age. I’ve revived friendships with people who have always been my friend.

I’m going to miss Ramadan so much. And I pray more than anything that I can stay focused after Ramadan on what is really important, that I can see priorities without getting lost in the worries of studying and relationships and just life.

I have a friend who always tells me that I contradict myself, that I call on people to reflect and take things simply when I spend so much time talking about the complexities in the world.

How is that I can sit at peace with myself and others while I’m talking about the war and injustice? Unfortunately, I don’t have an explanation for this.

I do know, though, that the last 10 days of Ramadan are coming up in four days. The last 10 days of Ramadan are especially sacred.

It is said that there is one night in those 10 days – but we don’t know which one – that if you pray, that prayer is surely to be answered and the supplicant forgiven of his sins and guaranteed heaven.

I will write more on this in a further entry, but for now, I would like to remind everyone to keep Pakistan in their prayers.

Thousands of families are now homeless and stranded because of the flooding there, and they need any help they can get.

1 comment:

Natalie - Atlanta, GA said...

Jessica--I'm still really enjoying your Ramadan posts. I asked someone who worked at a restaurant how he manages and he also said he just gets used to it. But not smoking cigarettes was the hardest thing for him. The evening meal sounds like a beautiful time of togetherness for your family.