Shaping Your Story

Ramadan

Ramadan is  a fasting month that comes once a year. This year we started it on May 16th. Not all Muslims around the world started it on the same day. We were given a calendar from the local mosque, according to them, we were to start on the date I mentioned, regardless of the fact that others started a day later.

A month before  fasting, I got an eerie feeling will I successfully begin and end the month?

June is a long month for fasting in our city, we finish eating by 3 AM and continue until sunset, at this time, food or drink is not allowed.

So far I managed to fast nineteen days and I hope I’ll continue until it’s over.

Each morning I read the Quran after I finish eating. It reminds me I’m only here for a short while, the real place is hereafter. I try to think back if I have accumulated enough good deeds to get a place where I will not face any hardship.

It doesn’t matter what I think,   it’s up to God who decides our fate.

Fasting is one of the good deeds, I hope I can complete it  successfully this month without problems!

…………………………………… 🙂

 

My Favorite Holiday : Eid al Fitr

 

The Birth Of The Holy Quran

On the 25th June, I celebrated Eid al-Fitr, a festival which follows after one month of Ramadan.Let me write a few words about Ramadan. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Islam uses a lunar calendar- each month begins with the sighting of the new moon.

The Islamic calendar is eleven days shorter than the solar calendar used elsewhere. Islamic holidays move each year.

In 2014 Ramadan began at sundown on June 28th. For more than a billion Muslims around the world –including some eight million in North America– Ramadan is a month of blessing, marked by prayer, fasting and charity. Ramadan focuses on self-sacrifice and devotion to Allah(God).

Why is this month so important? Muslims believe that during the month of Ramadan. Allah revealed the first verses of the Holy Quran, the holy book of Islam.

Around 610 AD , a caravan trader named Mohammed was wandering in the desert near Makkah( in today’s Saudi Arabia). While thinking about his faith, a voice called him from the night sky. It was the voice of Angel Gabriel, who told him Mohammed was chosen to receive the words of Allah.

In the days that followed, Mohammed found himself speaking the verses of the Quran, these words were then transcribed,  and was the beginning of the Glorious Quran.

After a whole month of fasting, we the Muslims celebrated, Eid al Fitr. It is a holiday which announces the end of fasting and the beginning of a  celebration with friends and family.

Eighteen to nineteen hours of fasting which began at 2 am in the morning for me and ending at 9: o3 pm in the evening. It was something we as Muslims have to endure to understand how those less fortunate than us live each day of their lives.

Eid Mubarak to you all!

………………………………………..

 

Daily Prompts: Out of your Reach

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Was there a toy or thing you always wanted as a child, during the holidays or on your birthday, but never received it? Tell us about it.

When I was a child, there were certain things our parents gave us without asking. During our Eid-al Fitr, a celebration we have after the month of Ramadan, we were given new clothes which we chose ourselves. My Dad gave us money to spend, we were not allowed to eat any kind of junk food.

I remember every month a vendor came by to sell pastries, he had a large trunk where the pastries were in little shelves. My Dad would ask the guy to open his trunk, we were then allowed to choose one each. We were twelve kids and now that I think of it, he probably could buy one each or may be he did not want us to eat more than one because of the sugar, cream in them and also calorie wise it was not good for our health.

Once I was playing with the kids in our neighborhood, I saw a boy playing with a tennis ball, I was fascinated, I could not wait for my Dad to come from work. He barely put his foot on the door, I stopped him and asked, “Abba (Dad) can you buy a tennis ball for me?”

He turned around and went out, I didn’t think much, a half hour later he came back with four tennis balls, one for me and three for my younger siblings. I was delighted and thought my Dad was the best father in the world.

My parents were always ready to buy things for us, if we asked. We didn’t ask for anything expensive.

……………………………….. 🙂

Daily Prompt: Memory on the Menu

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Which good memories are better—the recent vivid ones or those that time has covered in a sweet haze?

The memories I treasure  most is when my Dad was alive and I sat in the garden and watched and talked to him.One of my favorite memories are the ones after the end of Ramadan. We got new clothes to wear for the day of Eid-al Fitr, this is the day after Ramadan ends.

My Dad and my older brothers would go to the mosque that day for prayers, after they came back my Dad would take out the money and give to us. I loved it a lot.

Lunch time my Mom would treat us with delicious food, she was a very good cook. In the evening we’d visit our parent’s  friends . This was one day we got to eat a variety of mouth watering food.

The highlight of this day was, we all wore new clothes and wished our parents “Eid Mubarak”( Happy Eid) and then ate sweet vermicelli with milk, it was a dessert cooked by mom, and  served right after the other members of the family came home from the mosque , which is a tradition observed  in all the Muslim families.

This is one vivid memory I’ll always have it will never be covered in a sweet haze. 🙂

……………………………………..:)

Daily Prompt: Sleepy time

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More and more of us go to bed too late because of sleep procrastination. What are the nighttime rituals that keep you up before finally dozing off?

There are not a whole lot of things I do before going to sleep. what keeps me up is the prayer time. In summer because the days are long my prayer time is later in the evening. One prayer is after sunset, the last one is an hour and half later. There is not much I can do to change it .

In winter the sunsets much earlier, so I have plenty of time to sleep at 10:30 pm which is my usual time.

This past month because of Ramadan i.e the fasting month, I can sleep by 11:00 PM then wake up again at 2:00 AM for breakfast, although I have a hard time eating, I try to eat something to be able to fast for nineteen hours, during which time we can neither eat nor drink anything. My sleep schedule is completely different.

There are ten days left to complete the thirty days of fasting, after this there is another six days which is optional fasting. I try to fast this time for what I call bonus points to be added to my good deeds.

The fasting month is a reminder to us humans about those unfortunate souls who are deprived of food day in and day out, it makes us feel their pain of hunger so we can  make an effort to help them!

……………………………….. 🙂

Daily Prompt: The Golden Hour

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6:AM : The best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:AM bedtime?

Since the 18th of June my best hour of day is 2:AM , it will continue till the 17th of July. Ramadan started on June 18th and will end after 17th July.

I wake up at 2:AM to eat something, say my prayer and go back to bed at 3:30 AM.  My Golden Hour  in my mind is 9:03 PM . This is the time I get to eat and drink my meals after 19 hours of fasting.

In the morning I wake up usually at 7:AM , today I stayed in bed till 8:AM. Yesterday my quiet routine was interrupted by loss of heat and hot water. The system probably took a break, I could not let it because every room in the house was freezing. In June you may ask, yes our weather does not observe the same routine as the other places on the planet.

Fortunately we have 24/7 burner service, the men very kindly came and fixed what was ailing our furnace. It’s working like a charm, and I hope it continues!

…………………………………..:)

365 Writing Prompts: Island of misfit posts

We all have something we’d like to write about, but that doesn’t really “fit” our blog. Write it anyway.

Ramadan Mubarak to everyone. Today is the sixth day of fasting. Here in St John’s it is easier to fast because so far the days are much cooler than  in  places, i.e. Dhaka Bangladesh, Karachi Pakistan.

I woke up at 2:02 a.m it meant I have to get up wash and eat something, food this early wasn’t appealing to me, however I knew I must eat or else I’d have to wait until it’s 9:02 pm to eat or drink anything.

I went to the kitchen got my usual two Jacob’s crackers, took out a slice of cheese, put them on a plate and microwaved it for twenty seconds. Next I poured some milk in my mug and heated it. I was ready to eat.

It took me less than ten minutes to eat my early breakfast.

Next I said my prayers before the morning prayer. At 3:03 I said my morning prayer, read a part of the Qur’an and went back to bed.

Although I intended to sleep till 8:am I could not and had to get up at 6:30 am. Since I left my bed, I’ve done a few things like wrote a five sentence fiction, added another paragraph of comment to my previous comment on the course blog.

Now I’m writing the 365 writing prompt. I’m writing something that doesn’t really “fit” my blog, I’m writing it anyway because the title of the prompt is ,”Island Of Misfit Posts.”

Before I conclude I must add, the fasting this day will be over at 9:02 pm in my neck of the woods. I hope Readers I did not bore you to tears! 🙂

 

DP Daily Prompt: Local flavor

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Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come nas though it’s an entry in a travel guide.

I will describe a street in Dhaka at the time of Ramadan. It is the time when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.During this time the people gather together and prepare different types of food for the public to buy for Iftar ( time the people are allowed to eat and drink water and other beverages).

The buying and selling starts before sunset, after sunset the people open their fast with a few dates and a sweet drink prepared with sugar, water and lemon juice. Then they offer the Maghrib prayer (Which is after sunset). After the prayer they eat some of the foods they buy at the market.

Here is a youtube video showing the street scene on a typical Ramadan day.

k: https://sabethville.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/dp-daily-prompt-local-flavor

Sylhet—Bangladesh

Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal Sylhet Bangladesh

Shrine of Hazrat Shah Jalal Sylhet Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Khasi_people

sylhet railway station
sylhet railway station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Surma River, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Bangladesh

Surma River, Sunamganj, Sylhet, Bangladesh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sylhet forest village scene

Sylhet forest village scene (Photo credit: bongo vongo)

Hill's in Sylhet, Bangladesh

Hill’s in Sylhet, Bangladesh (Photo credit: – Ariful H Bhuiyan -)

Tea Gardens of Srimongol

Tea Gardens of Srimongol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My friends:  Alphie,Susan and their son Gepetto wanted to see Sylhet. I therefore thought it will be a terrific idea.We made up our mind that the best way would be to take the train. It was a unanimous decision. We considered it would be a valuable experience. Travelling by train would help us to view the scenic beauty of the country. We were not disappointed, the train journey helped us to see all the little places we would not have been able to appreciate,if we went by airplane.

From my research I was able to find out a lot about the area.My friends were eager to know everything, I found out about it. Here is the knowledge I gathered from my research.

It is a major city in North-Eastern Bangladesh.It is the main city of Sylhet division and district.In March 2009 it was granted metropolitan status. It is located on the banks of Surma valley and is surrounded by the Jaintia ,Khasi  and Tripura  hills. It is well-known for its tea gardens and tropical forests.

The city is described as a city of saints.There is a mausoleum of Hazrat Shah Jalal.He brought Islam to Bengal in the 14th century. After the partition of India in  1947,it became a part of Pakistan.

The 14th century marked the beginning of Islamic influence. As the early forms of Islam originated in 7th century Arabia, the early forms of Muslim cultures were predominantly Arab .With the rapid expansion of the Islamic empires, Muslim culture has influenced and assimilated much from the Persian.Bangladeshi Turkic,Pakistanis, Mongol,Chinese,Indian,Egyptian,Indonesian,Filipino,Greek Roman,Byzantine,Spanish,Sicilian,Balkanic and western cultures.

The climate of Sylhet is humid subtropical with a predominantly hot and humid summer and a relatively cool winter.It is within the monsoon climatic zone, with annual average highest temperatures of 23°C(August to October) and average lower temperature of seven degrees celsius(January).Nearly 80% of the annual average rainfall is 3,334 mm,occurs between May and September.

The city is located within the region where there are hills and basins which constitute one of the most distinctive regions in Bangladesh.the Geosystem of Sylhet consists mainly of hill soils encompassing a few large depression known locally as “beels” which can be mainly classified as oxbow lakes,caused by tectonic subsidence primarily due to the earth quakes of 1762.

This is all for today from ,Alphie,Susan, Gepetto and the guide. Thank you for giving us the opportunity, to present to you the city of Sylhet in Bangladesh.

Good day and God bless you to all our respected friends,thank you very much!

March 2009

March 2009 (Photo credit: Vanessa (EY))