My self appointed task for the day is to learn more about Ramadan. It is rather human for me to look toward the end of Ramadan – it was of considerable relief to learn that it took place a day earlier than I originally thought – actually perhaps two days earlier. Here is the other news: “To celebrate the month of faith, reflection and giving immensely to charity, Muslims celebrate Eid-al-Fitr which is usually a day after the last day of fasting.Family and friends come together for a huge feast, with countless dishes and snacks. It is celebrated for two to three days where Muslims attend Eid prayer.” Considering I have no Muslim friends nor family here in the Bay Area, it may be a bit difficult but it is certain I shall figure something out. I am most resourceful.
There is a market with Hillel lamb nearby and an excellent barbecue. Definitely yummy.
There is, of course, conflicting and contradictory ‘advice on the Internet and it is rather frustrating but here is something rather simple, clear and meets with my prior information
“When it comes to Ramadan, fasting is a ritual shared by nearly all. Fasting during Ramadan involves not eating food or drinking water between sunrise and sunset for the entire month. Ramadan provides the reward of self-growth and the opportunity to learn more about our religion and ourselves.” What is most comforting about this description is that I can see myself doing it – already experiencing self growth and am using the opportunity to learn more about the faith and myself. PHEW. In many ways it seems like being a baby again – a well cared for baby which was not exactly my original plight. I so look forward to the times I can eat, as babies do and an eating healthy foods (as babies do, milk from their mothers). For me Gatorade prescribed by my doctor is mother’s milk.
Here is another truism about Ramadan. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims — the Prophet Mohammed said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
Another general guide to Ramadan says: During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline — of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran. I have increased my charity but I do remember from my reading of the Qur’an that charitable giving should be anonymous – so I am not talking. Hahahaha.
Then I learned this: When the evening call to prayer is finally made (or when the alarm on your phone’s Muslim prayer app goes off), we break the day’s fast with a light meal — really more of a snack — called an iftar (literally “breakfast”), before performing the evening prayer. Many people also go to the mosque for the evening prayer, followed by a special prayer that is only recited during Ramadan. So what a surprise – I can get a Muslim prayer app on my phone. I cannot wait to see AAA, my resident computer guru and get it installed. It is sure to startle those around me. Once while video chatting with My Prince (several months ago), there was this noise.
Me: What is that noise???
He: It is the call to prayer, Granny
Me: I am sorry, I have never heard it before. I shall be more respectful in the future.
This was some time prior to my entry into the faith. He was rushing off to prayer in his Muslim attire and so the conversation was very brief. I do recall that it began with this:
He: Granny, there are some of the horses.
Me: They do look like fine specimens.
Some humor did emerge during this research. This question was posed. 9) So if you’re not supposed to get angry or complain or gossip during Ramadan, how come terrorist attacks by groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda always seem to spike during Ramadan? Because terrorists are assholes.” That does say it all!!
This was a surprise, learned during my research: “Traditionally, dogs are considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam as they are thought of as dirty. But while conservatives advocate complete avoidance, moderates simply say Muslims should not touch the animal’s mucous membranes — such as the nose or mouth — which are considered especially impure.” I did not know that, knew that in Muslim countries dogs are not allowed in homes (or palaces, I guess) but did not know that touching them would be forbidden. It seems cruel to have a dog that you cannot touch. I am frightened of dogs so it is not a problem for me not to touch them. I was able to touch a dog called Lamb Chop but as I do not go to Andy’s anymore I do not see Lamb Chop.
Last evening I received a very touching call from My Princess. This is how it began.
She: I miss you Granny.
Me: I am so happy to hear from you.
She: (said something I could not understand)
Me: Dear I do not understand what you are asking – “Do you: and then cannot hearyou are unintelligible)
Finally I was able to understand what she was saying.
She: Do you miss me Granny?
Me: Of course I do! Of course I do! I cannot wait to see you again!
Then I recall we both started to cry.
Me: It is most strange to have bonded with you so closely and over such a short period of time
What was most fascinating is that when she called (unexpectedly) I was watching National Day Celebrations of Qatar on YouTube. It is a spectacle most amazing and inspiring – two hours long so it takes some dedication. I am not able to, for some reason, provide the link and AAA is not here at the moment.
Yesterday also brought another surprise, related to the conversation between My Princess and myself. I have a huge desk that converts into a trunk purchased at Restoration Hardware subsequent to my leaving Husband #3 and prior to my move to London. It sat in storage for six and a half years, retrieved only upon my move to Marin, Its many drawers and crannies contain long forgotten treasures. I found this photograph – it is Grandparent’s Day at a high school attended by my prior grandchildren which occurred in 2013. The woman on the left is me. AAA was at my apartment and I showed it to her.
Me: Look at Me. That was taken almost ten years ago and I look younger today.
She: You do!
I experienced seventeen wonderful years of grand parenting with this family. I laughingly now call this my training wheels for the immense responsibility offered by the Qatar Kids, as I call them. They do need and want a Granny who set limits, who loves them but, sometimes not their behavior and tells them so, a Granny they can laugh and play with. I do have to admit that I was pretty good at it the first time round, but now I shall be even better. Definitely going to have to be – their numbers are astounding.
The photograph attached to this blog will prove that I do tell the truth. The confidentiality of others shall be maintained – I am sure that the other three have aged. Hahahaha. There is also a picture of the desk/trunk purchased from Restoration Hardware. It was on sale, I scored!!!