Ramadan, which is expected every year, is considered a health and spiritual resort; it gives the human spirit a great deal of sophistication. Writes Khawla Moratazavi
Modernity, which dominated everything and changed the course of events a lot, gives it the flavor of modernity. It refused to besiege the month of Ramadan, this special religious and cultural season that still maintains its privacy and distinctive identity, despite many aspects that crept in little by little and lost a small part of that original flavor, and despite this slow creep of manifestations of the new consumer life, but Ramadan remains a story waiting for it. The people of Qatar, to tell us about the fragrance of the past, and the noble values that history has immortalized in it. To remain steadfast against the winds of erosion and sedimentation.
The Qatari heritage includes a large number of customs, traditions and popular (sideburns) associated with the blessed month of Ramadan. It is full of religious and cultural activities and wonderful manifestations of social solidarity that extend outside Qatar, to include relief for the afflicted of all humanity in this globe. The cycle of the Ramadan day in Qatar was, and still is, beginning with the voice of (Al-Masahir), this character that is unique to the dark night of Ramadan, which shines with the voice of Al-Masahir, resounding in (Al-Furjan- Al-Ahyaa) and the streets, beating the drum and chanting with his sweet voice: “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad, O Messenger of Allah, there is no god but God, O servants of Allah, there is no god but Allah, people eat suhoor, people fast, there is no god but Allah, people eat suhoor according to the divided”.
Thus, the cycle of fasting begins with this ancient caller, to eating the pre-dawn meal and holding the intention to fast, and then the family’s preparation for the Fajr prayer.
“Many men have been perfected, and no women have been perfected:
except for Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh, and Maryam bint Imran, and the superiority of Aisha over women is like the superiority of porridge over all other foods”.
Thareed, then – which is crumbled bread with broth, is considered one of the main foods in the Qatari Ramadan table. As for the other main dishes, they include the following: “Majboos, harees, samosa, marqoqa, madhrouba, khanfaroush, luqaimat, sago, sherbet, muhalabiya, jelly, balaleet, Khabeesa, Buthaitha, Barnoosh, Jareesh, Kabab Nakhi, Zalabiya, Alaba.” These seasonal dishes are the distinguishing feature of the Ramadan (dinner) in which families are keen to share their basic items before the Maghrib call to prayer, as each family sends a number of dishes to the family and neighbors in (Al-Fareej). – Neighborhood) as a kind of fraternity and wonderful social solidarity and as a social ritual that was not affected by the winds of the era and Westernization.
Ramadan in Qatar is characterized as a rich religious festival. It is keen on young and old, men and women; to perform the obligatory and supererogatory prayers, to attend the remembrance circles, to recite, memorize and seal the Holy Qur’an lessons, and to supplicate Allah with supplication in (Taraweeh, Qiyam and Laylat al-Qadr), which makes fasting the holy month; a deep spiritual experience, more than a physical one, that cleanses the body and soul of all toxins and impurities. Ramadan, which is expected every year, is considered a health and spiritual resort; it gives the human spirit a great deal of sophistication.
Ramadan is a very crowded social season, as (visitors), banquets, and (invitations) do not end, as all families are keen to gather in (the Oud House), which is the house of the grandfather, in order to achieve the degree of kinship ties, and to gain double reward in the holy month. Families are also keen to meet with friends and acquaintances, and to strengthen the ties that may have become distant and estranged during the months of the year, due to the crowding of practical and scientific life during the year. Isha and Tarawih – it means the feast that is eaten at midnight.
One of the customs that characterizes good Ramadan is the habit of reviving the night of the middle of Ramadan with the ritual of (Qarqe’an). It is one of the customs that has been rooted for hundreds of years. Qataris are still keen to celebrate the (Qarqe’an) annually.
My dear reader, only Ramadan happens in which the past embraces the present, in which there is an authentic fragrance of the timeless masterpieces of Islamic civilization, and in it the scent of nostalgia for the days of the beautiful time; The time of the ancestors and fathers, the old time of originality, its nights are a piece of art inspired by the fantasy (One Thousand and One Nights), and if the night of Ramadan comes with its darkness and its beautiful blackness, scents woven from its blackness with the cold of clear light erupt everywhere, as it mixes in those nights; The smell of the meat that is grilled on the (mankal) and the freshly baked (rqaq) bread that is cooked on the (tawa) with the scent of oud, incense, (mashmoum), jasmine and Mohammedan roses, to make the air of Ramadan breath; A special sweet breeze that is not repeated except in the darkness of his enlightening darkness.
Year after year, we yearn, as we have never longed before, for the advent of the month of mercy and forgiveness, “Ramadan”. We make intentions, “if it is written for us”, to fast it out of faith and reckoning, and renew in it the soul that has been exhausted by sins and tribulations, supplicating to the Allah the Almighty; May his coming upon us be full of goodness, harmony and reassurance and upon all our Muslim brothers, and may he forgive our old and our young, our living and our dead. O Allah, O Lord, the month of the good and the righteous, the month of emancipation from Hell, accept our fasting, standing in prayer and reading the Qur’an, and make our hearts humble from Your piety, and make our eyes tear from fear of You, and make us, O Allah, among the people of piety and the people of forgiveness.
Republished from Qatari newspaper Al-Watan and translated from Arabic to English by Blitz.
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