Ramadan: Three Passions

“Would you spend Ramadan with us?”, someone asks on the other side. A voice answer: “yes”, brings a euphoria and “no” a disappointment with stifled emotion. When abri’a drink made of sorghum and other ingredients mixed with spice and wrapped in a bag or carton reaches one in his or her exile, it evokes the fragrance of home. It is not possible to experience this without shedding some tears, however furtively. He or she embraces the home made perfume sweetly wafting from the drink diligently made by loved ones. Yesterday, an hour after the Maghreb prayer, I thought of people that I love people who fasted Ramadan with us but are lost forever. Next to me, on a carpet, sat Tawfig, a young man believed to be insane, but who is not completely crazy. ” Ramadan Karim” He greeted me with deferential bow. He shot a glance in my direction-a glance that seemed to penetrate my un-spoken thoughts, smiled and said: Coffee was their laughter and their concern. Now they are ghosts of coffee beans. We were impressed by him. Before leaving, he went somewhere as if he stood over an echo of footsteps. Is it a human or a specter from coffee beans?” I asked. He smiled and gave me a cup of orange juice from the other side of the tray.
The British philosopher Bernard Russell once wrote “Three passions, simple but strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge and the unbearable pity of the suffering of mankind.” These three passions are tangible and visible in Ramadan. For example, the yearning for love is apparent in reunion of sons coming from big cities to dusty, small, dismal looking villages to breakfast with their families. You can’t imagine their happiness. It is as beautiful as the variety of the feasts or banquets. Any feast even if it were lavish, begins in an scenic manner, it starts by eating a date and sips of water. I think such a tradition is symbolic of our longing to first love, the prophet Muhammad. He lived an austere and pristine life. Ramadan is a magenta that attracts prodigal sons. It is a return to roots, spiritual revival and nostalgia .In spite of the rush to modernity, some places still retain their great simplicity and some of what is humanly unique.
Muslims abstain from food and drink to feel in their own flesh what the poor, destitute and starved feel. Isn’t this an expression of love and solidarity? When Ramadan is over, people look back at it with longing because it is 30 days spent with someone they love. As Mitch Alboum said “A day you spend with someone you love can change everything …a day to listen, to apologize and to forgive”. The search for knowledge is evident in the crowd of devout Muslims in different mosques attending religious learning sessions especially about the Koran. Why not?
Ramadan is a solemn month in which prophet Muhammad received the first revelation of the Koran. Some of the worshippers walk for a some distance to pray in another well-ventilated mosque glowing with light, or to answer an invitation to breakfast from friends or relatives. It is a journey of self-purification. Every Muslim has to make this journey because as the Arab saying goes ” If the water stands motionless in pools, it becomes stale and muddy; only when it moves does it remain clear”. The sympathy with other ordeals manifests itself through supplication and prayers for peace, recovery of the wounded and victory of the aggrieved. The longing for love, subsequent peace of mind, the search for knowledge and the unbearable pity for the pity of suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds- blow us on an ocean of compassion, an altruism, kindness, generosity, piety and devotion.

Abdulaziz Ali Omer

Abdulaziz Ali Omer
omerabdulaziz8@gmail.com
Abdulaziz Ali Omer

Latest posts by Abdulaziz Ali Omer (see all)

Abdulaziz Ali Omer

Abdulaziz Ali Omer

Abdulaziz Ali Omer omerabdulaziz8@gmail.com

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *