Rama-reflections - week 2

This week, we happened to be out trying to flag down a taxi around 7:45pm, and the streets were crowded with people trying to get home too. We waited for a good 45 minutes, with all three littles. The best part of waiting, was that we got to see an older Uyghur couple arguing about where to wait for a taxi, and almost running to beat other people waiting too. The greatest part about it - was the man had a beheaded lamb over his shoulder. It was a sight!! They finally stomped off after losing 2-3 taxis to quicker runners. I wish I had my camera. :)

This week's highlights:
Here are a few traditional practices that happen during the month of Ramadan

  • Eating meals twice a day, one before the sunrise and one after the sun sets (with a 12 hour fast in between). The morning meal is called suhoor, followed by pre-dawn prayers called fair - around 4am. More dedicated Muslims will stay up in worship, others might go back to bed. The fast is broken after sunset followed by the evening maghrib prayer. There is also a later evening prayer called the isha.
  • Men are urged to visit the local Mosque as many times as they can
  • Read the entire Qur'an during the month of Ramadan: at many mosques during this month, one thirtieth (1/30) of the Qur'an is recited in Arabic each night in prayers called the tarawih. In this way, by the end of the month - the complete scripture will have been recited
  • Cook delicious food during the month of Ramadan (recipes to come!)
  • Breaking the daily fast with a drink of water & sweet dates
  • Social visits are encouraged
  • Generosity & charity & good deeds have special significance this month. Muslims are obligated to share their blessings by feeding the poor and making contributions to mosques
  • The final 10 days of Ramadan is a special celebration called Lailat al-Qadr, also called the "Night of Power." To spend these nights in worship is equivalent to a thousand months of worship. Allah's reward will be very great. We hope to learn more about this event this upcoming week.