|Maybe these people can come up with something to freshen my blog every once in a while.|
I should have posted during Ramadan, or at least in the last 10 days, but it never seems like there's time when you're sleeping from 5-9 a.m. and working, going to iftars/events, and praying all night before fasting again the next day. It was wonderful.
I had a particularly lovely evening at an unlikely place—the Somali mall. This is usually the last place you'd think of when trying to find tranquility. It's hot, cramped, and full of people all running around yelling in another language. But they have this great masjid (mosque) upstairs with soft beautiful carpet, a TV so you can clearly see and hear the imam, and during Ramadan, plenty of volunteers going around with water and suhoor (the meal before fasting) for everyone. Best of all, the kids behave themselves and actually let you enjoy the prayer. This is huge. Usually they're running back and forth playing, spilling, laughing, fighting, and generally making you wish it weren't a sin to kill them.
We got there after an awesome iftar dinner to raise funds for Syrian refugees. It was the night of the 27th of Ramadan, a night which we believe could be the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr), an unspecified night in the last 10 days that counts as more than a thousand months for those worshipping, fasting, and asking Allah for whatever they want. It's the night most people think is Laylat al-Qadr based on some sayings of the Prophet ﷺ so there are always a ton of people at the mosque.
Anyway, I don't want to bore you to death so I will just say the place was packed and I felt a real energy there that night. The Quran recitation started around 12:30 a.m. and it was beautiful. After a break for fundraising a different person led the rest of the prayer and his dua'at (supplications) were so powerful that I just cried the whole time as he begged for our forgiveness, for the relief of those suffering around the world, and for the mercy of Allah to help us live to see the end of Ramadan and get its blessings. The dua'at lasted about 15 minutes and we were all shaking to keep our hands raised while we stood at the end of a long night of prayer. It was the best.
It's hard to describe that feeling or even remember it after it passes. It's also hard to get it back during the rest of the year. There's just something special about Ramadan that can't be explained but must be felt. I hope that one day you will all get to feel it yourselves if you haven't already.
My awesome friend did give me some tafseer (explanation of Quran) CDs which I'm planning to listen to in the car to not only learn something about the Book of Allah but avoid the incessant political drivel on MPR during this election cycle. Thank God I don't have TV to see their stupid ads and that I somehow am not on any campaign mail or phone lists. These are true blessings!!
It has certainly been a while. Ramadan's been over for almost two weeks now but getting back to my old routine hasn't been easy. Especially since I haven't really tried. It's been hot again but what happened to stretching at home or using the elliptical machine? Time to dust off my excuses and get back to my 20 minutes a day. I did actually go to the State Fair last week and walked for at least two hours while snacking on the fried delights that the Great Minnesota Get-Together has to offer. But since I only eat Zabiha Halal, I didn't do the giant corn dog/turkey leg/Polish sausage thing so that has to count for something. I also vacuumed my apartment today and spent 20 minutes tidying up and doing dishes, so there.
Off to make the chicken and dumplings. Since it's such a lovely day, I think I will walk them off during an evening stroll in the neighborhood. If you come back tomorrow, I will tell you about it!