I’ve written 2 exams thus far. I’m trying to summon up the motivation to study for the last 4, which I write consecutively. So far, I’ve found none. As for my Ibadah, I can notice that I’ve been slacking. However. There has been some good news! We’ve been granted permission to break during our exams to perform Maghrib salaah when the time sets in, and we’ll get extra time at the end of the session if we need it. Alhamdulillah.
So far I’ve written one exam through Maghrib time. Security gave me hassles when they saw me bringing my water bottle in, but luckily the invigilator stepped in and explained the situation. I can’t fathom how they’d not been informed beforehand. Lack of communication I guess.
Anyway, the invigilators were really accommodating Alhamdulillah. I stepped out of the venue, broke my fast with some water and laid out my travel musallah. I won’t lie, the floor was darn cold, but it’s just a tiny sacrifice in the bigger scheme of things.
I write my last exam today! I cannot explain what a roller coaster the past few days have been. Tonight is the first odd night of Ramadhaan. When I walked into the exam venue, I told the lecturer, “I cannot wait for this exam to be over.” Shame, lol, he must have thought I hated his subject so much. Nevertheless, I’m just too relieved to care. 3 more hours, and I’m out…
Whoop de doop. I write my last exam, drive home and find that there’s no water at home because some pipe burst somewhere. Greeaaat. And I was hoping to have a lovely shower. Well.
So, like I mentioned before, tonight is the first odd night of Ramadhaan! While that is totally exciting, it’s also sad because it means that we’re winding down and reaching the end of this blessed month.
The water supply was only restored at 2 PM. 2 PM! I showered and got dressed in my warmest pjs, because let’s face it, it’s too cold to wear anything else anyway. Amal flew in yesterday and I’d been trying to ignore her because I was trying to study and she was doing what she does best – talking. Today though, I’ll have to put up with her 😉 She dumped all the gifts she’d brought with her on my bed and my pedestal (tbh I don’t know how her luggage wasn’t overweight lol) and made my room a thorough mess.
The odd nights are so beautiful. Everyone strives a bit harder and the atmosphere just feels that much more special. Everyone immerses themselves in Ibadah, and when we finally go to bed much later, Amal comes and plops herself down on my bed between Iman and I and starts talking. Sigh. There goes our sleep.
Amal is thee worst person to wake up for anything. I go between her room and the kitchen at least 5 times, pulling off her blanket on the fifth try. She eventually gets out of bed and arrives in the dining room looking like a complete hobo, with her neckscarf tied around her head and the back of her head exposed. It’s quite the sight and even sleepy eyed Iman can’t resist laughing.
I can’t sleep after Fajr. It’s become a habit. I used to stay up to read Qur’an and/or study and then get ready to leave for campus, but now that I have no studying to do I might as well stay up and read Qur’an.
It’s the 27th night of Ramadhaan. The phones are going crazy. Everyone suddenly wakes up on the 27th night, not realising that the other odd nights are just as important. Oh well. May Allah guide us.
Today might possibly be the last day of Ramadhaan. Sorrow along with anticipation play across everyone’s faces. At night, we sit around the table and listen out for the announcement on the radio, since we had tried to search for the moon and failed (do it if you can – it’s Sunnah).
We heave a sigh of relief once it’s announced that we still have another day before Ramadhaan leaves us. We spontaneously decide to travel the next day so that we can spend Eid with our extended family.
As soon as we reach our destination, we head to the place where Amal stays. While she grabs some things she needs, I rummage through her draws – and I find treasure.
“Amal you absolute twit. Have you even been using this?” I ask, holding up the cute umbrella shaped pen I gave her a while ago.
She shrugs nonchalantly.
“You know I can’t use it at work. Taking it to work is like asking for it to be stolen, broken or soiled.”
“I’m going to take it back then,” I threaten. But of course I don’t.
It’s the night before Eid, and as usual, us cousins are high on excitement. They persuade me to apply henna on their hands – and thankfully it comes out decent enough. We keep moving from room to room, setting up bedding on the floor and making sure that everyone has enough pillows and blankets. We joke and tease each other all the while. The atmosphere is electric. I don’t know what time the grandparents kick us off to bed, but we lie on the floor talking in low tones and trying to muffle our laughter. Eventually, we all drop off to sleep.
We wake up to the sounds of the men rushing around trying to get ready for salaah. The younger male cousins (kiddos) too are in a frenzy. “Mummy where’s my itr?” “Muhammad will you get out of the bathroom already?!” “I can’t find my socks!” “Well I can’t find my shoes!”
Amal and I lie in until Fajr time sets in and mum pokes her head around the corner threatening to give us a boot :’) all of us cousins sleeping in the room wake up shortly and head to the bathroom.
After the men depart, we read Surah Yaaseen and then head to the kitchen. The ladies are all there already, ma having woken up at 3 AM to prepare her traditional milk and puris and samoosas. The table is laid and when the men return, they catch a quick bite and then rush off for Eid Salaah. We sit down to eat and then the real work begins.
Everyone, from the smallest to the biggest, has a chore. Whether it’s peeling potatoes or onions or making salad or marinating meat, we’re all engrossed in our work. Meanwhile, the sun rises higher in the sky while we yell across at each other from the kitchen and dining room, and the phone rings nonstop…
The worst thing about working in the kitchen amidst pots of simmering food is the smell. It clings to your clothes and even your hair is not spared! The smaller kids are sent to the bathroom first so that they can be out of the way. Once they’ve showered, they go off to do their own things and we can be at peace knowing the bathroom queue is getting shorter..lol.
Soon enough the men return and after greeting everyone, they sit at the table, ready for ma’s signature kebabs. Meanwhile the helpers take huge dishes of dirty dishes and utensils to wash, while the biryani is slowly but surely getting done…
It’s amazing how much of a difference a few extra hands can make. The kitchen work is finished relatively early and everyone gets ready while we await the rest of the family.
We’re reading salaah at its earliest time when the first few relatives arrive. After salaah, the ladies congregate in the kitchen, laughing and talking and making a fair amount of noise, while the men linger outside or in the lounge and the kids take joy in running up and down the long passage…
Well. Today has been exhausting but fun. Lunch and tea was at ma’s. Supper was at nani’s. We’re going back home tomorrow. I just need to sleep. I don’t think I’ll do my share of driving either lol. It’s been a wonderful day though. Alhamdulillah. Although I really feel like I could have done much more this Ramadhaan. But don’t we always feel like that? We can never be satisfied with the amount of good deeds that we’ve tried to do in Ramadhaan but I think that’s a good thing, because it just motivates us to try harder and do better, and to strive in doing good even outside of Ramadhaan. May Allah bless us with many more years in which to witness many more beautiful episodes of this blessed month. May He accept all that we did for His Sake and may He forgive us for our sins, strengthen us so that we strive to keep away from actions that are displeasing to Him, and may He make us a means of Hidayah for others. Aameen.