by Alia Ghoneum
When I was a child, I used to visit Egypt two to three times a year, so much so that I got an “excessive absence” warning on my first grade report card. As the years went by and after my grandmother Teta Dawlat passed away (Allah yarham), I have not been back for six years. Alhamduillah millioon mara, I was so fortunate to visit Egypt this summer- I feel awakened from a state of dormancy. I forgot what a large and loving family I had. Sometimes, especially in America, we get so caught up in our own little bubbles, studying for our classes, trying to lose weight, trying to improve our resumes, asking for more and more from Allah, that we forget what Allah tala has already given us. We beg for more water from the heavens, without seeing the oceans that we already have. We forget where we came from and how much our families love us.
It is also a tradition to pray taraweh in the masjids with cousins and friends. There would be water dispensers near the prayer areas to catch a drink in between the taraweh breaks. The water is either in a clay urn or in a plastic cup. While taraweh prayers made our legs tired and strained, it purified our hearts and we left the masjid feeling closer to Allah tala. When you get out of the masjids, there are beautiful colored paper designs hanging from house to house, so that when you look up, you see a curtain of spectacular colors!
Giving to the Poor
It is also a tradition to slay a goat and feed the poor. My male cousins usually do the slaying (and take pride in it too) and my uncles distribute the meat. To see the smiles on everyone’s faces is enough to make you happy for the entire month!
Thank you Mustafa and Ahmad ibn Amo Subree for your gifts and your smiles
Also, thank you Amo Marzuki, Amo Osum, Amo Helal, Amo Subree, Amo Ahmad Naada (for making us laugh)and everyone else