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Ramadaan has arrived

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Ramadaan has arrived

by Nurene Jassiem
27 Sep 2006
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

The holy month of Ramadaan has finally arrived. On Saturday after the new moon was sighted marking the start of this month, Muslims across the country went to mosque to perform the special taraweeg prayers.

Taraweeg prayers, are performed at night after the last of the five compulsory daily prayers, and can only be performed during the month of Ramadaan.

According to the Muslim faith, the new day starts after sunset, and so driving with my family to the mosque in Bo-Kaap where we have been going since I can remember, my thoughts trailed back to the many Ramadaan-months that have come and gone since I can remember.

Some of my fond memories include going to taraweeg with my maternal grandmother, and going to different mosques with my father to perform the prayers.

But I think one of my first recollections of this holy month was going to take koekies away to the neighbours. A few hours before sunset, when we break fast, my sisters and I would mill around the kitchen 'helping' my mother to make whatever was the chosen snack would be that night.

Hot off the stove, we would hurriedly pack the koekies on plates and take them to people who lived within walking distance from our house. Sometimes the mean kids who lived in our road would call us names and set their dogs on us, but that didn't make koekies-wegneem (taking cakes to the neighbours), any less fun.

I remember there being a bit of competition between the children in the street to see whose mother could be ready with her koekies first, so you could beat the other children by getting to their house before they could get to yours.

At the home of the koekies recipient the youngest deliverers were usually asked if they were fasting the whole day (pre-pubescent children usually start off by fasting half-day and gradually fast longer hours until they reach puberty when fasting becomes compulsory).

Anyway, so if you told the aunty that you are fasting whole-day you were usually rewarded with an extra packet of chips or something sweet and rest-assured on Eid day you would get extra coins in your purse... but that?s a story for later.

As I got older koekies-wegneem was taken over by the younger generations (not that I'm old, but I mean the school-going children) and these days I barely make it home in time to help around the kitchen because sunset is so early.

But when I sit in the mosque like I did on Sunday night and I look at the little ones who look so tired after fasting their first full day, I miss the times I was one of them.

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