Last Ramadan-week and ten mundane facts

waesche

Ramadan 23rd:

  • feeling a bit tired and dizzy during day;
  • being amazed by the strong intention and selfcontrol of my two fasting boys who did already so many days, mashaallah;
  • sometimes being quickly exhausted myself by little mundane tasks and doing only the minimum of it;
  • coughing and sneezing a lot because of the very dry and dusty weather;
  • trying to benefit from quiet devotion time by night, which starts for me very late because rhythms totally changed and baby recently doesn’t sleep until nearly midnight…;
  • eating cucumber-yogurt-sauce (without garlic) and pizza-bread for iftar;
  • loving this beautiful shop the beautiful pictures and the owner herself (for the sake of Allah);
  • reading the Quran here and learning this sura again;
  • dreaming to sit in this or that rocking chair;
  • but generally having very deep thankfulness for all the blessings in our life, alhamdulillah.

salam aleikoum and peace with you during these last blessed days and nights!

 

The book of light and my personal way to Islam

quran 2 quran 3

Twelve years ago, it was in autumn/winter 2002, I’ve spent six months in Marrakech for work. At that time I still was a practicing Christian. I have ever been a seeker and was always interested in religion and faith; I always believed in God, in Jesus and all that. So, during that stay, while having been in close contact with Muslim colleagues, I had my new testament as a shield with me and a strong portion of preconceptions against Islam; but I also had a lot of questions and was very interested in that other religion and in what Muslims believe.
My colleagues were all very respectful and educated, yet simple and almost poor Moroccan people. They lived and shared their faith, they all seemed to be very attached to their religion and they practiced it in the everyday.
They, like most of the Moroccans I met, were very proud of their Islam, proud in a touching way, not like being vain, but more like being satisfied, happy and sure to have the right faith. They all liked to talk about their religion and I loved to ask questions to learn more about it.
So we discussed a lot during work. I often asked them about all the preconceptions in my head; I asked questions about the role of the women, about polygamy and all the forbidden things and why they follow such traditional orders without adjusting them to modern circumstances.
They patiently listened and then peacefully responded. They always had explanations based on the Qur’an and on what their prophet said. And I often had then to nod my head and to agree. I often was very surprised to hear about things I knew from the Bible and I couldn’t argue against most of what they told me. How they explained the things just sounded to me very reasonable, it made clear sense and it often seemed to be a continuation of my own faith; it seemed to be a development of what I’ve learned in Christianity, with new answers to what I’ve always looked for.

Then the month of Ramadan came. I decided to fast with my colleagues; simply to share the atmosphere and to be really able to feel and to understand what they experience.
The fasting wasn’t as hard as I expected. Even to pass the whole day without water wasn’t that difficult and after a few days I felt very comfortable.
During that holy month I found a copy of the German translation of the Qur’an – Now I wanted to know more about the source of this exotic yet very familiar religion.

First I almost feared to open that book. I feared to learn more about a religion of which so many of the people in Germany had warned me about. I feared to get brainwashed or enchanted.
But I also felt a strong power and attraction to it.
Before I began to read I decided to pray to my Christian God first, I asked Him to protect me against the evil of Islam and to guide me to the truth.
Then I opened the book and started to discover with eagerness and a healthy portion of distrust.
Wow that was a huge thing: a simple yet difficult language spoke to me; a literary style that switched from the first to the third person all the time; so many harsh and brutal expressions; so many strong orders and clear warnings about hell and the hereafter.
But there was also an equal amount of loving and merciful sayings, of beautiful parables and wonderful examples of paradise and God’s care for humanity. Many verses spoke about the bounties and blessings from God. There were the stories of all the prophets I already knew: Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Joseph and all the others, and there were a lot of scientific explanations and proofs.
The more I read, the more I was fascinated.
I didn’t get brainwashed, I got convinced.

Every time when I didn’t understand something, I went to work and discussed it with the colleagues. And again: How they explained things sounded very reasonable, it made clear sense and it often seemed to be the continuation of Christianity.

Slowly I turned towards Islam. It took me a while until I really was ready to bear witness that I can accept Mohammed as the last prophet of God the Almighty. There were still many things I didn’t really understand.
But more and more I felt that the Qur’an is the ultimate truth. I felt that this is the real and original word of God. I strongly felt that these are not stories from our ancestors, told and written by man and changed over the centuries to please the people.
I began to understand that Islam is a perfect concept for a good life that provides all the guidance humanity needs.
Suddenly I could say “yes”, I could now trust in God’s wisdom behind everything and accept even those things which my intellect didn’t get at that time.
So my journey as a new Muslimah began, Allahu akbar, and my whole life changed, subhanallah. Living became much more meaningful and the direction of my life got a real purpose: to worship and to please my creator and to always give my best.

Since then I am on a learning path. There are still many things I don’t know or still cannot understand, but I try to climb the ladder and I believe in the wisdom behind everything.
And every year during Ramadan I remember this beginning of my journey, that turning point of my life, subhanallah. Ramadan is the month of the Qur’an and it is then when I concentrate again on the fundamentals of my faith.
Ramadan is the month when Prophet Mohammed received his first revelation of the Qur’an by Archangel Gabriel. So every year, during the month of Ramadan, we remember this. Then Muslims honour the holy book by reading, reciting and praying out of it every night. The Qur’an is for Muslims not only a book with old parables and stories, no, for us it is our main source of knowledge and truth. It never loses its actuality and represents the law and the guidance for our whole life. For us, the Qur’an (the original in classical Arabic language) is the direct word of God which is universal and eternal and we totally believe in every single word written in it.

Today we enter the last ten days of Ramadan. And those ten nights are said to be the most sacred and important nights of the whole year. Worship gets more serious now, as I’ve already explained a few years ago.
A good way to gain the most out of these nights is to go with the three R’s of Qur’an-connection: Reading, Reflecting and Reciting in prayer.

“And We send down of the Qur’an that which is a healing and mercy for the believers” (17:82)
I wish for sacred and blessed nights for all of us. I wish for the energy to stay awake and that our faith increases. Ameen.

quran 1

the magic of a Ramadan evening

RamadanSonnenuntergang

I think one of the most beautiful moments during Ramadan is the last half an hour before we break the fast. Every evening there is this magical atmosphere before sunset, this waiting for the call to Maghrib-prayer, which is the signal that we are again allowed to eat after a long day of fasting.
I love this special moment, when everyone on the streets and fields rushes home and the outside becomes so quiet, when the last preparations in kitchen are made, when the kids (who often fast now as well, mashaallah) run to bring fresh cold water from the spring while I finish to nicely arrange everything on the big table, making sure that there is a bit of everything and for every taste: sweet and salty, something fresh, something cooked or baked; that there are the obligatory dates and water, olives, boiled eggs, yoghurt, juice, tea or coffee…

It is a wonderful feeling when everything is ready just in time and it fills me with so much thankfulness to see the bounties of Allah every evening on our table, subhanallah, to see that we really are blessed.
The last minutes before breaking the fast are extremely special; they are mostly quiet and peaceful, also filled with excitement for what is to come, a bit like I remember Christmas just before having been allowed to see the gifts under the tree…
Hunger is now not that big any more and the thoughts wander back through the day: during noon it was a bit hard and I was tired, but now I enjoy just sitting in front of he door, listening to nature, seeing the sun disappear behind the mountains and waiting for the relieving Adhan, the first “Allahu akbar” from the mosque next over.
There it is – “Allahu akbar!- God is the greatest” sounds now from everywhere around, the whole valley is filled with this beautiful call to worship and I know that millions of Muslims all over this country, all over the world enjoy this sacred moment of relief and gratitude.

I take the first date into my hands, a glass of water, I thank Allah for this day well passed and for the gifts He offers us every evening, I ask Him to accept my fasting, and then I drink – that first sip is so good, alhamdulillah, that first bite is so delicious…yes, indeed, Ramadan is beautiful.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch Deutschland‎!

fifa deutschland

ok, ich gebs zu, auch wenn ich eigentlich keine Ahnung davon habe, doch alle vier Jahre werde auch ich kurzzeitig zum Fußballfan, bin beeindruckt was so ein kleines rundes Ding auf dem ganzen Globus bewirken kann, fiebere mit und genieße die außergewöhnliche völkerverbindende WM-Atmosphäre.

Vor 12 Jahren haben mein Mann und ich unser erstes gemeinsames WM-Spiel, damals noch auf einer Großleinwand in einem Stuttgarter Café angeschaut, und auch dieses Jahr hab ich immer wieder mal, zwischen Fastenbrechen, Küche räumen und Tarawieh-Gebet in die Spiele reingeschaut, die meine vier Männer begeistert ,dank Sat-Übertragung, verfolgt haben.

„Wow“ zum gestrigen Finalspiel.
Herzlichen Glückwunsch an eine beeindruckende Mannschaftsleistung der Deutschen – so schön, zu sehen wie dort unter einem großen Trainer (ein Schwabe natürlich…) neben den „typisch deutschen Tugenden“ nun auch ein ganz achtsamer Teamgeist, gegenseitiger Respekt und Wertschätzung der individuellen Stärken des Einzelnen zu so einem wunderbar erfolgreichen Gruppengefüge geführt haben. Ein verdienter Sieg!

Da kommt bei mir fast ein bisschen Nationalstolz auf, da singen wir hier doch endlich gerne auch mal die deutsche Hymne und freuen uns aus der Ferne mit euch: „Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes, blühe deutsches Vaterland!“  ;-)

„Oh ihr Menschen! Wir haben euch aus Mann und Frau erschaffen und haben euch zu Völkern und Stämmen werden lassen, damit ihr euch kennenlernt.“ (Quran 49:13) 

 

fifa flaggen fifa pokal
ein bisschen homeschooling mit WM-bezug: geograohie, deutsch, kunst und mathe…

Auf der anderen Seite, neben qll der Freude, schmerzt mein Herz und ich wünschte, dieser Frieden und diese positive Energie würden sich auch auf die Lage im Gazastreifen auswirken, dort endlich Ruhe bewirken und die Einsicht, dass es so nicht weiter gehen kann, mashaallah. Meine Gebete und mein Mitgefühl sind mit allen Muslimen dort, und überhaupt mit allen durch Bomben und Raketen geprüften Menschen.