A Berber Woman’s Winter Day

Recently I was honoured to be asked by some of my dear readers to tell more about a Muslim woman’s life, about her role, preconceptions others have on it and about the reality of reverted and natural born Muslimahs.
I don’t think that it is right to generalize, so I can only picture glimpses of my view, of my personal impression and experiences and of my own thoughts.
On this blog of mine you see parts of my life as a Muslimah:
I was blessed to be guided to Islam at the age of 24; so I lived a big part of my life as a Christian western girl before. Since then my whole being has totally changed, alhamdulillah, and what I am living now is a very individual mixture of several ways of life, influenced by my rich past, by the exceptional reality of having settled into a traditional rural area and being guided by a strong desire to attain taqwa (God consciousness) and to become a true servant, a true believer in Allah, inchaallah.
I don’t think that my personal life can be taken as a general example of “the life of a Muslimah”, and so I find it quiet difficult to make statements about “the Muslim woman”. I think everyone lives her own experiences, has her own thoughts, dreams and problems and sees the world from a very personal view: the reverted- or the natural-born-Muslimah, the young or the old, the rural- or the city-Muslimah… everyone has her own background and her own future to live.

brotbacken2 teeherd-opa1
yaundkuh waeschezuber

That’s why I decided first to picture the every day life of a Berber Muslim woman of the special area I am living in; of the women I have lived and shared my life with for more than a year before I moved into my own house; of friends and neighbours who nearly all live a very similar traditional life, dependant on nature’s seasons and dedicated to Allah. They all are lovely, great and strong women, born Muslimah’s, most of them illiterate but proud to be mothers and housewives and masters in their chores and tasks.
Here you go with their daily winter schedule:
(it surely differs a little from family to family and if there are children they mostly live a bit “beside” playing outside, going to school and helping with the chores):

07.30 a.m.: waking up with the sun, heating up water for a quick wash in the kitchen (bathrooms are rare), praying Fajr and then preparing the dough for bread and more water for the breakfast-tea.
08.30 a.m.: feeding the cows and sheep and baking the bread.
09.30 a.m.: taking breakfast (sweet green tea, bread and olive oil), brushing the courtyard, cleaning the rooms and sweeping floors. Eventually getting water from the well (not all the families do have fluent water at home yet).
10.30 a.m.: preparing the lunch “Tagine”; cutting vegetables and putting them together with little meat into the so called pyramided pottery to cook for about 2.5h (Fridays-lunch is Couscous).
11.00 a.m.: washing laundry by hand at the river with other women or at home and hanging it to dry over trees and bushes into the sun.
13.00 a.m.: praying Dhour and serving lunch; this is normally eaten together as a family but gender-separated if there are visitors.
14.00 p.m.: washing up and cleaning the kitchen before sitting into the warm sun, sort out wheat or doing some craftwork such as carding wool or weaving rugs.
16.00 p.m.: praying Asr and then making some snack with milk coffee, bread and oil.
16.30 p.m.: feeding again the animals and putting them into their stables.
17.00 p.m.: watching television (which is quiet new; electricity is available here since only 6 years). Most women love to watch cookery-shows or Mexican telenovelas but also religious programmes.
18.00 p.m.: praying Maghrib and preparing dinner (mostly Couscous or soup).
19.00 p.m.: sitting together in the living-room (salon) as a family, watching TV, doing crafts (often crocheting) and playing with the kids while waiting for the meal.
20.00 p.m.: eating dinner while the TV still is on.
20.30 p.m.: cleaning up the kitchen and praying ‘Isha after a little evening wash.
21.00 p.m.: watching news and preparing beds with lots of blankets. Most of the family members do not have their own rooms and sleep on mattresses in the salon.
22.00 p.m. good night!  

couscous-i korner-sieben2
tv-opa kardieren

5 thoughts on “A Berber Woman’s Winter Day

  1. Liebe Itto,
    weisst du, das ist wirklich ein sehr schönes, einfaches und wahrhaftiges Leben, das du beschreibst. Zu lesen, wie du lebst, weckt in mir eine Art “Heimweh”. Ich habe dir soeben eine E-Mail geschickt…
    LG, Katarina

  2. Assalamu alaikum Itto,
    MashaAllah, this is amazing. I love reading your posts and love learning about the daily life. Keep up the good work, inshaAllah!
    Would you mind sharing more about how you ended up living there and how it was like at the beginning?

  3. Oh, and would you share some recipes? 🙂 Btw I love watching the 3 Nüsse für Aschenbrödel but in the original version. Can you guess where I come from? 🙂

  4. Could you share with us some of your everyday recipes, for tagine for example, since I heard Maroco is famous for so many various flavourful tagines. Jazakallahukhair sis and may Allah keep you safe and your family.

  5. Is it poverty which keeps them still living like pioneers? But they have tvs? That seems strange to me. If they have electricity why not get a washing machine?

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