a family’s Id in Ait Bouguemez

some tea and cake at home at 6 a.m., and then up to the very early morning prayer in the village:

   

after greeting everybody and wishing a blessed day, people go home to sacrify the sheep:

and then families sit together, share, prepare BBQ and the lunch and enjoy the atmosphere of this holy day:

 

and in the afternoons and over the next days tea with friends.

hope your Id was also a blessed one!

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happy Id al Adha dear Ummah!

Id moubarak said and happy feast of devotion, sacrifice and faith!

Allahumma taqqabbil to all the pilgrims in Makkah (Mecca), in remembrance of prophet Abraham.

 

 

some of my memories and facts about that most important celebration in the Muslim year:
https://ittosjournal.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/remembering-id-el-adha-2011/
https://ittosjournal.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/preparing-id-el-kebir/

 

 

other circumstances

It was the one thing I was just not prepared for, at all.
It was what we had planned and expected the least. Never.
We have been very happy and really busy enough with four kids and our growing school project, alhamdulillah.
I was happy to gain back more and more freedom, now that they were all growing older. After nearly fourteen years of being pregnant, breastfeeding, diaper-changing and caring for very small children, even the smallest one shows, with his four years of age now, already large amounts of independence.
So I enjoyed myself so much in just having sometimes a few hours alone, in being able to travel a few days without children, in engaging in bigger projects outside the home, in being myself, thinking about myself and being just with myself.

 

And then this:
menses already ten days over, a tearing belly, knowing that this might not be just an early menopause-symptom,… and the result of the test: positive!!!!
Pregnant with the fifth child!

Oh—my–God. It just cannot be possible, mashaallah. It cannot!

A whole world of dreams and plans broke over me. I felt weak, and old, and imprisoned, and forced into something I just was not ready for.
Astaghfirullah. Lord, forgive me, make it easy for me…
It was horrible, I immediately began to feel very sick, uncomfortable, tired, miserable, with no joy in anything and ready to vomit every moment.
Scenarios of having a big pregnancy belly, giving birth and holding a baby came to my mind like horror and it just felt so strange, so far away, and so not at all me any more, I thought I was over all of this.

Towards the outside world I didn’t’ show these thoughts.
I hid it, the pregnancy and my awkward feelings. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I maybe looked like I’ve got it all together, but inside, I felt like standing ankle deep in crap.
I first had to make peace with it myself.
I had to learn how to find the magic and wonder in this mess, in becoming a small-baby-mother, again. I had to gain back faith and confidence and trust.
I had to learn to surrender in Allah’s will, to be thankful.
I had to learn to accept and to let go, to drop myself and to give up my selfishness, my wish to control and my ego-claims.
I had to accept that I cannot just close our family-door and all the blessings and prosperity we live in, if God wishes us to take this task and to care for another child. I had and I still have to accept this duty.

It took time. These whole summer vacations I spent pondering, meditating and working on this.

I slowly feel better now. I still have some nausea, but I begin to accept the situation and even begin to feel something like joy, honor, gratitude, pride and excitement with it, alhamdulillah.
I begin to accept this mission that was imposed upon me.
I look forward to a house full of children, to a small one who needs us all and who will have his place among our wonderful-crazy family-tribe, inchaallah.

My faith helps me a lot – I just know that everything happens for our highest good.
I find inspiration and encouragement in blogs from moms who have more than seven or ten children, in movies like “cheaper by the dozen” and especially in the belief that destiny (God’s way) is always perfect for us.
And I find joy in the joy of our kids who are eager to welcome the new family-member.

So many wonderful women do and did it, nearly all my neighbors have more than four kids – yes I can, as well, inchaallah.
I still have nearly six months to grow into it, and time will help.

When life gives you lemons – make lemonade!
– Up into this new adventure, into this new learning opportunity, into the joy of being a family of seven!
I mean, honestly, having a full handful of children, being “mom of five”, sounds not so bad at all…

 

 

Summer Reading

August – time of vacation, of nothingness, of days spent without timetables and social obligations…
time to read without real purpose, just to the pure pleasure of it.

Some old summer-classics, beautiful Muslim fiction and a new field guide:

Anne Morrow Lindbergh “Gift from the Sea”
Naima B. Robert “She wore red trainers”
Rosamunde Pilcher “The Shell seekers”
Katie Daisy “How to be a Wildflower”

Happy summer days to you!

 

Wonderfully amazing Ramadan!

Ramadan is wonderfully amazing !

…because :

  1. It teaches me self-control and shows me the real power of my will.
  2. It assures me that I am independent from coffee, sugar and other addictions.
  3. It submits the soul under divine protection and guidance which makes it possible, even for young children, to restrain with joy and ease from food and drink during 16 day-light-hours.
  4. Allah facilitates so many things we never thought being able to accomplish, subhanallah.
  5. All my senses get fine-tuned and my receptivity gets deeper.
  6. It is a gift to feel all of this, every year in a different way, because Ramadan moves every year about 10 days ahead in the calendar, which gives us the opportunity to experience the sacred month in every season over the years.
  7. I feel my vulnerability and humbleness in a very reassuring way.
  8. Allah gives us power and energy we normally do not have (with only 5 hours sleep per night), alhamdulillah.
  9. Doing such an act of worship in community (not for the ego, not to be seen by others, only to fulfill our duties toward our creator) gives much strength.
  10. In Ramadan, Allah’s blessings can be felt more than ever, everywhere: in the cold breeze He sends, in the rain He offers, in the good food He provides every evening and the water that quenches our thirst…

Allahu akbar! Thanks to God.