O who believe, fasting is decreed for you
as it was decreed for those before you;
perchance you will guard yourselves.
...
The month of Ramadan is the month
in which the Koran was sent down,
a guidance for the people,
and clear verses of guidance and
criterion.

[Quran: Chapter 2, 183]
Ramadan
the Generous

A Note on the Month of Ramadan

by Ayse, a Turkish Resident of the US

Let me first congratulate everyone on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. Sister Hebba from Georgetown University prompted me to write and share something wonderful happened when I woke up to eat at about 5:40 am today.

My alarm is connected to the radio, and I woke up to a woman's voice talking about Ramadan in NPR Morning Early Edition. She said the moon was sighted in the East Coast, and she said "Ramadan Mubarek!" I started crying... It has been soo long since I haven't woken up to something so sweet. In my country, Turkey, traditional drum players come and wake people up, they beat their drum and say poems until a light comes out from the house. Then when the eating time is over, a canon goes... Then you hear of the Dawn prayers in the silence of the city of Istanbul from many many minarets (from our house we could see 17 of the mosques!!)... At night, big mosques are lightened up with phrases such as "Welcome Ramadan", "Allahu Akbar", "Bismillahir rahmanirrahim"... We used to compete to read what was written between each minaret several miles away with my sister. (With my myobic eyes, she always won of course). Then there were radio and TV programs before Iftar in which the hafiz recited Quran, ilahis and qasides were sung, good advice were given. In the bakeries, there were lines to buy the hand burning hot Ramadan pida bread right before the breaking of the fast at sundown (iftar)... Ramadan is in the air! Something similar to the way Christmas is celebrated here. Here, we get disconnected from this state of mind where everyone celebrates our holy days and Eids...

I have missed this for such a long time... Finally, someone other then me, and my family was celebrating the beginning of Ramadan too, I thought with the voice from the radio...

Then some sisters and brothers from Georgetown University talked about what Ramadan is, what it is for, and what it is to them. It was a great thing to hear someone positively talking about Islam in NPR!

I just want to say thanks to sister Hebba who spoke to NPR. God bless you for making my day!!

Wassalam, peace--

Ayse

Al-Hamdulillah, praise and peace be upon His Prophet Muhammad and on his Family,
Companions and his Followers, inwardly and outwardly.