01 October 2006

Donning the headgear and robe is expected. It’s part of the uniform that goes with the role. Your turn comes up. You look around before taking that step forward. All eyes are on you. You can feel those eyes on your back when you step up from the ranks. The comfort of the ranks. Now there are rows of eyes burning holes in your back. And a few more rows from the ladies section as well.
In the name of God, you begin. God the Most Beneficial, the Most Merciful. Now is when you seem to relinquish control. Your legs take over first. The knees have some sort of intermittent magnetic quality that makes them want to knock against each other. The butterflies appear and seem to seize all traces of moisture from your lips downwards.
You close your eyes, expecting to have this picture of black and white guidance there to assist you in this mammoth task. Alas, your mind is blank. Open your eyes. The wall in front of you is also blank. Oops, forgot to breath! Take in a deep breath. Here goes. This is only Day 1...

The Taraweeh prayer [nightly prayer in the month of Ramadaan in which the entire Quran is recited from memory] is one of the highlights of Ramadaan. Men, women and children stand obediently and pray- a heart warming sight.
May God accept our prayers and sacrifices. May He grant us knowledge and wisdom.

In preparation for the looming boards, had to write another day long mock exam. Not fun at all, but hopefully makes a less of a mockery of me than previous ones. Trying to study, perform and work in Ramadaan is proving to be quite a difficult task!

As a replacement for Lucy, acquired a tazz- not nearly as much fun or spunk but will have to do for now. Guess it’s responsible to choose reliability and efficiency and if it’s taking me from point A to point B that’s good enough. So don’t be surprised when you see me crawling along in future:(

There are two shows, most of you probably don’t know about, on every morning. Ramadaan at 4 and Ramadaan Kareem. You will have to watch both for yourself to know what I now speak about. Knowing Khaleel, I find his Kareem variety more bearable, but on the whole, both shows are mostly side splitting. Before I say anymore, watch them and let me know what you think!
Also, South African Muslims must be really advanced to have, not one, but two shows on during Sehri for the entire month. Is this a sign of progression and organisation? Or is it just an insight into how our largely middle to upper class bourgeois community is viewed as a highly lucrative niche market. There could be traces of both. Debatable I think.

This weeks blog pic is of a wooden wind powered sailing dhow, taken from another, while island hoping in Zanzibar.

Peace & Blessings.


Farhana said...

Thank you for the comment!

Nabeel said...

amen @ title

Ruby :) said...

Good luck for the Taraweeh.. May Allah make it easy on you !!

Muhammad said...

Slms Bro :)

Ramadaan Mubarak :)

the two shows rip me up :P


icedmocha said...

hope ur mok went well. photo is amazzin!! u wer sailin while takin this..even betrr. nice 1 bilal!!

Zahira said...

Slmz Ramadhaan Mubarak to all..
Hey bilal everything a test so far you making it YAY!!!
gudluk with the studying and taraweeh and fasts (which is the easiest part ;))

Bilal said...

@farhana, nabeel & ruby:
Tanx guys:) Remember us in those prayers...

Its painful bro- i cant take any more:P

The most relaxing form of sea travel, i can assure you:)
[plz change your nick for Ramadaan:PPPP]

Tanx. Dont know if I can survive like this for much longer!
Sleep is my primary need...

saaleha said...

as per previous communique: impressive. i detect a definite lean towards literary flair.

i've been watching both programmes and i have to admit, the only segments i enjoy are the cooking demos.
but to be fair, it's not a bad bouquet of items, although those nasheed vids tend toward the hilarious.

icedmocha said...

@ bilal- strnage request mannn..ok mite do l8r..i need a revamp nyway

*Under*Cuver*Sister* said...

salam..haha good novel about tarawih... and i totally understand bout how hard working in ramadhan is..Inshallah we will all be rewarded for our effots and persistence in our deen..

coolio blog u got ere too

Hanna said...

awww...nice tarawih comments! Unlike.. I can't remember his name.. lostinsemantics? That dude sure doesn't feel the same about it!! Do you lead it or something? Sounds like you do by your comment!

Cevris said...

Nice post!
May Allah make it easy for you:)
Take care!

'liya said...

2 shows - I think that's great. When we break fast here we listen to the azan on the radio but in the background you can hear some guy talking about stocks or the weather. That's how hard it is to get a clear signal on the radio station here that exists for "half an hour every day before sunset time" ...

What I quoted is what the guy says everday to begin ... what can I say :S

Bilal said...

Thanks- I try my best. Hope to also be a famous writer someday:)
The nasheed videos are unbelieveable!!!

Lol- nevermind. I'm trying to cut down my caffiene intake any way...

Wslm. Its not really the work thats killing me- its the lack of sleep! There are just not enough hours in a day...
Thanks for stopping by*

Lol. Zee was probably kidding:) Yup- I lead a bit of the Taraweeh. A really fulfilling experience...

Thanks. Keep those duas coming- exam next week!

They are tv shows on at Sehri- not as great as it sounds:P
Good start you guys having a radio- iA one day you get a tv show too! Hey, take ours:P
From what I hear, we have a radio show, Cii, that counts down the Sehri time: 3,2,1, STOPPP, FAST BEGINS!! LOL:)

Hanna said...

aw, mashallah.. so are you a hafidh?? I don't think Zee was kidding you know! His post was funny though.

Cevris said...

Hmmm.... "Hafidh Bilal". Sounds good:) As for your exams, don't worry I'm sure they'll be good;) May Allah help you:)

Bilal said...

@hanna & cevris:

Thanks:) {blush:p}

I am deeply grateful for being divinely allowed to complete such a task. But the ultimate test, for all of us, is to become walking examples of the Brilliant Book.
That’s the difficult part- the easy part is memorising it…

zee said...

hanna:oi... "Unlike.. I can't remember his name.. lostinsemantics?" - you cut me deep lady:( lol, my apologies though, if I offended u. it was really meant to be an over-exaggeration of the real ting. you know, for entertainment value?? :) u take care now.

bilal: loved da post buddy...writer in da making;) u forgot to mention dat your taz is a typical indian guys car cause dat little baby of yours has SHINY NEW MAGS:)

but it was nice listening to a hafiz's take on when getting up to take center stage...n here I thought u were built out of steel...and I put on dat pedastal for nuttin;)

lol. nice one bud. nice one

Hanna said...

@ bilal - aww, mashallah - that's a good way of looking at it, and a good way of keeping kibr at bay!

Zee? Lol. Sorry. I became brain dead for a moment when I forgot your name... hey... it's not as if I can put a face to all the names! :P I wasn't offended dude, - u told it how it is.. just felt a bit disheartened, like someone peed on my ramadan spirit!!!!

M Junaid said...

I have to give props to the Capetonians though - for having the gall to put out an arguably half decent tv spot every morning. I guess we okes in Durban and JhB are still argiung over whether television is haraam or not. Big Props to Cape Town. If we do not fill the space, someone else will. Zionists, terrorists, Jedi's or Ahmedis!

Bilal said...

Thanks dude. But going to hang on to my day job for now:)

And I got rid of the mags- not my style:P &also really not happy with the 1.3 tazz! Considering replacing...

I'm having second thoughts about this post now- idea wasn't to make a big deal about being a Hafidh. Just wanted to rely some of the 'experience'!

Lol- 'someone peed on my ramadan spirit!!!!'

welcome to my humble blog:P

Nice for you to drop by. I agree- the shows are better than nothing. But painfully funny nevertheless:)

[p.s You can't call me that now- left that behind in Dbn!]

MnM310 said...

hey asalam'alaykum!

I really loved your post! I must agree, taraweeh prayer is subhanAllah so wonderful. When you make it through all 20 you feel so renewed :)

I'm sorry you're taking exams and studying during Ramadan...i find it so difficult to concentrate when i'm fasting. :( but may allah swt make it easier for you. :)


madiha :)

Fatima said...

shoot me...i haven't been here for a while....

awwww.....well, we need to give a name to your new tazz.
any suggestions???

Farhana said...

u never update?!
and thanks for sending the sisters my way, thats if u did.

Bilal said...

True- it is really spiritually uplifting!
I dont mind the studying & exams- its work thats really killing me:(

Well, the reg on the tazz is PSC 069 GP- at a Pro-Palestine mtg this sat, I was asked if it stands for Palestine Support Committee!!

I update once a week usually:)
And I write next week so make a dua!
I hope some of them came from here- but if not, they will...

FU said...


thanks for the visit and the comment!

i'm always here to help other muslim actors - send him my way :)

almira said...

Hey Bilal, hope you are having a blessed Ramadan. Ive always wanted to sail out in the ocean, like you know with a real ship, and sails. I think it would be fun. Nice post, and quote as usual.

Bilal said...

@FU [or is it GG now:) ]:
thanks for stopping by. Will be sure to send him your way..

thanks and same wishes to you too!
I found it quite amazing how they captain managed to steer the dhow in the direction he wanted no matter which way the wind blew! Just took some clever adjustments to the sail..

Zahira said...

Gudluk for exams as usual you'll be fine lol
Btw I think PSC for the tazz goes lol why not?

Bilal said...

Tanx Zahira:)

Dew said...

I love taraweeh, but more importantly I love it when my grandfather makes it and someone has to yell Allahuakbar every 5 minutes because wer'e supposed to sit down and not go up, I especially loved that one time he made two sajda sahuu's and we all in the back were stuck between the one salaam, not knowing what to do.

Nice blog.

Jannah said...

Dear Bilal,

Your description of the Imam's nerves is frightening. I always say duaa for the Imam when he starts prayer, I say: Oh Allah, remind him well and make his voice beautiful.

I am in need to ask, How did you memorize the Qur'aan? If you can give any advice or mistakes you know we should avoid, or just any thing helpful in the process of memorizing the Quraan, I'd be grateful.

Trying so hard to memorize it. Pray for me,