The faces shine, everyone feels fine, our hearts are full of Iman; we are all ears to hear the Athan and our hands pray to let us live the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The crescent of Ramadan appears. Mesaharati beats the drums and says, “Oh… you who are asleep, wake up and profess your belief in the unity of everlasting; there is no God but Allah.”
“يا نايم اصحى يا نايم ..وحد الدايم ..لا اله الا الله ”
Gradually, light starts to spread everywhere from one house to another.
My mom prepares the Suhoor table while my father recites what our prophet Mohammad told us “Take Suhoor, for in Suhoor there is blessing.”
We intend to fast; with the sound of the Ramadan cannon, we start our beautiful Ramadan day.
The sun shines with its bright yellow light. Spirituality is evident everywhere; Ramadan decorations and lanterns fill the streets, and my grandfather’s old radio, which broke down many times but still works, starts sometimes reciting the Qur’an and other times reciting Ramadan chants.
The popular markets are crowded, so you can hear the sellers’ voices chanting “Ramadan Kareem!”
There is the qataif vendor – his hand does not stop making and selling his specialty – and the long queue in front of the shops because the smell of this delicacy extends to the depths of your heart, forcing you to buy and savor its taste after breaking the fast.
And there is the seller of karob, which my grandmother always told us about in the beautiful alleys of Jerusalem. The smell of karob makes her repeat her daily prayers, O God, the prayers in Al-Aqsa mosque.
Everyone returns home, and the streets begin to empty except for the homeless who are waiting for Al-Rahman tables; people helping other people in the month of goodness.
The women bake saj and set the Iftar table, and the men recite Qur’an loudly. Then the children gather with us again as one heart full of goodness and serenity. We are all waiting to hear the Ramadan cannon so that our thirst will be gone, our bodies will be sustained, and our reward will be certain, if Allah wills it.
Then Tarawih prayer begins, and everyone gathers in one Rak’ah and one Sajda in the loveliest scene of greatness you could ever see.
It seems that Ramadan does not only bring families together, but also brings more than a billion Muslims around the world to one Iftar table and one prayer mat.
Those over fifty years old register in مسيرة البيارق, a journey to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Youths try again and again to climb the apartheid walls to pray at Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam.
Feasts abound, while relatives, loved ones, and neighbors visit each other.
Thus, the first twenty days of the blessed month of Ramadan pass, and the last ten days begin. Adults, youth, and children frequently go to the mosque for Itikaf, where they pray and spend time seeking the deepest understanding of the Qur’an.
These ten nights are the most beautiful in the world, and among them is Laylat al-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months, as described by God in our Holy Qur’an.
We feel reassured. We strengthen our faith, and Ramadan connects us firmly and unequivocally with the God of the world.