Monday, September 08, 2008

Ramadan Conversations

"Hey, S!" My brother's friend called out to him.

"Whassup?" My brother replied.

"Yo, why don't you come to Tim Horton's after taraweeh prayers?"

"Er," My brother answered. "Isn't it kinda late? 11.20 the prayers end."

My brother's friend looked at him for sometime.

"What are you talking about? Oh, you mean you pray the full 20? I was talking about 8 rakats. That's over at 10.30!"

"Ah," My brother commented. "Oh well, don't know. Why, what's at Tim Horton's?"

"You should come." My brother's friend winked. "It's Ramadan and it's taraweeh. ALL THE GIRLS ARE THERE!"
* * *

"Oh, my legs are paining!" My friend tells me after we exit the mosque, praying only 8 rakats of taraweeh.

"Yah, I know!" I reply, knowing how long the prayers can be.

"You know," She tells me, "I was so lost after the 2nd rakat."

"Ha ha." I answer. "I know exactly what you mean. During the 1st rakat I am convinced that TODAY I will concentrate on my prayers. Then, during the 2nd rakat I start planning tomorrow's schedule, and then suddenly rebuke myself for losing concentration. During the 3rd rakat I am thinking tomorrow I have table tennis practice at 5 and I have to do this work project. By the 6th rakat I have reviewed all my things to do tomorrow and the rest of the week!"

My friend looks at me for sometime, and then utters in a low voice:

"Well, I meant LOST as in mesmerized. The recitation of the Quran was just so beautifully done that I was really deeply into it!"


Ali said...

Hahaha nice conversations. I pray taraweeh at the university where the dominant number of students are malaysians and I feel bad complaining about losing concentration even though I speak arabic since some of them tell me they feel like sleeping because they don't understand a word.
We only pray 8 rakats.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why this distinction between 8 and 20 rakahs. Then i realized, ohhh, we've been cleverly done in. Our mosque does 8 ONLY but finishes a juz in that. So, even if you're praying 8 only, you'll finish the Quran.

My dad was telling me that attendance hasn't suffered at all. And this 8 vs 20 thing only makes a difference of 10 minutes in the total time but i guess its a psychological thing. People are happy with it.

@ the second anecdote: ouch! :)

mezba said...

Ali: In our mosque at times they give a tafseer after the prayers on what the recitation of the night was. It still doesn't take away that most of the people don't follow most of the recitation - I wish more people would try and study the Quran with meaning rather than just race to 'finish' it.

Miss Specs: Ouch indeed.

In our mosque the Khatam is done over 20 rakats - so unless you pray the full 20 you won't finish the Quran. The difference can be about an hour more per night.

Solace said...

Here in my area, Taraweeh is 20 rakaats and takes more than an hour!

mezba said...

Solace: We start at 930 with Isha and 8 rakat is over at 10.10 and 20 is over at 11.

Suroor said...


Anonymous said...

Mezba - haha that's hilarious. Reminds me of college days. I have been really lazy, went to like 3 prayers, and did 8 twice, and 20 once. And I am the kind of guy who only recognizes 20! Im so lazy that I can't even live up to my principles.

mezba said...

Suroor: :-P

Sophister: you telling me.. one main reason I go is due to the beautiful recitation - but 8 is the maximum I can stand!

shaz said...

hahah... oh, you poor soul! :P

Anonymous said...

@ the second anecdote: LOL!! I am dying to know your reaction! :D

I try to concentrate by picking out the words I CAN understand out of the recitation. But yes, still, sometimes mind wonders to what should I post next on the blog! :)

Solace said...

Wow, that is very long! No wonder people go for the 8 rakaats only!

mezba said...

Shaz: Glad to see you here!

Shysoul: Mind wanders to what should I post next on the blog

HAHAHA absolutely! Only a blogger will understand.

Actually that was my reaction hehe.

Solace: Yep. Actually, wherever I have been, pretty much the same.

shaz said...

i'm always here, i just don't usually have much to say! ;)

Anonymous said...

The last time I went for taraweeh was ages ago. I don't know if I will be able to do it now :S sf

Ali said...

That is a very good idea actually!

I understand arabic but honestly, even I find it hard to pay attention. So far we had a guy who goes waay too fast (finishes just over a juz every night) and another guy who goes slower but hard to follow (maybe because I was very sleepy that night). Having good recitation does wonders, the other day a person lead us for 4 of the rakkats and his recitation made me feel and understand the ayat very well!

Oh and I am certainly pretty bad at this as well, never have I attended even half of ramadan's taraweeh.. maybe this year insha'alalh :\

Wakas Mir said...

Very nice and that's exactly what I have seen in aaj kal ke bache.. all sitting at the back waiting for the imam to finalize each raqaat and jump maar ke baith jaate to say "Salam u alaikum warehmatulaaa" .. sad but true, that same kids can stand whole day to watch Ibrar ul Haq perform on stage..

mezba said...

Shaz: Ah, nice to know.. glad you are here then :-D

Sf: 8 rakats is pretty OK.

Ali: next year iA for me too. I am actually planning to read in English what the imam will be reciting, so I can follow.

Wakas Mir: Who is Ibrar ul Haq?

bb_aisha said...

In South Africa, (or rather in Johannesburg and Durban)there aren't facilities for women at the masjid. So 20 rakaats prayed at home goes by quickly-takes me 1/2 hour. When I lived in Egypt I went for taraweeh to the masjid. My first day my arms were so sore I had to stop after 12 rakaats & read the remaining 8 by myself.
My friends & I used to visit different masjids, but we had a favourite too. At one, the first 2 rakaats took 20 minutes. The next 2 took 15 mins. We couldn't manage. I used to lose concentration at first too but then I started concentrating on trying to understand the words (I was learning arabic there)

Although I was brought up to pray 20 rakaats, I do pray 8 sometimes (after Egypt as some masjids there pray 8 only) if I'm very tired. Rather 8 than none

I can't help but laugh at first conversation-even though it's sad. During my university days, i had an apartment away from home. I had a neighbour who lived in a house opposite my building. Her boyfriend used to visit her during taraweeh, & they'd make out in full view on the street!

mezba said...

bb_aisha: LOL at the boyf visiting in taraweeh times!

In the middle east there were mosques that just read short surahs from juz 29-30 every day and 20 rakats would be over in 30-40 minutes. Here in Canada it's impossible to find those.

Molly said...

Oh BURN! to that last one.


mezba said...

Molly: I know, eh!

Adventurous Ammena said...

lol.. hilarious!! i can totally vouch for the mind wandering to the next blog :P im soo bad for that :(

mezba said...

Adventurous Ammena: I think we are all guilty of that! :-D