Friday, October 27, 2006

Wow! Can you believe it?! Ramadan and 'Eid have both come and gone!

Insha'Allah everyone had an awesome Ramadan and 'Eid... myself... well, I really shouldn't complain, but I'm in a whiny sort of mood. This Ramadan was, for me, just not very... Ramadan-y. I was stuck in the house most of the time, and even when I went to the Masjid for Taraweeh on the weekends it wasn't that great 'cuz most of the people I don't know, and anyway my friends are in a totally different city, and that just totally sucks.

'Eid, too, was sort of disappointing. When we were still living in my old city, 'Eid day was a big rush. My parents hated it, but I loved the excitement. The night before 'Eid my mum would be frantically cooking up a storm of last minute things, while also answering the phone every 5 minutes to recieve 'Eid greetings from all the people we know, AND running around trying to make sure she hadn't forgotten to pack anything. She'd send my brothers and I off to bed early, but we'd never sleep 'till after midnight, so in the meantime we'd jump on the beds and have a huge pillow fight and sing anasheed on the top of our lungs and then fall back onto the beds wheezing with laughter.

'Eid morning we'd be woken up early. We'd pray Fajr, then run around getting ready, putting on our brand-new 'Eid clothes and trying to get a bite to eat and, in my father's case, wandering around the house going over his 'Eid khutbah and getting in my mother's way, before we were all bundled into the van and zooming off to 'Eid salaah.
Our Islamic centre held 'Eid salaah at whichever hall was available to rent on 'Eid day, since we didn't have a masjid of our own.
Anyhow, when we got there we split up, my mum and I heading over to the women's section while my father and brothers made their way to the men. As soon as we entered the women's section, we were mobbed by all the people we knew, and only just escaped getting hugged and squeezed to death. Eventually we managed to extricate ourselves, relatively unscathed, and found ourselves a spot to sit down... my mum with her best friends, me with mine.
As soon as the Imam uttered the Takbeer to begin salaah, there was a moment of madness when all the people tried to straighten themselves into some semblence of straight rows, and of course the confusion over whose sujaddah was whose. However, things always ended up all right, al-Hamdulillaah.

After salaah my father would give the 'Eid khutbah, and people would sit and listen and nod their heads in agreement, and whenever he cracked a joke half the congregation would bite their tongues trying not to burst into laughter (the converts and youth) and the other half of the congregation would look totally clueless (the first generation immigrants and the Arabs here to study).
And then after the khutbah we'd be in a rush again, my friends and I trying to swap last-minute 'Eid gifts, my mum bidding everyone farewell, and then our family would be running back to the van so that we could go home and load our suitcases into the van and then rush off to catch the ferry to the city where my grandparents live.Once we reached the island we'd go to my granduncle's place (a farm, actually, although currently they have no animals and are instead trying to manage the wilderness that is their backyard), which is where we go every 'Eid 'cuz it's the only place big enough to accomadate all of our family. That's where we'd spend the whole afternoon and evening, eating yummy food and even yummier desserts and just hanging out... usually us kids would get bored after a couple hours, but we'd find something to occupy us.

So yeah, those were our 'old' 'Eids.This 'Eid was totally dull by comparison. No night-before-'Eid madness, no 'Eid-day-craziness... it was... boring, really.

At 'Eid salaah, there were only a fraction of the number of people we used to get at my old city, there was exactly one girl who I could call my friend, and even the other women I know, we just don't share that amazing bond of almost mother-daughter closeness that I have with my mum's friends. I couldn't hear the khutbah because of the children running around screaming. After salaah we went back home, picked everyone else up, then went to my granduncle's place... it was nice, I guess, being with family and all, but it was, I dunno, it felt less special than it usually does. The only thing that sucked was that my mum and I had to stay in hijaab alllll day 'cuz there were non-Mahrams there (family friends), and unfortunately my extended family doesn't really practice segregation of the genders amongst non-Mahrams. I mean, we're all usually in separate rooms, but people will wander in and out...

One of the highlights of the day was our 'Eid loot collection (lol :P). We got money from most people, although I also got 2 lovely blouses and a necklace from my aunt, and my dad's cousin (my second cousin) got me one of those awesome Air Hogs toy planes, which I used to keep myself occupied when I got bored. Let me tell you, it is HARD to run in a skirt and abaayah on bumpy ground. It's even harder wading through grasses and thorns in said abaayah and skirt to rescue the crashed toy plane.
Several members of my extended family were shocked that I actually liked the toy plane, which I think is silly... no, wait, not really. Since we've been living in a different city these last few years, they don't really know me, and that I'm somewhat of a tomboy (or in my grandma's words: bloody tomboy! She means it in the best way possible, though... :P). I always find it funny - upon first meeting me, people think that I'm a quiet sort of girl, the type of girl the older, traditional people are happy with. I look the part, actually, so it's hard to blame them... But then they all get shocked when they discover I'm not like that at all! Their reaction is pretty funny when they find out that I have opinions on political issues (usually differing with their own) and don't like cooking (they look horrified at that - how will I ever find a good South African Indian husband? Little do they know that I have NO intention of marrying one of my cousins or whoever it is they're planning to match me up with).

Anyhow... yeah, that was this year's 'Eid. Quiet, boring... nice, but lacking excitement. Ah, well. Al-Hamdulillaah for what I have, and what I got.

So, what was YOUR 'Eid like?


Taysiir said...

Boring, first time away from my family and friends, and since am more of an "atheist" than a practioner, I spent the world day in my room talking to my brother and my grandma via msn, and playing video games ... yay!!! ^_-

Molly said...

I'm sorry your Eid wasn't better. Inshallah, next year's will be. I guess you're taking this move hard. Kids (no offense) always do. Adults, too, I suppose.

Molly said...

I was a tomboy, too. :)

Molly said...

Mouse, do your parents read your blog?

AnonyMouse said...

Taysiir: Did you go for 'Eid salaah, at least?

Molly: Yeah, I hate that we moved. We were living in our old city for 9 years, and all my friends are there and everything. Plus, I *really* hate that we moved when we did, because I feel I was just starting to develop more as my own person, y'know? I was starting to sort of push past the boundaries I'd given myself, forming opinions different from my parents', exploring my own personality and changing... and now I'm in a city where I don't really know anyone and will have to re-establish myself, as it were. So yeah... :(

And no, my parents don't read my blog... they don't even know about it. If they did, they'd forbid me from continuing it. Grrr. But my aunt knows about it, and reads it, so I *do* have adult supervision ;)

Molly said...

Why would they forbid you?

Taysiir said...

hmmm, been 5 years since I stopped attending it. And my father got really tired of trying to make me want to attend it as well. Funniest thing is, my grampa is an iman :) ... huh ... am pretty helpful though during eid, I never let go of teh food :)

One word to describe this guy would be



AnonyMouse said...

Molly - it's sort of hard to explain. I think they're afraid I'll start saying or doing things that are 'wrong' (i.e. don't conform with their own ideas). I hate to say it, but my parents are sort of narrow-minded and strict, and they've always been pretty restrictive. And it's weird, 'cuz they're the ones who've helped me become the way I am.
But yeah... it's like they're afraid of my having different opinions and stuff. The times I've tried to disagree with them, they got alarmed and almost cut down on my privileges (like using the Internet), which sucks. So now I read and learn on my own, and disagree with them privately but don't usually say anything aloud 'cuz I know I'm not going to change their minds.
It sucks, but I can't really do anything about it :(

Taysiir: Awww, man... I love going to 'Eid salaah! Just having all the people there, smiling and hugging each other even though they don't really know each other... it's a cool feeling.
At the risk of sounding overly religious or self-righteous or too nosy or whatever, may I ask why you don't really practice Islam?
Just curious, 'cuz I like to know why people do (or don't do) things... :)

Molly said...

Mouse, that's too bad. :( Anyway, I hope you get used to your new city.

Taysiir said...

Long story, I dropped out of madrassah when I was five or six, had to undergo some operation, hmmm, was suffering from Meningitis (yeah, always went to the other world, almost), I miss the first year. My parents tried to send me to another madrassah years afterwards (This time I was in secondary school, now now, secondary school hehe, I keep saying to myself God doesnt exist :S, so why do I need to study religion, so I quit after the first lecture ... )

Some years back, something happened, a pretty stupid thing to say the least, now am a believer, who is just ... hmmm ... to lazy to practice, thats all :)


Taysiir said...

stupid typo, always = almost, ... my typos are really annoying after midnight :S

Tasneem said...

Your Eid sounded pretty fun! Though I do have to say that the first Eid sounded better!

My Eid is usually hanging out with family.

Moving in a different neighbourhood is hard. I can't imagine what its like moving to a new city

Anonymous said...

Does anyone on this blog know the work of Chandra Muzaffar?
Highly recommended.

AnonyMouse said...

Taysiir: Oh, okay... will have to think about that for a bit before dispensing any words of sympathy, encouragement, and wisdom ;)

Anonymous: Nope, never heard of the person. Am off to Google him/her ;)

Molly said...

Mouse, I guess the homeschooling makes it harder to make friends in your new city, huh?

Molly said...

Also, it's great that you have an open-minded aunt :)

Molly said...

Mouse, do you celebrate Halloween?

AnonyMouse said...

Not really... even when I was in public school I didn't really have much in common with the other kids, so I was always a loner. However, I *have* made a new friend here... actually, she's an old friend (we went to madrasah together when we were younger - my family used lived in this city before), and we've basically just reconnected. She's a year older than me, but it doesn't matter... al-Hamdulillah :)

Yeah, I guess you could say that my aunt is open-minded... she's definitely a lot less strict than my parents.

Nope, I don't celebrate Halloween.

Faraz said...

Sister Anonymouse: Moving is never easy, especially on younger people. But Allah scatters our rizq in different places around the world because perhaps those places are where we would be most productive and most effective in propagating the deen. Sometimes, we can't figure out why, but know that there is some wisdom behind your new location.

In my case, I never expected to move to Ottawa when I did... but it turned out to be the best thing for me. I was 19 when I left home and started living on my own, and it worked out extremely well even though I disliked it considerably when I started.

Ending up in Vancouver has been quite an experience for me; make du'a that I find my place here as well.

In terms of your parents, don't forget that they're only looking out for your best interests. It's common during the teenage years to go through this phase where you feel like they're "holding you back" in some ways, but rest assured that you'll eventually see the wisdom in their ways. Personally, I'm starting to see dangers in the on-line world that I didn't realize before, and perhaps if I were a parent I'd be a bit reluctant if my kids were blogging.

All the best, insha-Allah.

AnonyMouse said...

JazakAllahu khairan for the advice, Faraz... :)

Being a teenager can really suck sometimes, and being a *Muslim* teenager in a non-Muslim society is even harder, I think... please make du'aa for me as well!!

Faraz said...

Insha-Allah, you're in my du'as. We've all been through that phase, and I'm sure it's even harder for girls than boys. Alhamdolillah, I managed to get through my high school years in quite a morally bankrupt environment, but certainly I slipped often. It's definitely not easy.

But don't forget that among the questions that will be asked of us on Qiyamah, there are two separate questions around our use of our life and our use of our youth. These years we have now are extremely valuable, as they can make or break the person for the rest of his or her life - this is why we will be questioned specifically about this period on top of the more general question for our entire life. Have patience, and endure, and you will find a beautiful return insha-Allah. :)