Memory is a very peculiar thing. Mine especially. In our family, it is common knowledge that my dad passed on ‘the forgetful gene’ to all his children. I have a rather unreliable (or perhaps selective) short-term memory, but astonishingly remember certain vivid details of incidents that happened 15, 20 and 25 years ago.
I have been fasting Ramadan properly since 2004. And in all those years, I don’t believe I have had one quite like the one I had in 2008 (or perhaps it was 2007? )
I am usually at school for most Ramadans but for some reason that year, I spent most of it at home with my mum. I think my dad had travelled. Anyway, I remember it was very quiet in the afternoons because I believe this was the period my dad banned TV completely from our home. (story for another day lol)
I can’t really remember much of what we did during the day but I remember the many Iftaar nights we spent together. We’d come back from the Maghrib prayers at the neighbourhood mosque ready to tuck into the meal we cooked earlier in the afternoon (to be fair, mum cooked most of it). Then we’d snack on super-dehydrated dates whilst listening to her battery-operated radio and its countless agony-aunt-type shows, chit-chatting away in the living room (or parlour, as we called it back then ). Afterwards, the inevitable power cut will happen, and we’d move the “party” outside to our little porch overlooking the compound.
I would recite my Hifdh (Quran Memorisation) to her whilst we both swatted at mosquitoes and waved our hand-fans furiously to get some respite from the unrelenting heat and humidity. The wind was still, so nothing moved. The air was so thick and heavy, you could cut it with a knife. Some nights, the ’Isha Adhaan from the neighbourhood mosques will travel into our compound as well..
Eventually, we’d pray ‘Isha together on the porch and thereafter lie down on our mats whilst the radio crackled on.. Mum would wake me up hours later to go to my bed but I mostly always ended up in her room.
It’s 4 am and my mum is waking me up for Qiyaam al Layl (the night prayer).
“Fowoke”; she’d call gently at first, as she pottered around the bedroom’s en-suite, making her Wudhu and brushing her teeth. She did all this as noisily as possible. I guess in an attempt to try and rouse me. Try again, mum. lol
“Fowoke!! Fowoke” !!! She’s not being so subtle now.
I think I hear someone calling me but they sound so faraway!
(I am a deep sleeper). Being a mum didn’t take that away from me; ask my children. I’m sure they spent a lot of time as babies screaming their heads off in their cot-bed whilst mummy slept happily. #sorrynotsorry
Also, I’m sure mum splashed water on my face a couple of times in an attempt to wake me up. 😩😩
Anyway, I finally open my eyes to the voice that’s now gotten considerably louder. “I’ve been trying to wake you up since 3:00am”, it says
“Come and pray tahajjud before Fajr comes in”
I rub the sleep from my eyes and make my way to the bathroom to perform my ablution. I’m fully awake now and it’s time to ask for THAT ONE THING I wanted:
(to be continued…)