Muslims usually repeat this prayer “Allahuma ballighna Ramadhan”, and this year Allah blessed us again with this sacred month’s visit.
This evening “ladjnat al ahilla” will meet in Algeria to decide of the beginning of Ramadhan, and like many Algerians, I will be watching TV and listening to the usual words the committee’s members will say on the benefits of the month before announcing its starting date. Needless to say that I will have a special thought for Cheikh ElDjilali.
Many Muslim countries have already announced the first day of Ramadhan will be tomorrow. And as usual, this announcement stirred heated discussions on Islam and science, Islam and the Muslim world unity, etc. I wonder if these talks will ever stop…
Besides the above point, other topics come along with Ramadhan in Algeria. There is of course the food prices which sky-rocket during the holly month despite the government’s assurances of controlling and subsidizing the major goods prices. Then you have the fact almost everything runs very slowly when it doesn’t stop during Ramadhan. Ramadhan, eids, elections, etc. are always used as an excuse to postpone things especially within the Algerian administration. There are also all the stories of mayors or teachers who take sick-leave days and abandon their jobs in order to perform the Umrah. I guess we will have fewer occurrences of the latter two as Ramadhan coincides with summer holidays. Oh and we will most probably hear again of freedom of religion and tolerance issues when the press will report about those who will decide to eat in public during day time and get arrested before being released.
Algerians prepare for the holy month, each in their way. Restaurants and many other shops are transformed into qelb ellouz and zlabiya shops. Some Algerians already planned in which kheima they will spend their Ramadhan evenings. In many places around the country housewives preserve the tradition of buying new crockery, and some even clean the whole house before the month starts.
Mosques are also cleaned as they get ready to receive the increasing numbers of worshippers. Worshippers select their mosques for the Tarawih prayers depending on the Imam’s voice or… speed while reciting Quran.
Last but not least the Algerian Red Crescent gets ready to serve the Iftar for the travellers and the poor. Many voluntaries help in this task and the Algerian government has bragged about the 1.4 million “Ramadhan baskets” it will distribute to the needy.
All the above shouldn’t make us forget about the goal behind the fourth pillar of Islam, educate and purify our bodies and souls and get closer to our brethren and Creator.
Some do dread this month before it starts but most will get used to it very quickly and will miss it in 30 days. Sidna Ramdhan is the most pleasant guest one can have.
Ramadhan karim to everyone and may Allah accept our fasting and prayers and forgive our sins.
Here is a link to a nice file: Ramadhan.