Tag Archives: Maghreb

A Big Heart

This happened in San Antonio. Son as is usual with him, likes to get to a mosque at prayer times, and say his prayers there. Sometimes I get out from the car with him to pray inside, but at other times I pray sitting in the car while he goes inside. The reason I do this is when I don’t have socks with me. We have to take off our shoes when we enter a mosque. I’m embarrassed to say that I’m a bit squeamish about walking barefoot.

It was evening, and we heard the muezzin call to Maghreb (evening) prayer on my cell phone. Son directed his car to the nearest 🕌. Son hurriedly strode to the men’s side to make his ablutions, while telling me to find my own way to the women’s side. Men, and women pray in separate halls.

After entering, I was looking here, and there trying to find as to where the women were praying. I saw one woman in a black abaya sitting in the outside hall. I asked her in English as to where we were going to pray. She said no. Perplexed 🤔, I asked her “Why?” She again said no. I was really mystified. With her saying no, no I wasn’t getting anywhere. At the last moment she added to the no — no English. It dawned on me that she was telling me she didn’t speak English. Oops!

I asked her, Arabic? She shook her head. Urdu? Another shake of the head, and then she said, “Pushto”. I’m a Pathan by birth, and Pushto I knew. In no time we were talking, and I laughed at her continuously saying no to me. Since I was a new face, she asked me from where I had come? I told her my Son was on call for a few days in San Antonio. She asked as to where we were staying? Hearing that we were staying at a hotel, she asked me to an evening meal at her home, and stay with her for the rest of our stay there. She kept insisting while I was trying to get out of it.

At the muezzin call to prayer, we turned to pray. After the prayers, she again insisted that we should be her guests. I thanked her warmly, and told her we will do so the next time we come to San Antonio.

I told Son about her when I returned to the car. I was hugely impressed with the lady, and her big heart in inviting a total stranger to her home. Son told me it was Sunnah to invite travelers, and wayfarers to meals, and a place to stay.


Ramadan Mubarak to all those who have started fasting.

Sorry to say (it feels sacrilegious) when Ramadan begins, I dread the day long fasting. I feel fearful as to how I’m going to fast, and how I’m going to last? My face goes thin, and gaunt. As days go by I start loving Ramadan, and feels nostalgic at its end. I want it to go on, and on.

There is no frantic worry, that if Son came home in the middle of the day as to what will I give him to eat? I’m serene in the knowledge I have ample time to make something for the evening Iftari (breaking of fast).

Today I got up at three in the morning to say Tahajjud Prayer first, and then hurried to the kitchen to get myself whatever I usually have for breakfast. I just add a daily serving of yogurt to my menu as it helps in fasting, but I didn’t have any, because I forgot.

I was alone in fasting as Son left for Hartford, Connecticut yesterday evening. He had a case there. I had to prepare sandwiches for him to take with him for his fast. Hotels don’t serve breakfast before seven in the morning.

At the muezzin call to Fajr (morning) prayer at 3.51 AM, my fast began. It will end at 7.57 PM with the call to Maghreb (evening) prayer. The time starts varying. It gradually lengthens. On the last day (thirty days period) the fast will start at 3.27 AM, and end at 8.20 PM.

Blessings, and Peace on everyone.


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Dinner time at the mosque

Why is it when you have to get ready, and plus cook something to take along as your contribution to an evening fare at the mosque, friends, and family phone you? I’m dying to talk to anyone, and nobody remembers me. Suddenly everybody starts phoning on the very day you don’t need them to call, and there is an influx of calls.

I tell myself I will only talk for a minute, and the minute extends to three hours. Can you believe it?

When Son called to ask, “Mom! Are you ready?” I wasn’t.

I was lying on my bed with both feet atop pillows, still talking on the phone. It was embarrassing . I rushed to get dressed. We reached the mosque for the evening prayer which is called Maghreb Prayer. After that plastic sheets were laid on the carpet for women, and kids to have food. The men had their upstairs.

After food, we waited for the night prayer which is called Isha. Meanwhile we chatted till the muezzin called for the Isha Prayer. Done with prayer, we took our leave. It was snowing outside, and terribly cold.


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I will be moving Insha’Allah (if so God wills) tomorrow on way back to Houston. My son arrived last evening. He came at the right time for Iftar (to break his fast). It’s Ramadan, and we are fasting from Fajr to Maghreb. In between bouts of packing, I managed to make Chat, Pakoras, Mint Chutney, Kung Pao and baked chicken pieces for him. He kept on saying that he was having a home cooked meal after three months. I wish he wasn’t going through this rough period in his life, but we are helpless against fate.

My home will be empty, and I will move on. At the moment I am having a heartbreak. It’s not easy to say good bye to one’s home. It has been my home for three months. I never realized that my stay here will be so short. One never knows what the future holds. When I moved here, I thought I will be staying here till the day I die.




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We started our fasting yesterday that’s July 10th, the first day of Ramadan. I am prone to kidney infections. To keep my kidneys giving up on me I need to drink a lot of water. Our fast begins after the morning Azan, the call to prayer. Yesterday it was 5.15 am. We get up a little earlier. Have our breakfast plus a lot of water. That’s me, of course filling my stomach with water. (As if I can retain all that water rest of the day)

We break our fast in the evening with the Azan for the evening prayers. Eating dates and something from the Iftari spread which consists of Pakoras, Chana Chat, Samosas, Fruit Chat and Dahi Balay. This varies from day to day. Two things are always there plus lots of Shorbet and me needing my water. We say our evening prayers and then return for dinner. At that moment you don’t feel like eating anything because you are all ready stuffed to the brim with what you ate earlier. The boys and my son depart for their Taraweeh. Taraweeh are special prayers added to the Isha (night prayers) prayers in the month of Ramadan.

For those who don’t know, we have five prayers daily. Morning prayer called Fajr prayer, before the sun rises is the first one. The second prayer is called Zuhr. It’s about 1.30 pm at noon. The third prayer is Asar which is about 5.00 pm. The fourth prayer is the evening prayer called Maghreb and it is after sun down at about say 8.30 pm. The last prayer is the Isha. You can call it the night prayer.

My son after returning from office, the first thing he did was to check up on me, to see how I was faring in my fasting. I assured him that I was feeling as right as rain. Masha Allah. (Thanks to God) So he went off to get his much needed rest. Lately he hasn’t been okay and I am worried about his health.

Last year I didn’t fast because of my operation. In lieu of that I gave money to the poor. If my kidneys started paining I will have to stop fasting. I am hoping it won’t happen. Wish me luck.😐

In the mosques free food is available. So here is a cartoon based on that.

Cartoon courtesy of Web.