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Wednesday, 19 September 2018
 

A Glimpse of Ramadan

Any Ramadan morning exhibits both laziness and vitality. "I am fasting" is the daily motto of every Muslim who does his best to avert an obscenity

, suppress or curb his or her lusts and give up any sort of bad addiction to keep his or her fasting spotlessly pure. If one  cannot reach home in the race against the sun travelling to another day one can break one's fast anywhere along the way. You  cannot resist the insistence of warmly welcoming voices that vie with one another to host you, especially and notably on the verge of Sudanese highways.
 Somewhere in Gedaref Market, I stopped at the smell of spices. “Have mercy on me, my son" The voice of an elder woman attracted my attention . As I helped her, I noticed that she was unable even to crawl. On another morning, I was glad to see her pushed in a wheelchair by a small boy. Some unknown benefactor has provided her with this means of mobility as a kind gesture in Ramadan. I went further on my way. At the old building of the education ministry in Gedaref, in the hot sun, I joined a queue of teachers whose foreheads sparkled like dew with drops of sweat. Each one was waiting his turn to purchase, out of his meagre salary, the Ramadan essentials, including a sack of sugar, two packets of wheat flour (Siga) and a carton of Sabah oil. Some fellow teachers bargained and haggled over their cost. At last, my turn came. My goods were transported home . Meanwhile, there were other lines of customers at the doors of so-called ‘centres for relieving the burdens of livelihood’ trying to buy sugar or flour. Ramadan has begun. More than 20 days have passed. Every day, everyone waits impatiently for the call of Maghreb prayer so they can break their  Ramadan fast. The window of a house reveals some jugs with yellow and white plastic lids that overflow with drinks of different tastes and colors. Everything is set down on a stool under a fan that keeps the flies away and  reduces  the heat of May in which Ramadan has fallen this year. But at intervals there are pleasant breezes that follow rainfall. Outside this house, the once bustling street is less frequented because of water-pipes dug for a potential water supply. I walked carefully to a mosque for prayer. There is mental repose to be found in the wake of enjoyable iftar meals. On the horizon, I see a panorama of my town at night which is as attractive as bunches of grapes and wild flowers. I see children playing happily, and intervening trees among the lights of minarets that await an arrival of worshippers for Tarawaeeh prayer and supplication. Everyone looks forwards to being reunited with one another next Ramadan, but fate sometimes has sadness and disappointment in store. Ramadan stirs memories of people we love. It is an urge for the good, for self restraint against all vices, a test of endurance, strength, faith. It is responsibility and committment . Ramadan is an expiation , an atonement of sins in a process of self reform. I would like to salute Muslim women who serve their families diligently and with love in Ramdan. This month witneses every day their whispered prayers , kind and  adept touches in preparing the feast. It is all our hope Muslim communities will enjoy Ramadan in the peace and happiness that we want to prevail in coming years for the sake of a better world