Aside from being the month of fasting and reflection, this is the month of giving, of being generous. As the Prophet (pbuh) was always generous to his people, Ramadan was said to have been the height of his generosity. Often times we feel that people are a little bit nicer at this time of the year and it’s a beautiful feeling all on its own. However, to actually experience generosity where the doors of the heart are immensely bigger than the doors enclosing the home, is what is most gratifying.
Here in Qatar, Ramadan is beautiful, filled with beautiful people. The elevator music is transformed into Nasheeds, the athan is soaring beautifully more than ever, the malls have decor and signs of “Ramadan Kareem!” all over, as well as the streets lined with billboards and windows wishing everyone the beautiful blessings of this month.
Today, I was invited over a senior co-worker’s home, who after having heard I was here on my own during Ramadan, welcomed me to meet his family. He has five beautiful children, 4 daughters and 1 son, ages 5-16, and a very sweet, loving wife, who is also an excellent cook. As I entered their home, the wife greeted me with a big hug and kisses on the cheeks. The humbleness and the open-arms of this family in inviting a stranger to their home, to share an evening, a beautiful iftar with the whole family was really nice and an act of utmost kindness. What was more pleasing to see was that these kids have instilled in them the qualities their parents carry. With their playfulness aside, when it was time to break fast, they all kept trying to place more and more food on my plate before their own, even after I was full and couldn’t eat a morsel more. As we all sat down to eat, the table was filled with authentic Egyptian-food, probably the best I have ever had. Later, we prayer together in Jamaah, with the 5-year old daughter praying right beside her father on her tiny prayer mat. As we shared some more giggles and laughs about our families, the elder daughters played a few rounds of Domino with me and with lots of excitement, asked if I would like to go pray taraweeh with them at the Big Mosque. As I finished my sweet cup of Arabic tea, it was time to leave for prayer. The little 5-year old girl who was very shy to even shake my hand, let me give her a kiss on the way out and started crying because she didn’t want me to leave. One of the other daughters also gave me a special card while their mom packed for me food enough to feed 6 people, alhamdulillah.
It was a beautiful beautiful evening with them, having met a family whom I consider just like my own. May Allah always shower his blessings on them and on all others that carry kindness in their hearts as this humble, loving, and big-hearted family.