The Thing To Do
"prayer nook, or the masjid
twenty-two, or perhaps eight
in congregation, or in solitary
you unload the burden you carry
right after Isyaq or after the kids go to sleep
you stay longer in sujud, or you silently weep
just like Ramadan, it only comes once a year
may you pray for everything you hold dear"
Was in the last row the other night and it was just me and another lady, who had her probably 8-12 mth old baby lying on her sejadah as she did her terawih prayers. Essentially my first time doing terawih next to a baby. The mother prioritised her child of course and did not join in the congregation prayers and just sat quietly when her child needed her. We exchanged smiles in between the two rakaat cadences of terawih.
Dad and I had a little HTHT otw walking to the mosque, and walking back we bumped into one of our neighbours and he got exciting life updates to share and it was a nice conversation 🙂 Whenever we bump into the neighbours we have closer relationships with while walking to or from the mosque, they wish us well for this Holy month which is super sweet. While they do not share the same faith as us, we have been around each other long enough (haha they have seen me as a teen so that is long) for me to look forward to seeing them on a day to day even just to say a quick hi 🙂
- Anonymous notes from Notes After Terawih Ghufran edition, a community initiative by the mosque this Ramadan
It’s embarrassing but my book Notes After Terawih really began as something just about me. Me and the path that opened for me one Ramadhan. Me and my Thing To Do, which happened to be terawih.
But we are all made for different things. And the Thing To Do looks different for me and you.
Recently, one of my friends ran her first 30km. Another put on her hijab. Another decided to move to a different city and pursue her dream job, the one she talked about 15 years ago. It was uncomfortable but each of them knew inside what their Thing To Do was. The Thing To Do looks different for me and you.
Even within our own stories there are chapters and seasons—the Thing To Do changes from time to time but there seems to always be The Thing To Do.
Terawih might not be it for you, not today, perhaps not ever. It’s just that it’s a gathering. Once a year, the stars and elements align for mass gatherings of people, at night, like some clandestine affair. These gatherings of the listless, tired, uninspired, seeking, trying, crying, happen all the time, I’m sure, but once a year it’s public and pretty big. The Divine brings all these people together, their hearts, their stories, and their Thing To Do, and the vibrations seem stronger. Whether someone is struggling with being single in the face of judgy aunties, or just trying to stay awake, our Thing To Do and stories come out to play.
So maybe it’s about that. The gathering. The seeking. The probably uncomfortable. Trying To Do The Thing To Do.
By your side,
Yang menulis Notes After Terawih
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