September 05, 2008
ONE OF THE MOST BELOVED traditions in Ramadan involves gathering as a community at mosques and Muslim centers after the fast is broken in the evening to hear talks, discuss the faith with friends — and listen to skilled reciters chant the verses of the Quran. If you’re non-Muslim, check with centers in your area, because non-Muslims nearly always are welcome to visit. Radwan Almadrahi is an elementary-school teacher. Here are his words …
Ramadan is the month when Muslims get closer to God. It’s a month when the gates of paradise are open –- the best month to feel closer to God. It’s a time when we restart the year with a clean slate.
For me, it isn’t a difficult thing. I don’t really have difficulty working through the day as a teacher, even when I’m fasting. Then, after work at the school, I’ll go back home like normal, you know, and grade some papers and do whatever work I need to do at that point. I’ll spend time with my family. When we break the fast, we have something to eat. But what I love to do is make the night prayer in the mosque during Ramadan. That’s the best, I think. So many people come to the mosque.
The month of Ramadan, we believe, is the month in which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. So, we go through the entire Quran during this month. I really love to come to the mosque and, this year, we’re going to have a really great reciter of the Quran lead the prayers at night.
We’ll go from the beginning of the Quran to the end through the month. The voice of the reciter is so beautiful! It’s relaxing just to listen to the recitation.
I speak English and Arabic, but personally I don’t understand every word that is recited to us. Some of the portions of the Quran that I have studied with a teacher or have studied myself -– those I know better and I will understand the words as I hear them.
It’s like listening to music, in a way. Some people listen to music and may not understand what all the words mean, but they can appreciate the beauty. Take someone from Puerto Rico who doesn’t speak English and play them some Celine Dionne, singing that song from “Titanic” let’s say or one of her other famous songs. Her tone, her pitch, the way she sings the words -– you enjoy it and its beauty touches your heart –- even if you don’t understand every word she is singing. That’s how it is when I go to hear the Quran recited. And, of course, the Quran is even more beautiful to hear, for us, than any song. And, in the month of Ramadan, we get to enjoy all of it.
taken from: http://www.readthespirit.com/sharingramadan/