AN AROMA OF TAQWA

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People try to read more and more Qur’an, offer nawafil and spend their time in dhikr during Ramadhan, a Pakistani sister said. “Allah instills in you more sabr and gratitude, and despite the difficulty of tasting, it is spent in a very happy mood.” They also become conscious of things like watching television and listening to music and try to avoid it, she said.

As Ramadhan nears completion, particularly during the last 10 days, people’s worship of Allah takes on a more intense fervor and many people sit for ‘itikaaf in the masajid.

“The majority of people return to Allah. They are more pleasant and forgiving and have better character; still, you run across people who are short-tempered because they are fasting and cannot smoke,” Afifi, of Egypt, said.

The religious aspect of Ramadhan takes superiority over all other aspects, Ramadan, of Libya, said. People are nicer, they do not fight or shout, their numbers increase in the masajid, and they become more religious, he remembered. “That’s why people wait for Ramadhan so much. An aroma of Taqwa becomes instilled in the society and everybody gets a share of it,” he said.

“The mood is very high Islamically,” Houria Esseghir, of Dayton, N.J., said about her native Algeria. “You can hear the Qur’an being recited for taraweeh from home. (Also,) people help each other and give to the needy people.”

As a teenager before the war in Bosnia began, Cokic remembers mostly the adults used to fast. The youth were more lax. “But since the war started, a lot of young people are fasting and they know what it means. They also go more to the masajid,” she said from accounts she has heard from family and friends there.

“Everybody is expecting (Ramadhan) with big excitement, and with a dose of fear because we do not know (whether) we will succeed in our ‘ibadaat to be better than last one.” Said Tallawi. Various speeches about Islam are also now common in cities of Bosnia. A lot of emphasis is placed on increased ‘ibadaat during this month, he said.

“For Somalis, it is a spiritual hajj experience. Everyone’s happy, in peace, worshipping Allah,” said Esse.