Ramadhan In Dar es Salaam

Ramadhan In Dar es Salaam

Ramadhan In Dar es Salaam 150 150 Comfort Aid International

I get to spend first twelve days of Ramadhan
in Dar es Salaam (Dar), oh my, what a treat, alhamd’Allah! The weather is ideal,
with cool pleasant mornings and nights, comfortable other times. Arusha, where
I go visit an ailing aunt is rather cold, even Zanzibar is uncharacteristically
chilly at the beach. Working with Reaching
Out To The Children Of Zanzibar
, a local charity run by Sister Raihana
Merali, CAI donors will gift poor schools one hundred forty desks, repair few
classrooms floors and complete construction of a local madressa where basic
English language classes will also be sponsored by CAI.
Ramadhan here brings out fond
memories of my childhood growing up in Africa with Iftaar of ujee and fried
stuff after magreeb at the mosque. Jaabir Bhimjee spoils me with a thermos of
tantalizing ujee ya naazee every day. Dua e Iftetah, always a pleasure with
varied reciters at the mosque; an absolute gem in seeking Allah’s forgiveness
and pleasure given to us by Imam Mahdi (A). Now only if he would hurry up and
save us from many tribulations that grip Muslims worldwide.
Dar Ramadhan is all fun; days pass
incredibly quickly with Fajr at 5:30 and Magreeb at 6:30. Iftaars are at
various homes I am invited; nights begin at the mosque with lectures and duas
end at about 10 followed by customary baraazas and a feast of kukus and
mushkaaki at different restaurants that are open late. Baraazas are full of
lamentations; bribery in government departments the number one subject; my mind
whirl tipsy with numbers thrown about, hundred of thousands, even millions of
shillings. My monthly pocket money in Form One was a mere fat five shillings! TRC,
TANESCO, Traffic police; every government department is damned. Young beggars
recite verses of Holy Quraan or dance to Muslim tunes in the hope for some
pesa.  I am at Oyster Bay beach few late
nights where I dig into some of the best roojo roojo muhoogo or muhoojo chips
my bloated stomach can pack. These also serve as daaku (I wish we would change
this derogatory term of expression for such a blessed routine), for me, complimented
by exotic Kiswahili sweets (gulgoolia, mkate-mimeena, koko-tende, pankho and
more, without the cardamom menace, of course) from my good friend Murtaza Bhimanis’s
house. Thank Allah there is a fine treadmill at the gym in Tanzanite Executive
Suits where I run for an hour just before Iftaar, else I would be a serious
hazard to any weighing scale.
Dar, with her impressive growth over the
last decade, is a pleasure to be in. Safe and relatively clean, with even more
construction of towers, attracts new arrivals, with Khoja community already at
seven thousand plus strong, the largest in Africa, perhaps the world? The renovated
mosque looks grand, even though looms too big; perhaps will accommodate
community growth through next few decades. Murtaza Allidina is a pleasure to
listen though his prolonged kunoots in salaat can give some a toothache.
Perhaps. His backup for saalat this Ramadhan, Allah bless him, with a unique
lullaby style of recitation promptly makes me yawn every time he opens his
These blessed days are soured by news
of another ferry capsizing off the coast of Zanzibar, the very route I have
taken just days ago, the gruesome massacres of Muslims in Myanmar (Burma), a
country I have visited in the past and admired so much and of course events in
Syria where hypocrisy from powers to be find no limits. BBC, CNN, even Al
Jazeera (sadly) and their Masters are fantastic pathological liars, have
perfected the art of deceit and hypocrisy to a point they actually believe the foul,
vile and offensive garbage they utter. Amidst all these happenings, Olympic
summer games begin in London – what a royal pain in the arse. The coverage on (British)
TV is full of racial overtones, disproportionate and overdone, achy for my
eyes, ears and a literal nuisance to Londoners. Really, I have not heard any of
them happy with the event. Why on earth hold this event in a declining city /
country should be a case study in Arm-Twisting Management 101.  
Today, I have completed ten days of
this blessed month here; it is time for me to return home to Sanford, FL shortly,
where it’s rather hot and fasting days longer; a prolonged absence, family
affairs and business matters beckon. Later visiting Kabrastaan, a brisk comfortable
breeze from the ocean has a calming, dulling affect on me; a good book at the
beach in Oyster Bay and I would be snoring soundly. Sleeping here permanently,
eventually, deep in the earth of my birth-land, if Allah so pleases, would be a
blessing.  I feel sad, for Ramadhan in
Africa, especially Dar is hard to match elsewhere in the world. But I will be
back next year, with Allah’s grace and generosity.
Ramadhan kareem.
1 Comment
  • Sallam Alaikum and Ramadhan Mubarak. My wife is from Dar and every year longs for Ramadhan or Moharram there – as you've said so eloquently, Ramadhan in Dar is a treat – aside from the shorter fasts, the strong sense of community spirit is evident and living in a beautiful tropical paradise you can experience all the festivities after mosque that you definately do not have in North America.

    Reading this just around lunch time has made me hungry for those delicacies that I last had 20-years or so ago when I was married (in Dar)… oh well, only 6 more hours to go!

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