Thursday, 7 August 2008

Day 40 (Cont'd): Leaving Tarim

A valley right outside Tarim after yesterday's rain.
I know that technically this is day 41, but since I didn't sleep last night I'm just going to continue with Day 40 so I can stick to the blog title of 40 days.

So we go up on the roof at 2:30 am and it begins to rain slightly. It was beautiful to walk to Dar al-Zahra in the cool weather and feel the rain drops on my face (took off the niqab—no one is in the streets at that time). Only it turns out the electricity was out and it was pitch black in Dar al-Zahra and stifling with no AC. My small portable radio came to the rescue and we could listen to the awrad. It was a surreal experience to be in the dark reciting the awrad. Though at the same time without the distraction of the lights, the sound of the AC, and people around you, it kind of boiled the experience down to the bare bones of what it's supposed to be: just you trying to connect with Allah.

After fajr was a mawlid, a series of small lectures and qaseeda recitations.

We then had our final mosafaha, only this time it was mosafahat al-wada' (farewell), where you literally hugged every single Dar al-Zahra student, kissed their hand, and asked for their forgiveness and du'ua. I'm not a huggy person and I dithered for ages before finally joining the line as the last person since I knew it would take so long, but Subhan Allah it was a beautiful experience. Girls I only knew by 'face' cried as they hugged me, and I truly felt like I'd miss them. And other than the fact that my back and knees hurt from bending down to hug them (it seems every single Dar al-Zahra girl is short compared to me) I am so glad I went.

I then made my way back to the Dowra house, and after it a whirlwind of packing, we sat down for our last 'meeting' in our communal room. Some hababas were there, as well as women from the Dowra administration who had helped organize our incredible stay here.

We were each given small gifts (mine was a pretty incense kit) and a copy of all the Dowra lectures in English for free, which is truly the best gift of all. We were also given certificates of participation in the Dowra, and it was the first time certificates have even been given for the English Dowra participants. The certificates said:

The administration of Dar al-Mustafa for Islamic studies recognizes the participation of x from x who attended the summer intensive that was held from 1/7/2008 until 6/8/2008 of the Gregorian calendar, which coincided with the 27th of Jamad al-Akbar until the 5th of Sha'ban 1429 Hijri during which they received lessons in various Islamic sciences including jurisprudence, theology, Hadith methodology and transmission, as well as Qur'anic science. This certification should also serve to remind said student to remain God conscious and to work towards the embodiment of the characteristics and mannerisms of the Prophet Mohammad may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him. We also advise that they continue studying these sciences as well as teaching others and implementing that which they were taught. Habib Umar.
We then had a little program to thank our supervisors, and above all, our wonderful wonder Ustadah Moneeba. I have learned so much from her and I am going to miss her so much. We sang her a song to the tune of Zain Bhika's I think my mum is amazing that one of us rewrote the lyrics to, so it read "I think my mushrifa is amazing." Seriously, I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

And so after a lot of hugging and furiously writing notes in each other's notebooks we made our way over to the Seyium airport, which is literally the size of a large room.
There was a European woman there dressed in a miniskirt and tank top, and it was very disconcerting to see—almost like culture shock.

An hour later we were in San'aa, and the luxury of a hotel room (a real real hotel) seems so so so decadent. I know that in a couple of days I'll automatically adjust again, and won't even think of it, but now the luxury of a fully equipped bathroom with marble floors and chocolates on my pillow just felt strange. On the plus side, the beautiful weather in San'aa feels like a gift—for me the weather is like Egyptian winter.

After 'isha, we then had an amazing opportunity: to sit with Habib Ali (who had just landed in San'aa) for a two hour Q & A session. Now that's a fitting ending to the Dowra.

And that's it.


Ikramuddin said...

Assalamualaikum sister,

If I remember correctly you were the sister who bought chocolates for the Rihla group after we had performed our Umrah... May Allah Ta'ala reward you for that and for sharing with us this wonderful Dowra experience. May The King of Kings Azawajal make easy your journey towards Him, ameen.
Jazakiallah Khaira.

suleimanibnsalimalmuslim said...



Would you please upload the all the ARabic and English recordings you have for the dawrah...

May Allah reward you,

Please keep me in your duas,


suleimanibnsalimalmuslim said...

any updates on the files?

Anonymous said...

i miss you so much E'....
i'm going to try to go back to tarim as soon as possible, i never really realized what a gift we have in being invited to tarim. give me a call sometime, i love my hijab (smile)

Anonymous said...

As-salaamu 'alaikum brother. JazakaLlah for this blogspot. May it benefit others, ameen. Basically brother, I have been trying to find contact number for Dar al-Mustafa but could not find one. I want to come for this year (2009) dawrah (Arabic one) but could not find information for it. If you know who to contact, please write it down here in this blog, or send me an e-mail at BarakaLlahu feek (Abu Dardaa)

Anonymous said...

I apologise for this inconvenience. Firstly, I thought that you were a brother but found out that you are a sister. Secondly, I found the dowra website on your list, so jazakiLlahu khair al-jaza', and please forgive me. Fi amaaniLlah.

Ethar El-Katatney said...

@ Anonymous: No worries, and insh'Allah you will get in. Please remember us in your du'ua.

sister said...

assalamualikum sis!

This is a sister here. I have been looking into coming to Sanaa, Yemen to study Arabic and I hope to teach as well.

I just found out about Al-Badr Institute in hadramawt. Can I please get your email add as I had a few questions regarding the institute and about life in yemen in general.

JazakAllaahu khairan!

Looking forward to your reply,