Link to all Ramadan 2010 posts

Ramadan Around the Globe Series:

Bosnia 2010 | Egypt 2010 |  Qatar 2010, 2009 | Saudi (Mecca) 2010 | Sweden 2010

QATAR 2010

Last year, I wrote about my move to the “Persian” Gulf, and reported on how work in Ramadan was so much “cooler” (=slower) than in USA. The cat's (mostly) out of the bag since then, and the mystery of where I moved is more like an open secret, yes indeed I am currently on work assignment in Doha, Qatar.

There's a lot to say about how awesome Ramadan is in Muslim lands, and I speak out of my experience in Qatar, so perhaps I should be more specific to it, but I suspect the reasons for this land probably transcend Qatar to most Muslim lands. The shorter work hours, the respect given to Ramadan, our guest, the reduced fitna on the street (read between the lines), and last, but definitely not the least, the amazing selection of qiraat and styles for tarawih prayers.

Near where I live, we have about 5 choices for tarawih prayers within walking distance (though no one really walks here with temperatures of 100-115F night-day): starting from what I refer to the “lazy masjid”, where tarawih prayers last only about 30 minutes (reading is not at hyper-speed, rather just short rakah), to a notch above, all the way to the masjid near the “Fruit & Vegetable Market”, where a famous Somali imam (so I have been told) leads prayers lasting over 3 hours! Despite totally having intentions to try it at least once, unfortunately I haven't made it there. I have heard from “normal”, average Muslims who have gone there, even though they don't understand Arabic, that time just breezes by behind this imam, whose voice makes the 3 hours feel like 30 minutes. Insha'Allah next year!

Away from the Airport, towards the oil & gas complex at Mesaaid, we have the suburb of Wakra, a place that is full of masajid at every corner. Towards the opposite side of the Airport, there is masjid Abu Bakr, where the imam reads in Warsh and has a soft, melodious voice.

Then there is my “regular” masjid, masjid Sa'ad near the “Aramex Roundabout”, where the imam's beautiful recitation packs probably more than a 1000 strong congregation. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the imam was Bakistani (as he refers to Bakistan in his du'a). The surprise due to his command of Arabic language (and accent) and a voice that just didn't sound Bakistani at all, whatever that means!

Last year, I was more regular at masjid Omar (Shaykh Qaradawi's mosque), near Landmark mall, where tons of folks prayed behind Shaykh al-Areefi every night. Shaykh al-Areefi was not in Qatar for the entire Ramadan this time, but did grace us for the last few nights, and I was fortunate to catch prayers behind him on the 27th night at masjid Omar, where his du'a was the highlight of Ramadan for me. The Shaykh was crying for a good portion of it, along with many praying behind him. As soon as he is done, people crowd around him, and it is almost impossible to even shake his hands. But this 27th night, my car was parked right near his, and I talked to him, gave him salaam from my friend and shaykh in Houston, Sh. Waleed, who I believe was his class-mate in imam university in Riyadh. He was happy to hear that and sent the salaam back, which has been duly delivered : ). Somehow I understand Sh. Areefi's Arabic more than anyone else's and was able to carry out a few minutes of “almost-Arabic” conversation!

Like most masajid, in the last 10 nights of Ramadan, the Imams stop praying witr after the Isha-associated tarawih, leaving it for Qiyaam. Qiyaam begins usually at 11:30PM in many masajid, and at around 1:00AM in some. The qiyaam prayers  (8 rakah) is followed by the witr with amazing du'a qunoot usually.

So, let the du'a' & recitation speak for themselves.

  • imam at masjid Saad: Recitation in 2 rakah

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  • imam at masjid Saad: du'a in Witr

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  • Shaykh al-Areefi at masjid Omar: du'a in Witr

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16 Responses

    • Amad

      That’s right. He is the Somali Imam I was referring to. I think his son won 2nd prize in the quran competition (like 20,000 dollars!).

      I was in the audience at AlJazeera, another Ramadan highlight for me… the program can be seen here... beautiful recitation by children. Look for me in the audience :)

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      • Amatullah

        Seriously, how could you miss him?! MashaAllah. I wanted to comment and ask if you’ve been to his masjid but then you mentioned it in your article. InshaAllah next year!

        Qatar sorta sounds like Egypt in Ramadan. InshaAllah my article will be done soon.

        Also is there anyway we can convert the audios into MP3 files?

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      • Yus from the Nati

        hahah mashaAlah. I saw only a little of the video. I love how Sh. Qaradawi goes hard and still wears the Azhari attire. mashaAllah.

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  1. A.

    Wait I didn’t understand the bit where you said the Imam was Bakistani, do you say he’s bakistani because he mentioned bakistan in his Dua? Most Imams make dua for Muslims countries in need. At least here in the khaleej. And it so happens that this time the Dua made were for Bakistan, I say this because over the years Imams have made Dua every single day during Ramadhan for Chechnya, Afghanistan, Palestine, etc.

    :)

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    • Amad

      No, got that information from other channels. But he does look Pakistani, even if he doesn’t sound like one.

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  2. abu Rumay-s.a.

    when I used to live in Riyadh, shk Areefi used to visit and pray fajr every Thursday in the masjid next to my place (maybe because he had family in that neighborhood)…masha`Allah, he would consistently perform his adhkar, read Qur`an, then perform salatul duha, then leave…

    are you going to have Eid on Friday like Saudi as was just announced? Tomorrow will complete the 30 days of Ramadhan here in Saudi. May Allah accept from us all..ameen..

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  3. Saqib

    Assalamu alaikum..

    A sad news, surely, that the imam who recites according to Warsh narration (opposite to airport) passed away with his family on his way to Umrah. May Allah have mercy on him and forgive him. Aameen

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