Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Jumuah (Friday)

Its Friday night, and as usual I’m awake, sleepless. Now that the day is near its end, and the house is still and quiet, my heart is slightly heavy, having to bid farewell to my favorite day of the week. Yes, despite the fact that tomorrow is the beginning of the week, Friday is my most treasured day.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said "The best day during which the sun has risen, is Friday. It is the Day Adam (peace be upon him) was created. It is the day when Adam (peace be upon him) entered paradise and also when he was taken out from it. It is also the day on which the day of judgment takes place."

See...?, lots of amazing things have/ and will take place on Friday.

But on a smaller scale, Friday in Salalah has its own glory for those willing to see beyond the fact that its the end of the weekend and that things shut down too early in the afternoon.

This morning I woke up to three, nearly simultaneous, text messages from friends wishing me and my family a blessed Jumuah (Friday). I rarely get to see these friends, but once a week without fail, I get a little message from them. Its a nice way to start the day.

Sometimes you forget how life used to be when blessings replace hardships. Since being here, our family has finally had the opportunity to make Friday a sacred day. Back home, Sam struggled to get time off from work or used his lunch hour to go for the obligatory Jumuah (Friday) prayer and the kids spent the day like any other.

Now, our Fridays always begin with a light breakfast, followed by some chaos getting ready to get out of the house on time and then some quiet time for me...(praise the Lawd!). Friday here, has given the guys an opportunity to really bond. Granted, they pray together all the time, but Friday is a day when the guys can enjoy quality time with their dad and the men of the community. Back home, the sense of community is so impersonal and men don’t really have the opportunity to take their sons to a gathering where nearly all the men of the society are expected to show up.

I like watching them prepare themselves to go. Its only on Friday that the boys “perfume” themselves and wear ironed disdash's. Today, one little person asked me to brush his hair and part it to the side! I nearly burst with joy. I had to hold myself from squeezing him to bits and instead very casually replied “sure, no problem” while parting his hair to the right. Later his kumma would destroy the look, but I enjoyed it while it lasted.

Once the boys are gone, I sit out on our terrace usually enjoying a second cup of coffee (like today) and spy street watch.  Little boys and their fathers pile up in cars, neighbors walking to the Mosque are picked up and given a lift and through my eyes everyone seems...jovial?.

Typically in Salalah, this day is reserved for families to get together and eat lunch or dinner with one another. We get together with Sam’s family and the kids enjoy the day with, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I end up getting a day off from cooking and have the pleasure of eating my favorite Omani dishes not made by me =)  How do you spend your Fridays?


  1. Coming from a Christian family, our "rest day" would be Sunday. We've had no problem trading Sunday for Friday since we moved to Oman. Since I was a little girl, the last day of the week has also been a day to go to church and to be together with the family. Now I have a family of my own, I try to achieve the same kind of "togetherness" on our "rest day". No stress, no obligations, just being with family and close friends, eating and enjoying a good rest. It's a great way to "reload" some energy for the week to come.

  2. Hi Rania, Are there churches in Salalah?

  3. Hmm, I don't know if there are any churches here. I think I'll try and find out.

  4. .... I think there is a church near the British School. Or at least there used to be if I'm correctly informed.

  5. Yeah sure, build a million Mosqes in the US and UK but how dare you build a church in the Middle East. Such crap.

  6. Rania,you should take such commnts down please.

  7. Anonymous: Take what comments down? The one before yours?
    Although I don't agree with his/her opinion I support the right to say it, so long as it is not disrespectful :)

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