Fatima from Malaysia

Fatima MalaysiaI am Fatima from Malaysia.  My mother and father are doctors. When they are at work I stay with my grandmother and aunt.  My grandmother sews clothes for people and my aunt helps her. All day I listen to the sewing machine going slow, going fast. I watch Grandmother push the fabric through. My aunt pins pieces of fabric together. I listen to the sharp scissors cut cut cut the fabric spread on the floor. Sometimes they let me play with the scraps. The scraps from each dress are placed on top of each other and rolled into a snake shape and fastened with a pin. I like to look at all the different scraps. Some are colorful – my favorite color is blue. Some are shiny and slippery, some are sparkly and some are thick and soft.  I have my own needle and thread.
While Grandmother and Aunty sew, they listen to Quran. I know a lot of Quran. When I was three years old I knew fifteen small suras. Now I am learning the longer ones in Juz Amma.  Many times when my father and mother pray at home, I pray with them. I have a small prayer cover. It is babyish and short, but I still wear it to pray.  Sara, my cousin, has a big grown up one. It isn’t white, it is yellow with purple flowers. For my fourth birthday, Father said I must learn what people say when they are sitting in the prayer, so every day when we are not listening to Quran, we go over “attaheeyatu lilahi wassalawatu…”
Last year I wasn’t happy in Ramadan. All day the grownups didn’t eat. Sometimes Grandmother would take a nap and I had to be quiet. But the worst thing about Ramadan was that I didn’t go home with Mother and Father when they came back from work. Right after iftar they would go to taraweeh prayers and I stayed alone with Grandmother until it was very late. It was a sadful Ramadan.
This Ramadan, Father said I can go with mother to taraweeh prayers if I learn the taheeyatu and Allahuma Salli parts. I am so excited! I asked Sara if she was going, she said maybe. I want to go to the Masjid and pray with all the women. Every day I practice and practice. Sometimes I think it is more difficult than surah al Bayinah, but I keep trying.
Everyone is excited today because it is the last day of Sha`ban. I recite the taheeyatu and salawat Ibraheemieh to my father. Mother and Father look so proud. My aunt hugs me and kisses my head. I go to my grandmother to kiss her hand in thanks. She has taught me so much Quran and she helped me with this, too. Now she has a big smile on her face and her hand is behind her back. She brings out something flat and soft. It is wrapped in tissue paper. I tear it open; it is something blue. I shake it out and…it is a prayer cover! It’s my favorite light blue with bright yellow flowers along the top and pink trim along the bottom. I hug it and then hug my grandmother and kiss her hand.
That night I walk to the masjid with my mother like a big girl. I made wudu at home and carried a bag with my prayer cover in it. I was so excited. The masjid we go to has only women in it. I look at all the women in their white head covers. They are sitting and waiting for the prayer to begin. I stand up for Mother to tie my head cover on, I am like a flying blue bird and the ladies are all clouds. I am so happy. Maybe I am still too young to fast, but this Ramadan I will go with Mother and Aunty to taraweeh every night. This is going to be a happy Ramadan!