Last night was a tough, beautiful night.
I am attending ISR2018 International Spiritual Retreat in Macassar Cape Town hosted by the Mahabbah Foundation.
And last night marked the start of the retreat itself. And as per tradition, we have a Mass Ratibul Hadad locally known as a Gadat,which was so beautifully heartchingly recited.
I come from Johannesburg, and much to peoples surprise here in Cape Town. I grew up with it, literally, my father had his own Jamaah and there isn't a memory of mine, where gadat didn't feature.
Sundays and Thursdays were almost always for gadats, (which when all you wanted to do, was watch some TV and chill) but we did it.
The recitation last night was like a kick in the gut. It created such a sense of longing of my father and my mother who have passed away. Using the same lagoo (melody) I closed my eyes and pictured my father and uncles sitting in the lounge facing the congregation and leading us while we jikr'd with rhythm.
My childhood is pierced with these verses, to see My dad leading, my beautiful mother, Aunty Goula, and Uncle Manna and Uncle Ismail (Pa) and the laughter and loud recitation from the men and women of my family.
How I LONGED to open my eyes and see him there, one leg folded with his suede jacket and grey Kufiya. I sobbed and felt fresh despair, that I would never see my parents again. I ached and wished I was 16 again, when they were all still with us. I made dua for their Akhira but all I wanted was to be transported back, to see them all one more time.
The gadat and the duas and the memories it evoked; leave me feeling a little tender today.