|Moulid An-Nabi, dates|
The Platter of Dates
This is the Holy Month of Ramadan,
a time to dwell on Scripture, and to pray.
Heaven is wide open.
A time to fast all day ‘til the sun goes down.
I remember, touring Morocco,
our gala nights of dancing and singing,
the Sufi Issawa.
Praising God all night long.
The repetition of the chants, call and response,
the hypnotizing movements of the body,
the long, slow, beckoning solo,
pulling us into each song.
As we danced and sang, young people
roamed the floor with platters of dates,
assuring we would not faint in ecstasy.
Today on the radio, a Muslim woman
remembers her father’s store in New York,
owned by Muslims, staffed by Jews and Hispanics.
At dusk, everyone broke the fast together!
She carried a platter of dates,
to break the fast with all who would partake.
This is the world of possibility.
This is the soft bed of my dreams.
The platter of dates at dusk,
the smiles and thank you’s all around,
the long sacred days devoted to God,
the oneness of our holiness, all one, everyone.
The touch of a soft scarf against my neck.
The generous hand of a young woman,
her platter of dates.
June 19, 2016
On a trip to the Fez Festival of Sacred Music which I made in 2002, we were honored guests at a Sufi Issawa, a religious gathering in private homes, usually lasting all night, featuring (loud!) music, singing and dancing in honor of Allah. It was mesmerizing and unforgettable.
I was extremely touched by the memories of a Muslim woman of her childhood in New York, sharing a platter of dates to break the fasts of Ramadan.
May we all remember our Oneness!