Here’s a photo from this year’s Ramadhan Roha at Dar al Mustafa led by Habib Omar. On the left is Habib Kadhim taking a break from writing notes on his little notepad next to him.
In Ramadhan, the books done during Roha change just for the month. Be it a book of hadith, law, history, most of it are about or connected to fasting.
It continues until 7th of Shawwal, as many go into 6 Days of Shawwal fasting immediately after Eid – a period they call Small Ramadhan.
Roha is the session that takes place after Asar, led by the head of the place you’re in, attended by all members of public. It may take place in a school, mosque or learning centre.
As mentioned before whatever books or topics that are read in these sessions, the commentary by the chairperson is on the premise of purification of the soul, spirituality and self reflection.
Habib Kadhim leads a Roha at al-Jawhari mosque at the centre of Tareem, largely attended by locals, non-students. When he’s done there, he heads here to sit in with us. Daily.
It’s fascinating seeing the various learned scholars and senior teachers too in attendance. Not seen in the picture but visible if one were to casually scan the room.
When translated directly, Arabic has no word for student as English speakers know it. They use the expression, and of course meaning, ‘seekers of knowledge.’
This terminology is not mere term. It reflects, manifests and solidifies the respect, responsibility and continuity towards learning first and foremost without the need to do what many modern societies do today by endlessly quibbling about techniques and tools.
Many of the teachers when teaching us in class often equate themselves to us ‘seekers of knowledge’ – especially when speaking of previous eras. One big teacher here once said,
‘.. That’s how they were. For the like us though, we are those who seek to resemble Seekers of Knowledge. May God grant us such grace.’
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