Solat tarawih is synonymous to the month of Ramadhan and as a child, I used to get confused pronouncing the word right - was it tawarikh (meaning sejarah or history) or tarawih (pronounced terawih). I also had a terrible time distinguishing between asrama (residential school) and asmara (romance)! Imagine me telling my friends, Kakak kita pergi sekolah asmara! (My sister goes to romance school) LOL!
Well, back to the point of solat tarawih, Abah always made it a point that my siblings and I joined them for prayers at the nearby surau, which has now been upgraded and converted into a mosque. My step-sister and I, in particular, obeyed with mixed feelings. It was no joke performing 23 rakaats (including witr), especially when you don't get a spot near the walls where there were fans rotating. Before the prayers had ended, our clothes would be wet with perspiration that at the end of every salam, we'd be flipping and flapping our telekungs like a chicken trying to fly.
Nonetheless, despite the unbearable heat, it was undoubtedly an exciting practice. I loved the salawat we chanted after each salam, and it was a bonus when my favourite Imam, Ustaz Nik, led the prayers. Furthermore, there was the morey that came after - a spread of delightful delicacy that became a motivation to stay on till the very end! It was also a splendid time to say hello to fellow school-mates or catch a glimpse of other friends in the neighbourhood. The boys are often a little lucky as they would stay on for a round of fireworks!
Today, I lead the solat tarawih with my children and teach them the salawat we often do at home (mosques here don't do them). I know that soon, when they reach puberty, I will no longer be able to lead the prayers with all my children. However, as a woman there will be days that I have to step away from certain duties. Thus, I have asked my older boys to take turns in leading the tarawih prayers in my place, and I must say that they have indeed made me proud. So, I try to reward them by offering a simple morey afterwards; consisting of ice-creams, Milo with whipped cream and left-over kuihs.
Don't you just love Ramadhan?