The Directorate of Heritage monitors the rituals and customs of Ramadan in Irbid between the past and the present

Written by: Iman Marzouk

With a smile, a sigh and a twinkling eye .. they pull the thread of extended time .. grandparents tell us their childhood memories in Ramadan.
Where simplicity and purity .. and justice between creation .. and contentment with what the earth and heaven offer .. there is no water in the house and no electricity .. but hearts are full of forgiveness and faith accept the month of fasting with reverence . .
Children gather daily around the village mosque, eagerly watching the preacher’s steps towards the minaret at sunset, holding dates in their small hands, to fly home, joyfully announcing the time of Iftar.
The first day usually starts with a white plate of optimism and joy for the holy month. The family gathers at a table containing the delicious goodies of the season, summer or winter. We find more with the poor than with the rich .. generosity. prevails .. and the dishes rotate between rounds.

On the occasion of World Heritage Day, which falls on April 18 each year; The Directorate of Heritage at the Ministry of Culture monitored the rituals and customs of Ramadan in Irbid between the past and the present, through a series of field meetings in the villages of Irbid, the capital of Arab culture for 2022.

Al-Rusan student from Umm Kais recalls those days, saying:
Our life was very simple, we got water from the well because our houses did not have “taps”. The family was content with one dish at the Ramadan table according to the season; In winter the focus was on cooking “Al-Makamir”, “Al-Madarid” and “Azan Al-Shayeb”, and in spring we ate “loof”, “Khubaizah” and “Akub”. As for these days, there is a variety of cooking and items available throughout the year, and a huge amount of loss in food, and all of this will be held accountable by God for that! Eating too much increases disease.
The peasant’s work continued as usual according to the seasons; In summer the harvest work, and in winter the plowing .. Thus the village had a small population and only one mosque, while Ramadan was respected and sanctified; No one is allowed to break the fast during the day, and men are inclined to offer the Taraweeh prayer, especially for the elderly. -the other. After that, it was customary to visit the graves to read Al-Fatihah about the souls of the deceased family members. Then each returns to his home to visit relatives and maintain kinship ties.
As for the religious aspect, in the past, simple preaching left a great impact on our soul, today religious information and culture have become more, but reverence and fear are less!

Regarding the most important feature of the month of Ramadan, the director of Irbid Antiquities, Ziyad Ghunaimat, believes that gathering the Jordanian family and worrying about kinship ties are among the most important rituals of the month and for difference. between the past and the present, he says: Al-Masharati took on the task of waking people up for suhoor, but today this is taken care of by alarm clocks and mobile phones.

In the same context, the son of Kharja village, Dr. Ahmed Sharif Al-Zoubi, a scholar and writer specializing in inheritance, explains that kinship is one of the most important rituals of Ramadan, which is represented in the “determination of care” where the husband invites his relatives by sisters, aunts, aunts and siblings on the day of iftar to gain their approval. He added: “People forget their anger and work to forgive and let go of their anger in the month of Ramadan, and help the very poor and needy by giving them money and food out of sight, and the family prepares the children for the month. training them to refrain from food and drink by encouraging and rewarding them and encouraging them to fast the “bird”. For part of the day, it is an ancient custom to dry pumpkins, octopuses and tomatoes on summer days to eat them on. autumn and winter days, while today all vegetables are available all year round.
Al-Zoubi added: In terms of food, there were “roasted chicken” and “recited” dishes (layers of bread, onion and oil), and “makmoura”, which were prepared through layers of dough, chicken pieces, sumak and oil. . , and placed in the oven until cooked. In addition to mansaf, an ancient historical dish. It is a common dish in all regions of the Kingdom.
In the past, “Al-Mujadara”, “Al-Sumaida” and “Tebikh Al-Tayyanat” (cooked bulgur and yoghurt) were common dishes during Ramadan, but now there is a very wide variety of dishes. Each region had a famous dish: in the south, “Al-Majalla” and “Zarb”, in the north “Al-Mammoura” and in Aqaba “Al-Sayadiyah”, and so on, each region had a famous dish and outstanding. , while there are common foods like “Al-Rushouf” which is a popular dish throughout the kingdom, but each region does it in its own way, and with the days, the food spreads according to the rule of marriage, friendship and banquets. , and they are no longer restricted to a particular region.
As for Ramadan sweets, he adds d. Al-Zoubi: There were limited and simple types of food, including “Heniniya”, which was prepared from fried dates with oil or communal ghee. Lazakiyat, which is shrak bread dipped in sugar, ghee or oil. Sometimes they replaced sugar with syrup, so that “lazakiyat” became Arabic hemp. In addition to the historical “qatayef” cakes that are common in all regions.
Regarding the rituals spread after the Taraweeh prayer, Dr. Ahmed Sharif Al-Zoubi: After the Taraweeh prayer, people leave to visit the sick, or in inns, each family had its own guest house, meeting, staying up late and dealing with excuses, poems, stories and anecdotes, and talking about matters of religion, especially the presence of the mosque preacher.

As for the “coexistence” between Muslims and Christians, Al-Zoubi claims that this coexistence between Jordanians is unparalleled. We share holiday wishes, and the people here are an authentic Arab people who are pure and non-discriminatory and are not separated from religion.

From Sheikh Hussein’s area in the northern Jordan Valley, Khaled al-Dhib al-Abbasi, a retired school principal, tells us about Ramadan rituals between the past and the present:
The population was much smaller, breakfast was done in groups and the table was simple, based on their crops and animals, the magician took on the task of waking people up. Modern electronic devices are used today.

Khadija Saeed Jumaa, a former municipal member from Sheikh Hussein’s area, introduced us to “Pure”, a popular dessert consisting of rice and cooked milk, with ghee added to it. In addition to pudding, which is made from milk cooked with starch and garnished with pistachios. In addition to other varieties such as maftoul, ballad chicken, mujadara, molokhia, mansaf and drinks known as tamarind.

Suleiman Al-Azzam from the village of Jijin in Irbid recalls Ramadan in ancient times and how he prepared it by preparing “vermicelli” before Ramadan, where the noodles are fried until they are fried and become like pine nuts and are added. boiling of inhaled (steamed) kebab, which is still done in al-Ramtha and al-Kafarat.
In addition to the dish “çaçaçel”, it was cooked with jam, not with parsley and was cooked with jam and not with yogurt.
Another dish is “makka’ah” or “maqrkat” which consists of fermented dough that is cut into small pieces with a knife and cooked with milk. And eat “Zaqar” consisting of bulgur, nigella and sesame, and it is also placed with milk. And “Kishku pies” that are baked with taboos.

Al-Azzam adds: “Wishes” were held, evenings, coffee and tea, and we ate harisa and pressed dates. The food was limited but natural, free of fertilizers and chemicals. Al-Masharati were present and the women baked after midnight to prepare fresh bread for suhoor. The woman was the “economy minister” at home and they prepared the house supplies according to the seasons.
Among the sweets, we ate “Heataliyah” (milk cooked with wheat starch and ghee tossed), except the harisa brought from the Levant, and at night there were explanations, and social life was much more active, and not everyone prepares coffee .. A house in the family makes coffee only for the family, neighbors and relatives who meet him, while the rest is forbidden because coffee is associated with certain traditions and rituals.
The interdependence between people and neighbors was great, represented by the help of family and neighbors, and one aspect of this solidarity was “donated”, where the financially capable owners of halal and cattle worked to (donate) to their neighbors. poor one or two heads. halal to milk them and benefit from their milk and produce throughout the season, “Manouha” is returned to the owners after the end of the season and there are those who make it a gift without taking it back.

From the village of Taybeh, Muhammad Farhan Al-Alawna (Abu Anas) and his wife (Umm Anas) told us about some of the rituals of Ramadan in ancient times, saying: The beginning is sincere psychological preparation, and in this month not. man feels desperate because of the great social solidarity and the rich celebrated the holidays he was invited to. The poor and the rich are for the sake of the common people and not to feel discriminated against. The tables were all full of dishes with rural products and crops of cereals and vegetables, and the sweets were Katayef and Lazakiyat, and among the Ramadan rituals were people visiting each other, and the abundance of alms, and the children of the poor and the provision of them with new Eid clothes. To bring joy to their hearts, the month of Ramadan and Eid are a station in which worship, kinship and giving are manifested.
Ummu Anas recalls her childhood days in Ramadan: The first day of fasting started with a white plate, like Mansaf, Tshachael or Sheshbarak, so the first day started with white, in addition to preparing rice rice pudding with milk. Neighbors used to go to prepare food (tebakat) on the floor in the Tabun oven at the end of the day, today several dishes are prepared and not one dish as before. And at suhoor we lacked ready-made food .. Our people brought labne, oil, thyme, cheese and all dairy products, today everything is ready, easy and ready at any time of the year. Once the food of Ramadan was prepared in advance, the bread went through more than ten stages until it arrived. The bread is in the hands of the citizen, but now we get it in a few minutes and this is the change of mothers of the past and mothers today suffer from, and despite the ease and comfort of life today and the availability of everything without difficulty, this generation suffers and feels tired … Everything is easy, but the mentality is tired! A time when our “psyche” was comfortable, we loved each other and our hearts were pure and loving.



(Azan Al-Shajeb)


(Tabikh al-Tajyanat .. It was specially prepared for women after finishing the carving of the village houses)

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