Ramadan from Karbala... the “Musaharati” and Minarets Prayers
Before the time of “Suhoor”, a late-night meal, with a period of one hour or more, the drummer aka the ”Al- Musaharati”, keeps going around to beat an empty plate “Tanaka” to alert the sleepers and to wake them up for this meal.
This job has developed later by beating on a regular drum instead of the plate. This tradition is one of the ancient customs inherited to this day. The Al-Masharati hits on his drum during the silence of the night, were accompanied by shouts like “Get up, Be prepared, O fasting people.” At this time, we also can hear the Quran recitation coming from the minarets, and a supplication recited by the muezzin with different phases and touching melodies. After all the family members get up, they sit around the table and then read the “Baha” supplication, the beginning of which is: “Oh God, I ask you from the glory of your glory” and other supplications written for Suhoor.
Twenty minutes before the dawn call to prayer or “Athan al-Fajr”, the muezzin’s invocation of the muezzin can be heard. It is verses composed from Qurayd specifically for this occasion, which are as follows:
اشـرب المـاء هنيئاً يا محب واجر دمع العين حزناً وانتحب
Drink water blissfully, O believer, and drip tears to the eyes of sadness.
لحسين السبط في جنب الفرات مات عطشـاناً شهيدًا محتسب
Hussein al-Sibt “the prophet’s grandson” has died on the side of the Euphrates of thirst as a rewarded martyr
اشرب الماء هنيئاً انه ماء مباح
Drink water well, it is a permissible water
اشـرب المـاء هنيئـاً بـسـلام واذكـر المقـتـول من جور اللئـام
Drink water in peace, and remember the slain by the hands of iniquitous
سبط طه المصطفـى خير الأنـام قد بقـى ثـاوٍ علـى وجـه الـرغام
The grandson of Taha al-Mustafa, the best of people, remained at rest on the face of the desert
ايها المذنب تب لله ان شئت النجاة حيث يعطيك جنان الخلد أعلى الدرجات
O sinner, repent to God if you want to be saved, as the everlasting paradise will give you the highest degrees
فهنيئاً لك يا صائم نلت الحسنـات يتقبل منك هـذا الصـوم رب الكائنـات
Congratulations to you who are fasting, you have received good deeds, may the Lord of beings accept this fast.
Then he repeats it several times or recites other verses. Then, the family members rush to drink water before announcing the abstention or “Imsaq”.
Minutes before the Athan al-Fajr, everyone refrains from eating or drinking, while we hear the muezzin calling “Imsaq” before he starts to call for the dawn prayer, as the fasting people get up to perform the prayer, whether at home or in a mosque near the house.