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Posted On: 3 July 2016 02:12 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:16 pm

How people got up for Suhoor in Qatar half a century ago

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As I was reading Quran and relaxing a bit afterwards during late hours of night... the sudden arrival of a thought engulfed me. I began to wonder how people in older days used to wake up in the middle of the night for suhoor. And by suhoor, I mean the morning meal which is eaten by people who are about to fast through the day during Ramadan. This curiosity didn’t end here... so, as soon as I can, I began my search and here I am sharing my views and findings with you all.

In the modern era, where alarm clocks or mobile alarms are very easy to set and they make noise for people to get up, getting up before fajr was not so simple in the past more than 50 years ago in Qatar. It can be said it was different as traditionally the people used to be awoken with the sound emancipating (coming) from drummers who would walk around the streets beating their drums loudly which would awaken the sleeping people for their suhoor preparations and so on.

Not only did they hit the drums but also sing among the lines of ‘wakeup…… its time for suhoor’. This was the traditional way to be woken up during Ramadan and this tradition is kept alive till the present day. These drummers were called “Musahrati” in the local language.

Al Musahrati is the name given to the person who walks and beats a drum in residential areas to wake people up to eat their suhoor before morning prayers. Nobody has ever complained of this drumming being a nuisance and this tradition has always been welcomed by all the generations upto this date.

Even though alarm clock or telephone alarm is the ‘modern’ approach to get up early in Ramadan, the ‘traditional’ method of waking up has still not lost its glory and significance till-date and is well received throughout Qatar.