From time immemorial Crimean Tatars had a tradition to organize collective supplication (dua) dedicated to both sad and joyful events. Often, however, some Crimean Tatars do not know how to behave, what to say, what to do and even what to wear when they come to dua. Today Avdet will try to answer some of your questions with the following selection of useful information.
1. The Crimean Tatars make dua (supplications) not only in connection with someone’s death, but with the birth of a child, wedding, housewarming and other momentous events.
2. On dua, both men and women should observe clothing etiquette: with the head covered, modestly dressed, women preferably wearing long skirts or dresses.
3. It is to be remembered that serving coffee is a tradition and not a religious prescription. So if someone decided not to finish his cup of coffee, for whatever reasons, do not claim the event hosts.
4. Mullah takes a sit where he could be seen by all those present.
5. Older people need to be provided with the most comfortable place to sit during the event, for them not to feel any discomfort.
6. At the beginning of the event mullah announces the reason why the event takes place and asks Allah to accept all the prayers and read surahs (chapters) from the Quran.
7. The event begins with reading several ayats (verses) from the Quran (most commonly it is surah 2, ayat 255, 285-286, surah 59, ayats 18-24).
8. All guests need to listen carefully a repentance formula that Mullah says. Each must repeat it inwardly sincerely hoping for Allah’s forgiveness of sins and mistakes.
9. When pronouncing the collective testimony (shahadah) after repentance, it is important to come to understand it – because doing this everyone recognizes the existence of the One and the Only God Allah and the last Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
10. During dua mullah gives someone from relatives or guests an opportunity to read a prayer. For those who read the surahs it is important to learn the correct pronunciation in order to avoid wringing words and expressions from their true meaning. To do this, you can ask a knowledgeable person to help (for example, the imam of the mosque).
11. When reading the final prayer (Hatim Duasi) it is desirable to listen carefully what is said both in Arabic and Crimean Tatar languages and to to say “Amen” for your prayer to be accepted.
12. It is common to give the mullah and the guests alms (sadaka), but there is no certain “rates”. It depends on the possibilities of a particular family.
13. When serving any treats at the end of the event the hosts shouldn’t show any superfluity. The table with treats should be simple without any surfeits.
14. When leaving it is preferable to wish the hosts patience, health and prayers acceptance. Usually the following formula is used: “Allah kabul etsin!”
15. The Crimean Tatars have memorial services in remembrance of dead after 3, 7, (sometimes 15), 37, 40 days, 52-nd night, 100 days (sometimes – six months) and the anniversary. All these activities are carried out as edification and not as any religious or national duties.
16. On the dua eve it is common to read yourself or “order” from the people who read some surahs – kyrklama or the Quran itself. Arriving at the event, you must inform the hosts about available kyrklama or Quran (although the latter is often the duty of the hosts of the dua).
17. Given that the majority of the dua are made in the daytime, it is preferable to make them after the noon namaz. And if the dua falls on Friday, then perform Friday namaz, and then go to the event. Namaz is more important than the dua, as the namaz is prescribed by Allah and the event – an initiative of a person.
18. It is important to avoid any superstitious impurities that may cause hostility among individuals.
19. There is no need to find fault with the mullah if he missed a particular prayer or surah due to forgetfulness or in purpose. This can lead to unwanted controversy. And do not forget that we are just guests.
20. It is important to remember that we come not only to visit, but also to remember the dead person – so try to avoid mundane talks. Conducted dua event is first of all a reminder of the oncoming Day of Judgment