I have a few things to say and I am gonna say them here ...
|The word "Misaaq" needs an explanation: it is a religious ceremony similar to the "coming of age" ceremony that is a norm in many societies of the world. A girl who has started having regular periods and is a fully-developed adolescent (physically, that is), and a boy who is into puberty for at least one year (mid-way in development of male voice, sexual hair, genital pigmentation etc) takes an oath, accepting his/her religion as a guiding force and promises before a priest to do all that Muslims are supposed to do - that is, give Zakaat, perform Namaaz, do fasts in Ramadan, and perform the Hajj (if possible) - plus accept the Qur^an as the Holy Book, accept Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the Prophet and accept Prophet Ali (S.A.) as his Wasi ... and many more vows.
This was done on my daughter Inas (now renamed Insiyah) on the same day as her 14th Birthday, that is on 15th March 2005. We gave her 14 gifts, among them, a complete jewellery set, dresses, a wrist watch, a Nokia 2300 Mobile phone (activated with Prepaid credit), greeting cards, undergarments, flowers, etc. She was thrilled to see so many gifts. My wife Nishrin felt that as the next year for her would be her last crucial school year with Board exams, she should get a birthday experience she will never forget. It was a brilliant idea!
In the evening, we invited my other brother with his family, but he was unable to attend as he stays quite far from my house. My parents came, and quite fortuitously, my father's birthday, as per our indigenous Islamic calender, will fall on the 16th; so we had a real blast with cakes, Pepsi, etc. and the most lavish dinner we could lay our hands on.