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Ramadan

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  • Ramadan

    (RNS) Muslim tradition calls for breaking the Ramadan fast in the evening with a date and a sip of water, and increasingly these days, the company of Jews.

    Muslim-Jewish iftars are popping up across the nation, bringing together dozens and sometimes hundreds of people for a celebratory Ramadan meal and to forge interfaith friendships.

    This Ramadan, as Jews and Muslims exchange rocket fire in Israel and Gaza, those attending these meals say they are all the more significant, as a way of demonstrating that Jews and Muslims have much in common, and can enjoy each others’ food and company.

    In Los Angeles on Thursday (July 10), an iftar that bills itself as the single largest gathering of Muslims and Jews in the city, is sponsored by NewGround, an organization that works year-round on Muslim-Jewish relations. The group exists to build resilient relationships that both groups can draw upon in particularly difficult times, said Rabbi Sarah Bassin, NewGround’s former executive director.

    “Yes, we are in another awful flare-up of violence and both of our communities are suffering,” Bassin said. “That will be acknowledged at the iftar.”

    At next week’s “Iftar in the Synagogue” at Chicago Sinai Congregation, “we will try to figure out how we can deal with the tragedy overseas and move forward,” said Husna Ghani, management consultant at the Council of Muslim Organizations of Greater Chicago. “That’s the whole point.”

    “There will probably be a lot of prayer,” she added.

    Nearly 900 Muslims and Jews attended the Chicago event in 2012.

    Ramadan, which began on June 29 this year, is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar, a time when Muslims focus intently on prayer, but also self-examination and charity. Muslims believe that God first revealed verses of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad during Ramadan. Fasting during the month begins at sunrise each day and lasts until sunset. Iftars — the meals eaten after sunset during Ramadan — feature special dishes and desserts — particular to the countries where the world’s 1 billion Muslims live — and can last until the wee hours.

    It’s customary for Muslims to invite extended family and friends to share the evening meal — sometimes even pulling in people off the street. That invitation to fellowship has become a staple in Muslim-American life. Former President George W. Bush held the first Ramadan iftar at the White House in 2001. Before that, Bill and Hillary Clinton hosted parties marking Eid al-Fitr, the feast celebrating the end of Ramadan. President Obama has hosted an iftar each year he’s been in office.

    At Muslim-Jewish iftars, particular attention is paid to food. In Los Angeles, the meal will be both halal and kosher, in keeping with both Muslim and Jewish dietary laws, which often overlap. Neither faith community eats pork, for example. Out of respect for Muslim tradition, no alcohol will be served.

    Some of these interfaith Iftars will be hosted in mosques or other Muslims institutions — on Sunday (July 13), for example, at the Institute of Islamic and Turkish Studies in Cary, N.C. Others will take place in synagogues.

    NewGround’s iftar at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, for which more than 230 people signed up, is very intentionally held in a synagogue, said Bassin.

    “The Jews feel comfortable going to a Jewish institution and the Muslims feel comfortable that they’re going to an iftar,” she said. “It puts everybody equally in and out of their comfort zone.”

    “It’s usually a very good mix — almost down the middle — of Muslims and Jews,” said Aziza Hasan, who is Muslim, and the interim executive director of NewGround.

    And they’re asked not to sit only with co-religionists. Instead, groups that include both Muslims and Jews, Bassin said, are given icebreaker questions appropriate to the occasion. For example, she said: “What’s your relationship to fasting,” a religious practice of both Muslims and Jews.

    “Instead of being stuck in our silos, we’re actually reaching out to each other,” Hasan said.

    ---from the Huffington Post by Lauren Markoe


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...ef=mostpopular

  • #2
    That's all well and good, but seems so "behind the scenes". The "public face" of Islam - that which gets the most attention these days - is violence and destruction.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      The Torah forbids Jews from participating in non-Jewish rituals and holidays.
      That's what
      - She

      Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
      - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

      I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
      Stephen R. Donaldson

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
        The Torah forbids Jews from participating in non-Jewish rituals and holidays.

        Iftar = breaking of the fast in the evening with a meal.

        The fast (dawn to sunset) and the prayers are rituals that non-muslims do not need to participate, the meal/Iftar, is getting together with family and friends and anyone can participate.

        I have had conversations with Atheists and Christians who have participated in Ramadan Fasts. They prayed their own way. (for ex, the Atheist would meditate)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
          That's all well and good, but seems so "behind the scenes". The "public face" of Islam - that which gets the most attention these days - is violence and destruction.
          I agree with what you are saying.....violence and destruction seem rampant these days...and with it comes injustice, hate, oppression...... The participants come in all nationalities and religions.



          John F. Kennedy said "Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression and persecution of others".


          This is from "Time" ---Ramadan, Day 15: Help the Oppressor (Sohaib N. Sultan July 12, 2014)
          http://time.com/2973865/ramadan-day-...-the-oppressor

          One day, while sitting with his companions, the Prophet Muhammad surprised his community by preaching, “Help your brother, whether he is oppressed or the oppressor.” A silent confusion overtook the community as people pondered the Prophet’s words. Then, a man asked what was on everyone’s mind: “O Prophet, we know how to help the oppressed, but how should we help the oppressor?” The Prophet smiled, anticipating the question, and replied, “By stopping the oppressor from oppressing.”

          The Qur’an often describes sins and wrongdoings as “oppressing one’s own soul” (7:23). It begs the question, therefore, what the difference is between the oppressor who commits wrongdoing and the oppressed that is wronged if both are, ultimately, being oppressed. I think, the answer may lie in that oppression attempts to strip the oppressed of their rights and dignity; whereas oppressing strips the oppressor of their very own humanity.

          Perhaps, if this is true, then the secret to stopping the oppressor from oppressing is to remind them of their true humanity – a humanity that is often veiled through the thick veils of anger, fear, hatred and jealousy. The Qur’an speaks of the natural disposition God instilled in humanity (fitrah) as being good and upright (30:30). But this natural disposition can become easily clouded when it is willfully ignored. Someone needs to tell the oppressor the truth so that it may return an oppressor to his or her natural disposition.

          The Prophet Muhammad said, “the greatest sacred struggle (jihad) is to speak the truth in front of a tyrannical ruler.” And when Moses and Aaron are instructed to go challenge Pharaoh’s oppression, God says to them, “Speak to him gently so that he may take heed, or show respect” (Qur’an 20:44).

          Oppression comes in many forms. There is obviously the oppression of the tyrant over a people. But, tyrants also exist in homes, school grounds, workplaces and so on. The oppressor, feeling a loss of his or her humanity, is never happy and is, to the contrary, quite miserable despite outward displays. The oppressor is also always living in fear – fear of losing a grip on his or her real and imagined power or a fear that the oppression will come back to bite them. The state of the oppressor is truly worth pitying.

          It is worth noting that the Prophet referred even to the oppressor as “your brother.” When we encounter the tyrant, our first instinct is to wash our hands of him or her and to deny that we have anything to do with them. While this instinct is understandable, the reality is that even the worst of human beings are related to us in humanity, if not faith. And, therefore, opposing the tyrant is an act of sincere love, the same sincerity that one would naturally show to their brother. Opposing oppression must never be rooted in hatred, for that would, inevitably, cause the cycles of oppression to continue.

          With all the oppression in the world today, it can be hard to figure out where to begin. Perhaps, the answer is to begin with that which we have the most influence over and which ignites a particular spark within us. The Prophet said that when we see wrong happening, we should oppose it with our hands; and, if we are unable, then with our tongues; and, if we are unable, then at least with our hearts.

          My heart bleeds right now for what is happening in Palestine, Syria, Burma, Central Africa and so many other places in the world – just as it bleeds for those who are unjustly stuck in the prison industrial complex and gang violence everyday here in America. So I pray, “O, God, give relief to those who are burdened, and grant us the courage to oppose the oppressors and their oppression with love.” Amen.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by siam View Post
            Iftar = breaking of the fast in the evening with a meal.
            Is it part of the ritual of Ramadan?

            The fast (dawn to sunset) and the prayers are rituals that non-muslims do not need to participate, the meal/Iftar, is getting together with family and friends and anyone can participate.
            But it is still a part of the Ramadan event, is it not?

            I have had conversations with Atheists and Christians who have participated in Ramadan Fasts. They prayed their own way. (for ex, the Atheist would meditate)
            Ok. But that still doesn't excuse the Christian or the Jew from participating in a ritual that is considered pagan to the Christian and the Jew. My Jewish best friend's synagogue in San Antonio proposed hosting an iftar to their elder board, which he is a member of. Not a single one could find Torah approval to host such an event once he challenged them on it.
            That's what
            - She

            Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
            - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

            I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
            Stephen R. Donaldson

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by siam View Post
              I agree with what you are saying.....violence and destruction seem rampant these days...and with it comes injustice, hate, oppression...... The participants come in all nationalities and religions.
              What other religion, besides Islam, has armed soldiers and terrorists acting it its name without a CLEAR call from the leadership for it to stop?

              Please don't give me that hokey "everybody does it".
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                Ok. But that still doesn't excuse the Christian or the Jew from participating in a ritual that is considered pagan to the Christian and the Jew. My Jewish best friend's synagogue in San Antonio proposed hosting an iftar to their elder board, which he is a member of. Not a single one could find Torah approval to host such an event once he challenged them on it.

                If your friend spoke with the intention of being true to his religion and not out of prejudice, then I can respect his choice. As a Muslim, I too have had this struggle.

                However, our (human) creativity is our biggest asset and we can find creative solutions to our problems("Ijtihad"=Arabic)---here is one where Jews and Muslims fast together as Muslims honor Ramadan and Jews honor Tammuz.
                http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deacons...promote-peace/
                http://forusa.org/blogs/for/global-s...e-israel/12986

                Pagan religion--Perhaps some people may perceive Islam as a pagan religion---I understand some prominent Christian Americans have stated that Muslims worship a moon-god----But others accept Islam as part of the Abrahamic family of religions--all of which worship the same ONE God.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  What other religion, besides Islam, has armed soldiers and terrorists acting it its name without a CLEAR call from the leadership for it to stop?

                  Please don't give me that hokey "everybody does it".
                  I'm afraid that's the answer you'll get from me.



                  It is always easier to blame others--often the West blames Islam/Muslims and Muslims blame the West....here is another perspective from Uganda. A diversity of opinions and perspectives may make us more compassionate and tolerant towards the various human experiences........
                  (I am not from Uganda so this is not my experience/perspective.)

                  From The Observer by Hajji Abasi Kiyimba.

                  The fasting of the holy month of Ramadhan is on. I would like to congratulate all Muslims for yet another opportunity to rejuvenate their faith, and to rededicate themselves to their creator, thus reaffirming their awareness of the reason for which they were created.

                  This year, Ramadan comes at a time when the Muslim Ummah in Uganda, as is the case elsewhere in the world, is trying to re-assert its identity in the face of others trying to define them.

                  As we speak, however, the Ummah does not speak with one voice on the major issues that matter to their welfare. It presents a tragic image of a ship without a captain, floating in a state of helplessness and desperation.

                  The Muslim world represents one-fifth of humanity, occupies a global land mass spreading over 57 countries, and possesses 70 per cent of the world’s energy resources and nearly 50 per cent of the world’s natural resources. This should make it a global giant, economically and politically.

                  However, while some of them are sitting on the world’s largest oil and gas reserves, many Muslim countries are poor, and are only nominally independent, without genuine political and economic freedom.

                  Their citizens are greatly dispossessed, and have for long been the victims of authoritarian rule. Their rulers are all at the mercy of the USA for their political strength and survival, and are responsible for the current political, economic and military subservience of their countries to the West.

                  While peace is the essence of Islam, Muslim nations have seen very little of it. In many of these countries, leaders are engaged in proxy wars, and in the majority of cases, their own citizens are the direct victims. The tragedies in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq and Afghanistan represent the continuing helplessness of the Muslim world in this regard.

                  For a long time, and especially after 9/11, Islam as a religion has been demonised and accused of complicity or involvement in terrorist activities. The world seems to have forgotten that there are legitimate struggles by Muslims to free themselves from oppression. Instead, Islam is being blamed for everything that goes wrong in any part of the world.

                  Images of alleged atrocities by Boko Haram, al-Shabab, al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, often carefully constructed by Western media, are used to define Islam to unsuspecting non-Muslims, young children and uncritical Muslim adults. As a result, many Muslims have been psychologically beaten. Palestine is tired and has given up. Kashmir is devastated. Pakistan is in confusion, with a leadership crisis at home, and external pressure abroad. Afghanistan is yet to breathe.

                  Algeria is in limbo, and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are in slumber, under Western anaesthesia. Iran stands notified of eminent military action; and Turkey is under 24-hour watch, with its apparent Islamic re-awakening causing concern in many Western capitals. Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Syria are burning, and Egypt is seated on a time-bomb. These are critical times for the Muslim world.

                  Things will not change unless the Muslim world wakes up and puts its house in order. It must shake itself back to reality, and take control of its own destiny through unity and a return to Islamic basics. The current debate on the Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters and elsewhere over the Kabwegyere, Mpezamihigo, Kanyeihamba and many other reports that will come is a sign of a community under psychological siege.

                  I note that lots of Muslim energies are being expended on the support, defence and demonising of one group or the other in the leadership divide. And yet our information is that all groups report to the same ‘anti-Muslim’ master.

                  As we immerse ourselves deeper into intra-community conflict, let us remember that there are other areas where the community is ill at ease. In many Christian-led schools, including those financed by the Ugandan taxpayer, the levels of anti-Muslim intolerance continue to rise.

                  Muslim children are being denied the right to pray and fast, or even to identify themselves as Muslims, while others are enticed to convert from Islam. At the same time, there is the continuing neglect and mismanagement in our own schools, on which many of you have had the opportunity to comment. We are also aware of the current attempt to disenfranchise our sisters by forcing to take off the veil in order to take photographs for passports, national identity cards, driving permits, and others.

                  At Makerere University, there have been attempts by some lecturers to prevent Muslim students from accessing the examination rooms while dressed in Hijab. While this move does not have institutional policy support, I have had occasion to overhear chorus support from some quarters within the university membership for the renegade lecturers engaged in this affront.

                  We should also not forget that our dismal representation in organs of government, including the civil service, the KCCA, and others, is not accidental. So is our absence from many boards and commissions, significantly including the Central Scholarships Committee in the ministry of Education.

                  Experiences like these should remind us that the war against Islam still rages on many fronts, while we fight petty leadership wars. The holy month of Ramadan is our opportunity to reflect upon these issues. Let’s us renew our commitment to the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council as the umbrella body for all Muslims of Uganda, and dialogue transparently and constrictively about its leadership.

                  The author is the national chairman of Uganda Muslim Youth Assembly (UMYA) .
                  http://observer.ug/index.php?option=...ters&Itemid=66

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ramadan is about learning to control/manage desires. As a Muslim I find much wisdom in the Quran but wisdom can also be found in many other places. Ramadan is a time to strive for personal spirituality and reflections on the many wisdom passed down to humanity can help.

                    Perhaps this passage from the Bible may be appropriate in our reflections on God's will and how to achieve it......

                    1 John 2:15-17New International Version (NIV)

                    On Not Loving the World
                    15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by siam View Post
                      I'm afraid that's the answer you'll get from me.
                      Well, let's focus on the question rather than your long rambling non-answer ....

                      What other religion, besides Islam, has armed soldiers and terrorists acting it its name without a CLEAR call from the leadership for it to stop?
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                        What other religion, besides Islam, has armed soldiers and terrorists acting it its name without a CLEAR call from the leadership for it to stop?
                        If the premise the question is based on is that Islam/Muslims are somehow alien/incomprehensible and therefore their motivations and actions are alien/incomprehensible---in other words---not human....then such a premise would be incorrect.
                        Questions based on incorrect premises do not have correct answers---so......that's that.......



                        ...but.....

                        part of the question is interesting....what religions have soldiers acting in its name?........and what does that say about religion and human nature.....

                        Buddhism---look at Chinese and Japanese history and you will find warrior monks. Monks have a responsibility to protect their Dharma (Divine law/religion). They also have a concept called "compassionate killing"
                        More recently, Buddhist are murdering and setting fire to Rohingya Muslims, led by a Buddhist monk.

                        Christianity---Knights Templar, a Christian military order. (Crusades)
                        More recently, an Evangelical Christian sect of the U.S. military passed out Jesus coins and Bibles/Bible verses at gunpoint to Iraqis.

                        Hinduism---I understand Battles (for justice) are in their sacred books the Mahabharata and the Baghavad Gita (?)
                        More recently, a militant organization called the RSS, following a supremacist Hindu ideology called Hindutva, conducted a genocide in an Indian state.

                        Judaism---The Torah has a story of God's command to war against the Canaanites (?)
                        More recently, Israeli actions against Palestinians. (also look up militant Zionism/militant Zionist groups)

                        Islam---The Quran asks people to defend against oppression and for justice.
                        More recently, the bloody mess in the Middle East. (Al-Qaeda, ISIS,...)

                        Yet, as far as I know, in all recent instances, good people (of that religion/region) HAVE stood up and protested.

                        Focusing on religion alone would be incomplete because human beings have also used ideologies as justifications, such as killings under Communism, as well as wars in the name of Democracy.
                        so, we might generalize that no matter how much good or wisdom might exist in a religion/philosophy/ideology--some people, in every generation, will twist it to justify their bad conduct. This means striving for justice and against oppression and corruption (Jihad) is a struggle every generation of humanity must face. The greater Jihad is fighting our inner corruption. A quote from Leo Tolstoy---"Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself". Ramadan is an opportunity for inner contemplation and change. When each of us does what we can do, perhaps we can contribute to a better world...?.... The Talmud has some good advice to offer every generation of humanity.....

                        "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the worlds grief.
                        Do Justly now,
                        Love mercy now
                        Walk humbly now
                        You are not obligated to complete the work,
                        but neither are you free to abandon it."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by siam View Post
                          If the premise the question is based on is that Islam/Muslims are somehow alien/incomprehensible and therefore their motivations and actions are alien/incomprehensible---in other words---not human....then such a premise would be incorrect.
                          Questions based on incorrect premises do not have correct answers---so......that's that.......



                          ...but.....

                          part of the question is interesting....what religions have soldiers acting in its name?........and what does that say about religion and human nature.....

                          Buddhism---look at Chinese and Japanese history and you will find warrior monks. Monks have a responsibility to protect their Dharma (Divine law/religion). They also have a concept called "compassionate killing"
                          More recently, Buddhist are murdering and setting fire to Rohingya Muslims, led by a Buddhist monk.

                          Christianity---Knights Templar, a Christian military order. (Crusades)
                          More recently, an Evangelical Christian sect of the U.S. military passed out Jesus coins and Bibles/Bible verses at gunpoint to Iraqis.

                          Hinduism---I understand Battles (for justice) are in their sacred books the Mahabharata and the Baghavad Gita (?)
                          More recently, a militant organization called the RSS, following a supremacist Hindu ideology called Hindutva, conducted a genocide in an Indian state.

                          Judaism---The Torah has a story of God's command to war against the Canaanites (?)
                          More recently, Israeli actions against Palestinians. (also look up militant Zionism/militant Zionist groups)

                          Islam---The Quran asks people to defend against oppression and for justice.
                          More recently, the bloody mess in the Middle East. (Al-Qaeda, ISIS,...)

                          Yet, as far as I know, in all recent instances, good people (of that religion/region) HAVE stood up and protested.

                          Focusing on religion alone would be incomplete because human beings have also used ideologies as justifications, such as killings under Communism, as well as wars in the name of Democracy.
                          so, we might generalize that no matter how much good or wisdom might exist in a religion/philosophy/ideology--some people, in every generation, will twist it to justify their bad conduct. This means striving for justice and against oppression and corruption (Jihad) is a struggle every generation of humanity must face. The greater Jihad is fighting our inner corruption. A quote from Leo Tolstoy---"Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself". Ramadan is an opportunity for inner contemplation and change. When each of us does what we can do, perhaps we can contribute to a better world...?.... The Talmud has some good advice to offer every generation of humanity.....

                          "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the worlds grief.
                          Do Justly now,
                          Love mercy now
                          Walk humbly now
                          You are not obligated to complete the work,
                          but neither are you free to abandon it."
                          In other words, you cannot give a clear and concise answer, because you would have to admit that Islam ALONE among today's modern religions has murder and suicide as an acceptable "tool" of "evangelism".



                          But, please, feel free to continue to twist in the wind.
                          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                            In other words, you cannot give a clear and concise answer, because you would have to admit that Islam ALONE among today's modern religions has murder and suicide as an acceptable "tool" of "evangelism"
                            I absolutely deny it.

                            Perhaps I can get through to you another way............(If not, I will give up )

                            If I were to make this statement....would you agree to it....?....

                            America ALONE among today's modern nations has murder and terrorism as an acceptable "tool" of "evangelism".
                            (the ideology they would be "evangelizing" would be Manifest Destiny and American exceptionalism)
                            Examples of terrorism and murder-------
                            Drone terrorism---where innocent men women and children are murdered---used in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia and perhaps in the Philippines.
                            Extraordinary renditions---Foreign civilians are kidnapped off the streets and tortured at "Black Sites", CIA run prisons
                            Covert ops, black ops, CIA operations----were Armed Americans interfere (including assassinations) in foreign territories/nations to destabilize and exploit. example, South America.
                            Wars of Aggression---were Americans attack another country on false pretenses. examples....Iraq, Afghanistan.
                            ...and so forth.......


                            When we are deluded we can make statements based on false premises. Such statements would be false, untruthful, wrong, incorrect.....need I go on....?.....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ramadan 2014 – What My Catholic Friends Taught Me About Fasting
                              By Tahera Rahman
                              http://www.patheos.com/blogs/altmusl...about-fasting/

                              Yesterday two of my Catholic friends (Stephanie and Caitlin) decided to fast the day with me. They wanted to feel the experience, have a spiritual kick and gain empathy with Muslims.
                              Initially, our text messages throughout the day were all about the shock of eating at 3:00 a.m., the caffeine-deprivation-induced fatigue and the on-and-off dry mouth. But when we all met after work to discuss their experiences, many deeper understandings came forth. I’ve also had these observations and epiphanies at some point in my life, but the experience with my friends made me wonder — how long has it been since I’ve reflected on my own fasts?
                              In these precious last weeks of Ramadan, let us all recommit to our fasts (myself, first and foremost). Perhaps we can make the most of our remaining days by reflecting daily on some of the following points made by my friends:
                              Community
                              “The community of faith is something that always evokes a strong emotional response in me. The world can be a very dark place (and a very beautiful one as well), and I think it is really important to recognize a higher power during your life to help you through the dark and celebrate the light. Any action that brings together people who are like-minded, spiritual individuals to connect over a fundamental belief in a higher power (and recognize that they are a part of something greater than themselves) is beyond words.
                              “Sometimes it seems as though tradition is what separates us religiously, ethnically, etc., but in reality I think these ritual traditions at their core have the same purpose and can show us how similar we all are.”
                              Stephanie said that knowing that she was fasting with others around the globe made her feel unified with the roughly 1.6 billion other Muslims around the world. Caitlin also said this was her most important takeaway from fasting. It made them appreciate tradition and ritual, and especially the communal aspect of those practices.
                              When was the last time we reflected on the vastness of the Muslim Ummah, or even made a prayer for each other? When was the last time we remember being excited for our ritual prayers and congregations?
                              Today, ask yourself — am I fostering my connection with the brothers and sisters in my community? In the world? Did I speak to another fellow brother or sister at iftar today, or did I eat in silence and scurry home right afterward? Am I connecting with my fasting companions in Gaza, Syria, Burma, Iraq, Nigeria, through words of supplication or activism?
                              Deprivation
                              “From a scientific perspective, it’s really cool to see what happens to your body when it goes through something it’s not used to.”
                              Caitlin could feel the effects of fasting after just a few hours and understood that what you do has a direct effect on how your body feels and reacts. It’s an incentive, she said, to take better care of yourself and be appreciative of what your body can do because it’s more resilient than you think.
                              How often do we, as Muslims, think about the miracle of the human body? Our souls rest inside bodies that work in such complex ways, about which doctors and scientists are still constantly making new discoveries.
                              Today, ask yourself – do I take care of my body, on loan to me from God, or did I engorge myself at iftar time? Am I going to use this tongue He gave me to respond with kindness or react with harshness?
                              Empowerment
                              “I think that I felt like committing myself to being disciplined about something uncomfortable felt empowering.”
                              Caitlin learned that she could control her hunger, which led her to think, “What else can I control?” She said she made an effort to control her tongue, and was very conscious of her effort to refrain from swearing at certain points of her day.
                              Are we thinking about how our fasting is a daily and hourly disciplinary exercise? What other aspects of our lives can we apply this discipline to?
                              Today, ask yourself – Am I complaining about my empty stomach to anyone will listen throughout the day? Or am I using each pang of hunger to renew my intention? Am I countering each pang of hunger with a reminder of each blessing in my life? What other aspects of my behavior could use some discipline?
                              Empathy
                              “I thought a lot about those who fast every day, but not by choice.”
                              Stephanie knew that, at the end of the day, she would be breaking her fast — even in the middle of the day, if she really wanted to have water or a cracker, she said she could have easily do so because those resources were readily at her disposal. Fasting made her feel more fortunate for the things she has. “When it comes down to it, the life I lead is very excessive,” she said.
                              Today, ask yourself – What is one thing in my life that I can probably live without? Can I limit my closet to X number of sweaters, shirts, pants and donate the rest? What are other ways I can simplify things in my life and partake in charity and charitable actions for the sake of others?

                              Comment

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                              Started by rogue06, 11-13-2020, 09:15 AM
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                              Last Post siam
                              by siam
                               
                              Started by Christian3, 10-25-2020, 07:17 AM
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                              Last Post Trucker
                              by Trucker
                               
                              Started by Trucker, 10-23-2020, 11:09 AM
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                              Last Post Trucker
                              by Trucker
                               
                              Started by JohnnyP, 01-23-2014, 04:30 PM
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                              Last Post Dan Zebiri  
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