Ramadan – Thoughts for 2011

It’s that time again*! Ramadan is most likely going to start tomorrow** and the days will be long this time around. We’re looking at more than 15 hours of fasting in Amreeka – no water, no food, and no *gasp* coffee. In order to fit in the extra prayers and wake up early enough in the morning for the pre-dawn meal (suhoor), those of us who work the 9 to 5 won’t be getting a lot of sleep throughout the month. There’s nothing much else to do but embrace this fact right now and just roll with it.

And yet, even with the lack of sleep, food, and water, a lot of us are still so much luckier than many people out there in the world. Once sunset hits, we can partake in dates and water and continue to eat whatever else we want to eat. A lot of people out there in the world aren’t as lucky and continue to starve much after sunset.

During Ramadan, there are a lot of organizations out there that have programs to feed the homeless or those less fortunate. I’ve never actually participated in anything during Ramadan but I want to change that this year. I want to look into what’s going on locally, from both Muslim and non-Muslim organizations, and see if there’s anything I can do to help.

So that’s one of my goals this year – to think beyond myself. InshAllah, I hope to participate in at least one thing if I can.

Other things I want to work on this year include:

-Less time on the internet. This was my official goal last year but, um, I still need to work on this.

-Finish the Qur’an again but instead of speed reading through it as is my usual tendency, take my time with it and read through the translation again as well. I figure I could achieve this goal by reading the Arabic at home and then reading the translations through my iPhone using the MyQuran app.

-Memorize more surahs (chapters of the Qur’an). If I can memorize a Hamlet soliloquy, I can work on memorizing more verses of the Qur’an than the ones I already know.

-Be nice. I am a nice person (I swear!) but I need to not get irritable or impatient. I’m not saying I do but I just want to be aware that it’s easy to get in that state when one is deprived of food.

-No sarcasm/no sarcastic jokes. This last one is going to be tough but I mean it this time!

May all the Muslims out there have a blessed Ramadan and may we all achieve the goals that we set out for ourselves for this month, InshAllah. For all the non-Muslims out there, thanks in advance for not calling us out when our eyes glaze over in meetings at work. However, if it looks like we’re going to go to sleep and maybe fall out of our chair, please throw a pen at us.

(Picture of moonsighting for Ramadan from crescentwatch.org)

Previous Posts on Ramadan
Ramadan Resolutions: 2010 Edition

Taking Advantage of Ramadan

*You ever watch Animaniacs? At the end of a few episodes, Yakko would say “It’s that time again!” and then Dot and Wakko would say random things about what it was time for. It was actually time for the Wheel of Morality! One of my favorite ones was where Wakko responds to “It’s that time again!” with “To make bubbles with our spit?” You may not know this about me, but I can do a pretty good impression of Wakko. And now, there’s no way for you to un-know that about me.

**If the moon is sighted tonight, signifying the end of one lunar month and the beginning of another, in this case, the month of Ramadan.

10 thoughts

  1. Hello!

    I just found your blog. I am going to add it to my list of favorites. I am just learning about Islam, and it was interesting to read your post on Ramadan.

    I wish you a happy Ramadan. I apologize if that is the incorrect wording. It’s all so new to me.


  2. Hi Melissa,
    No apologies necessary – thanks for wishing me a happy Ramadan! That’s totally the thing to say so you’re right on. Other things people say include the following phrases: “Ramadan Mubarak” and “Ramadan Kareem”.

    However, just a note that even if you hadn’t used the correct wording, you still wouldn’t have had to apologize :) The thought itself means a lot to me so thank you!

  3. Hi Bushra! Maybe one way to take more time reading the Qur’an this time though would be to share things you find particularly resonant or hard to get your head around. I’d enjoy hearing the former (as a non-believer I get a richer understanding of religious texts by hearing how a believer is connecting to them) and you might find the latter interesting to revisit in years to come as your understanding of both the Qur’an and life in general evolves. I know I deeply appreciate having such a long history of my interests, frustrations, and enthusiasms in my MetaGrrrl blog.

    (You can thank my reawakened Google Reader for reconnecting me to you!)

  4. Hi Dinah, good to hear from you! That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll try and become a more active reader and really think about what it is I’m reading. Posting some of my thoughts on the texts would be definitely help me out with that :)

  5. Bushra,

    Love your post. Let’s go feed the homeless the weekend of the 13-14. Let me know, I will find a place. I will be keeping your other goals in check. I guess I will be brewing less in the mornings. Good luck!

  6. Maybe we could make it a work thing and try to get a bunch of people together after work to volunteer somewhere. That could be cool :)

  7. Considering that despite my best intentions, I’ve been about the same amout of sarcastic, this is good to know!

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