This is Day 30 – last day – of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. I have been Muslim almost 20 years now. My study of Al Islam began in Compton, California, at Masjid Ar Rashid a storefront prayer place (masala) next to a doctor’s office. There I would find Islamic books, religious (dawah) pamphlets and other reading materials. A random pamphlet mentioned a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that stuck with me: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small… Read more

Failure. I could feel the word slide over me, burning the skin on my arms, chilling the blood in my veins, crushing the place where I could have sworn my heart used to be. It was like a living entity slithering along my body, injecting its venom into my body until all I could hear in my head was the word repeating like an evil mantra. Worthless. When failure took a break, worthless took its place. It was softer in its… Read more

This is Day 29 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. What does community care look like for us during a time when our communities are being tried with loss, injustice, separation from families and communities? How are we showing up and caring for one another in the Prophetic tradition of mercy, compassion, love and firmness? O you who covers himself [with a garment], Arise and warn [74:1-2] This Ramadan, I am reflecting on the recent deaths of Anthony Bourdain, Kate… Read more

This is Day 28 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. “How’s your Ramadan going?” These four words form the question of the month that can be heard within most Muslim homes and community spaces. It’s an innocuous question, perhaps even seen as compassionate and empathetic. However, along with this question there comes an acceptable set of responses which can be categorized into the following themes: “The days seem so long this year. “It’s the fatigue that does it for me.”… Read more

This is Day 27 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers #Ramadan series. This Ramadan, I am consumed. Consumed by the need I see all across the world. Consumed by my responsibility to ensure that critical relief and assistance is delivered to the vulnerable and poverty-stricken individuals both at home and abroad. And, consumed by the personal challenges I face on a daily basis.   Severe floods in East Africa have devastated a part of the world that has been so used to… Read more

This is Day 26 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers #Ramadan series. (TRIGGER WARNING – sexual abuse, child abuse) I sat on my bed, my hand cupped over my mouth trying to stifle my sobbing; hush it up just a bit so that my kids across the hall wouldn’t hear me crying. I stopped scrolling through my Facebook feed and sat there as my nerves increasingly frayed. The  comments defending alleged sexual abusers — the name calling and victim blaming — tore… Read more

The first time I fasted in Ramadan I wasn’t a Muslim; I was a curious young woman who had recently experienced a very short but very impactful trip to Morocco during the blessed month a few years earlier. I learned that the Islamic way of fasting was quite different — detailed and comprehensive — in comparison to my Catholic upbringing, where my experience with fasting was to diligently refrain from one particularly favored item during Lent (for me it was… Read more

This is day 24 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. Assalamu’Allaykum, Ramadan is a time of reflection and connecting with Allah (swt). However, through fasting we are not just connecting with Allah (swt); we are also linked to everyone that has fasted before us. In the Quran, Allah (swt) tells us “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn God-consciousness.” (2:183). As fasting helps us to remember… Read more

This is day 23 of the 2018 #30Days30Writers Ramadan series. Ramadan, as my husband says, is a time to “get right.” It is when we are meant to turn down the din of the world, quiet the chatter in our minds, listen to our heartbeats. Much is made of our fasting, the abstention of all food and drink from sunrise to sunset. Yet for me, through my 15 years of being Muslim, I find that the greatest challenge of Ramadan is… Read more

The White House and other government agencies have held Ramadan iftar dinners for decades, but Trump’s version will flip the previous model on its head. Many Americans don’t realize that for a few decades now, the White House, State Department and other government institutions have regularly held Ramadan iftar dinners — fast-breaking meals for Muslims observing Ramadan — for a variety of domestic and international guests. They have been seen as both a diplomatic event to break bread with dignitaries… Read more

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