How Fasting Forces a Break from the Norm and Opens Our Eyes

No, fasting isn’t easy. It isn’t shiny and entertaining. It isn’t always comfortable or convenient. It requires self-restraint and resolve. But growth rarely follows periods of ease, and neon signs blind us from the stars. Read more

3 Reasons Why I Stay Logged onto Social Media in Ramadan

From the first set of “Ramadan Mubarak” posts to the “Eid Mubarak” greetings, social media can help Muslims, especially those in a majority non-Muslims society, stay in touch with the blessings of the month. Read more

On Ramadan Christmas Carols, The Three Stooges and Shi’a-Sunni Bonds

When we drove to big city, Des Moines, my parents would stop at payphones and search for Muslim-sounding names in the phone book. They discovered a community whose locus was a house of Malaysian students near the campus of Drake University. This makeshift mosque was the first place that I experienced communal iftaars. Read more

How ‘Act for America’ and Anti-Muslim Protesters Could Benefit from a Ramadan Iftaar

Perhaps Act for America thinks they are meeting a national crisis through this demonstration. But if they were open to discovering the real facts, what better time to determine these than during the holy month of Ramadan, a time the Koran orders believers to act peacefully. Were they to partake with Muslims in Iftar, the meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan, they might learn the real facts. Read more

How Can I Help You Understand What Ramadan Really Is?

How can I make others understand what the heck is going on in our mosques with hundreds of cars being parked and traffic problems galore? How can I make the people around me realize that Ramadan has very little do with food, which somehow always seems to be the main focal point, and has everything to do with self-change and connection to Allah? How do I speak about and relay the central role of the Quran in this month? How do I speak about these things to give others a window into our Ramadan world? Read more

The Pangs of Hunger – Charity and Prayers for Those Facing Starvation

Let us then direct our charity and prayers towards the 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan who are at imminent risk of starvation. For whom this Ramadan brings not the spiritual comforts of fasting but hellish hunger and the helpless horror of watching the most vulnerable among them slowly die. Read more

On the Bodies of My People – My Faith, Fast and Fight as a Black Man in the U.S

My fast, faith, and fight are all intertwined just like my ancestor Bartlett, because being Black in the United States doesn’t spare you from that reality. It doesn’t matter how you identify religiously, politically or economically; it is your fight. Read more

It’s the Coffee. It’s Always Been the Coffee.

But my Ramadan battles with caffeine-withdrawal, which may seem trivial to some — and realistically there are others who have greater challenges during the month than me — I believe hint to another point: Let’s call it, “The Real Lives of Fasting Muslims.” Read more

A Muslim Ally Reflects on His First Ramadan – in China

Minutes later, a door swung open, and I was confronted with jubilant chatter. Muslim men sat around communal tables eating and laughing. I may have stared, if only for a moment, before an older Chinese man ushered me inside and gestured for me to sit. It wasn’t until later that I figured out I’d arrived at my first iftaar. Read more

Working Through Pain and Rage to a Place of Mercy and Forgiveness

This Ramadan, think of the pains you have held on to and free yourself (with guided help). If we want His forgiveness and His Mercy, we need to be able to give it unconditionally. Only then will darkness transform to light. Read more

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