Ramadan and Poverty

We often hear that fasting in Ramadan makes us understand the plight of the poor better as going hungry for a month gives us an insight into what it is like to go hungry. And indeed, the experience of hunger day after day over the course of a month does spur many Muslims to action, whether it be sending charity to neighborhoods or countries where poverty runs deep, volunteering in a soup kitchen here in the States, or contributing to a canned food drive at the mosque. I applaud these efforts, … [Read more...]

Ramadan and individual responsibility

When I first became Muslim, I figured that I would fast Ramadan every year until I died. Then I got married and got pregnant. I worried about the effect that fasting would have on the development of my unborn baby. Research led me to believe that fasting while pregnant was not a good idea, for the baby or for me.  When I looked to the the Qur'an  for guidance I was relieved to read: O You who have attained to faith! Fasting is ordained for you as it was ordained for those before you, so that … [Read more...]

Ramadan: An Ever-Varied Feast

2013 will mark my 26th Ramadan. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it is that no Ramadan is quite like another. My first Ramadan, I was in China, sharing a small dorm room with two non-Muslim roommates. I would sneak out for suhur -- the early morning meal -- so as not to wake them. All the cafeterias on campus were closed, so I'd open a tin of peaches and make it a meal with a steamed bun saved from the evening before and a cup of boiled water. For iftar -- dinner -- I rode … [Read more...]


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