Eid Mubarak! I hope that all of our readers celebrating had a wonderful holiday.
MMW’s Ramadan series this year featured 23 posts, written by MMW writers and guest contributors writing from 12 different countries, on issues of food, community, family, solitude, epiphanies, and struggles. Click here to go back through any of the posts you may have missed.
Of course, we weren’t the only ones writing about our Ramadan experiences. Here are a few other posts that captured our attention over the past month:
“I Shall Be Still” by Deonna Kelli Sayed (Love, InshAllah)
“This Ramadan will not be communal for me. This time will be my own solitary confinement where I will weep when I need, I will seek forgiveness as appropriate, I will reflect uponbodhicitta towards humanity and for myself. This month arrives at the cusp of even more personal transformation. Mr. Z reminded me that wherever we are on our path, it is the exact place we are meant to be. And now, I am here greeting Ramadan, and I shall be still.”
“Motherhood Spirituality” by Asiah Kelly (guest post at wood turtle)
“Muslims start mentally and physically preparing for Ramadan at least a month ahead of time. The excitement builds as people think of all the food they will eat, and all the events they will go to. Young girls shop and prepare their outfits for the different parties they will attend. Boys think of the fun they will have staying up late nights with their friends, while sleeping it off the next day. But mothers? They just might tell you that Ramadan is met with a sense of dread. All the expectations — their family’s and their own, are hard to live up to.
Something has to give, and that something is usually the mother.”
“The Different Kinds of Hunger: Ramadan at Guantanamo” by Sajida Jalalzai (The Revealer)
“The strikers at Guantanamo are using what they have, namely, their bodies, to prevent themselves from disappearing from the American national agenda. I fast along with them this Ramadan- for about fifteen hours of each day, anyway. But as the sun sets each night, my fast ends, and I use the hours of darkness to rehydrate and make up my calories. My Ramadan nights are spent peacefully, reading the Qur’an, attending communal prayers at the local mosque, or quietly reflecting and writing at home. Without a doubt, the same cannot be said for those in Guantanamo. At the beginning of the month, I decided to dedicate my fasts to the prisoners at Guantanamo, in part to express my solidarity with them as a fellow Muslim and advocate for justice, but also to remind myself of the many things that separate us: my privilege, my security, and my freedom. This Ramadan, I have tried to understand a different kind of hunger: a desperate hunger driven by the experience of torture, the fear of being forgotten, and the hope of preserving a life beyond the detention camp perimeter.”
“I began to wonder: is it really fitna to highlight such egregious and hazardous spaces with the intention of getting a conversation started and finding local solutions very real problems? I’m trying to follow the teaching of the Prophet PBUH; that faith requires us to change what is wrong – an injunction that is echoed in the Holy Quran repeatedly. And social media offers me access to a wide array of activists: people who want to collaborate on a fund for mosques that cannot afford to maintain women’s spaces; others who want to develop and share a study on the ideological reasons why some mosques have separate and unequal spaces for women; men who had previously not realized that the situation for some of their sisters in faith is so dire and are now empowered to become allies who speak up for women’s rights; experts who share their knowledge of the historical inclusion of women in mosques; architects who offer their services to help mosques design intentionally women-friendly spaces from the outset, etc.”
“Ramadan, parenting, and spiritual equality” by Zaid (The Zaadialogues)
“Secondly, if it is true that serving your family and fulfilling your responsibilities to them is a form of worship, and we are serious about this, then this message needs to be directed not just towards women but men as well. After all, parenting is a joint endeavor and is the responsibility of both parents (in those families with a two-parent household). So yes, men too will get rewarded for taking care of their families and fulfilling their responsibilities to their children and wives. It is a form of worship and obedience to God for them as well. Otherwise, if we are not willing to emphasize this mutual responsibility, then it is clear that such rhetoric is nothing but an apologetic justification for women not having the opportunity to seek spiritual edification.”
What did I miss? What else were you reading this Ramadan?