Friday Links | July 11, 2014

A woman votes in Indonesia's presidential election on July 9. This election has been the tightest and most divisive presidential election since the fall of dictator Suharto. Image by Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images

As Israel continues its offensive on Gaza, the death toll is rising fast; many of them are women and children.Nigeria's military has released the news that it has arrested several female Boko Haram recruiters. As well, about 60 women escaped their presumed Boko Haram captors earlier this week. The escaped women were captured mid-June of this year; the hundreds of girls captured in April remain missing.The UNHCR has published a report on Syria's refugee women titled Woman Alone: The Fight … [Read more...]

On Jam-Making and Ramadan

Local strawberries.

How is it that the first week of Ramadan has already gone by? It’s been a bit of a struggle for me to let go of some of my commitments to spend more time on reflecting this month. With the fasts being as long as they are (~17ish hours, if I’ve done my math correctly), alongside full-time work, I haven’t been to my local masjid yet for the evening tarawih prayers. I’m usually asleep shortly after my evening meal, waking up the next morning to pray isha, eat suhoor, pray fajr, nap (if I can fall ba … [Read more...]

Embracing Women, Inspiring Daughters

Swinging in the Drakensberg.

This post is part of a series of nightly reflections, and was originally written on June 30.Tonight, my reflection is dedicated to all my sisters reading this, as Surah Al Imran was recited in thousands of masaajid around the world and it is a chapter of birth and of life …of Maryam (as/peace be upon her), of Isa (as), of Yahya (as) and of a new community of believers, in the deserts of Arabia, enraptured by the words of Allah.The story of Umm Maryam (the mother of Maryam) is a p … [Read more...]

Forgive Me Allah for I Have Sinned

Photo by author.

Originally published at the author's personal blog, Identity Crisis.Perhaps it is absurd of me to think that Ramadan will ever be a time of peace and refection for me. From the moment I converted, my patience, my love for Islam and my faith have been constantly tested. Beyond the struggle of belonging to a non-Muslim family, the reconciliation of new acquired identities and the challenges of trying to fit in mainstream Muslim communities, this year I started Ramadan off surrounded by … [Read more...]

Should I or Shouldn’t I: Confusions about Fasting while Breastfeeding

I am in that phase of my life where I am exclusively breastfeeding, I have a three-month-old baby, and it’s Ramadan. This is that elusive phase where I can get away with not fasting. The question remains: should I? Considering that I have been blessed to fast all my adult life, and part of my childhood too, I am reflecting on what the past Ramadans have been for me, in order to decide which way to choose this year.SpiritualityRamadan is about how much closer to Allah we get during this m … [Read more...]

Friday Links | July 4, 2014

afghan madrasah

Human Rights Watch has issued a report on how the war in Syria has affected women.Several human rights organisations accuse Egypt of allowing (sexual) abuse and torture to be used against its female prisoners, despite the promise to fight sexual harassment. Recently, Egypt adopted a new law that makes sexual harassment punishable by law, but during the month of Ramadan it is somehow seen as offensive to address the issue of sexual harassment.More than half of the Islamophobic attacks in … [Read more...]

When Fasting Is Not For God

The writer of this post wishes to remain anonymous.Trigger warning: This post contains discussions of body image and disordered eating.The first Ramadan that I fasted, I was struck by how easy I found it.This was not exactly a good thing.  I had struggled with control issues around food, and with my perception of my body, since I was a pre-teen, long before I was Muslim.  When I began fasting, in my early twenties, it quickly became clear to me that the satisfaction that I got from b … [Read more...]


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