Celebrating Ramadan Away from Home with Two Boys and a Sparkling Crescent

Yousuf and Ghazi.

Back where I grew up, in the United Arab Emirates, we never decorated for Ramadan or Eid. We used to celebrate with lots of food and prayers, but lights and sparkling decorations were never part of that celebration. We were actually happy with the Ramadan atmosphere: shorter school hours, having Iftar after hearing the Maghreb Azan and the firing of the Ramadan cannon, and of course, the different types of desserts especially made for the holy month, which include Qatayef and Kanafeh.A … [Read more...]

Finding My Ramadan Prayers

My prayer book.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the easiest duties for me as a Muslim. Even though I've struggled with my faith and with praying five times daily, I always maintain my fast, and passionately too. This year I started fasting on Mondays and Thursdays, according to Sunnah, after considering it for a while. My mother and elders encouraged me to by telling me of the benefits I would enjoy by fasting outside Ramadan, and on my part I quite liked the prospect of saving up on lunch money, as eating out … [Read more...]

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...]


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