Eid Mubarak!


The MMW team wishes you all the best this Eid. May God accept all of your fasts, prayers, and good deeds.

Thanks to those who commented on or shared our Ramadan posts! We’ll be back with our normal media analysis coverage this week.

Ramadan: The Mother and Activist

Ramadan for me personally has always been a month of compassion, congregation and contemplation. However, last year in Ramadan, my entire days and nights revolved around caring for my then-one-month-old twins.


Our women’s halaqa praying together.

Time passed by like a whirlwind; I have vague memories of feeding, burping, changing, and rocking babies to sleep – all the while trying to maintain some semblance of spirituality. Just one Ramadan before that, I had all the time in the world to pray, attend congregational prayers and prepare scrumptious meals for Iftar gatherings. The Ramadan the twins were born, I went to the mosque once. This year, the girls turned one, and it is a constant juggling act – trying to fit in prayers, meals, quality time with God and visits to the mosque (which are a must for me – there is nothing that lifts my spirits more than praying in unison with my brothers and sisters at the masjid).

I chose not to fast last year due to breastfeeding and post-birth demands on my body – which was in itself an experience. I had never gone through an entire Ramadan without fasting, and I realized how the act itself lends to the atmosphere of the month – I felt excluded from the spiritual and festive moods of Iftar, Suhoor and taraweeh because I was not fasting. This year, I am still nursing but have been able to fast – it hasn’t been easy, with two other beings dependant on my body for part of their nutrition – but I’ve found that drinking copious amounts of liquids from Iftar until Suhoor, and eating the right foods, helps! So far, we’ve had at least one baby awake at each Suhoor.

Johannesburg's new Turkish mosque

Johannesburg’s new Turkish mosque: a face of a changing Muslim community. Photo credit: Nazim Jawoodeen.

It’s quite unpredictable, not knowing if they’re going to sleep through or not, trying to eat before the time is up and then getting the baby back to sleep without missing fajr! Having said that, the month is so brimming with mercy that these trials seem small in comparison to the blessings that abound: the atmosphere of generosity and celebration, the sharing of food and the fervour at the mosques, the heightened sense of God-consciousness that fasting provides, and the discipline to do extra prayers.

Ramadan in South Africa, and in Johannesburg particularly, is different from both other Muslim-minority countries and Muslim-majority countries. It is generally taken more seriously and not as festive as I’ve experienced in other countries, and also is more of a family affair than a community one, because traditionally, only men went to the mosques for Iftar, returning home for dinner with the rest of the family then going back to the mosque for Taraweeh. Another common practice is for groups of men who have memorized the Qur’an to gather at an individual’s home for night prayers, rather than at the mosque. This has changed somewhat over the last decade with the influx of immigrants and refugees, and the establishment of non-Indian mosques, as well as growing awareness amongst women about their rights to sacred space. [Read more...]

Eid mubarak!

MMW sends our best Eid wishes to all of our readers!

(Image source here)

Eid Mubarak to all People…and Women

This past Monday night found me, and many others, repeatedly checking the websites of various moon-sighting organizations and local mosques and other community groups, trying to figure out which day I would celebrate Eid al-Fitr.  Some of the moon-sighting websites were still uncertain or had declared Wednesday to be Eid, so when I saw on Moonsighting.com that the moon had indeed been seen in Chile, I got excited!  It’s Eid!

Until I read the rest of the sentence:

“Crescent Moon for Shawwal has been seen by two persons and a sister on Monday, August 29 at the tip of South America with naked eye.”

Ahem.  Two persons and a sister?  Was this some kind of female animal?  A Martian?  Or, in fact, a human sister whose gender apparently makes her not quite eligible for the category of “person”?

I know of at least two people who contacted the site to complain, and the information has since changed to “Crescent Moon for Shawwal has been seen by three persons (two male and one female) on Monday, August 29 at the tip of South America with naked eye.”  Glad to hear that sisters are persons after all.

I hope you all had a wonderful Eid.

Eid Mobarak!

Muslimah Media Watch would like to wish all of our readers a happy and blessed Eid al-Fitr!