There is Baraka in Receiving the Gift: On Eating Disorders and Choosing Not to Fast

Editor’s note: The writer of this piece wishes to remain anonymous.  This piece is a follow-up to one published last year, and contains discussions of disordered eating. A few months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about how hard Ramadan was for me last year.“You know,” she said cautiously, “the exemption from fasting for health reasons applies for emotional and mental health too.”Her observation was more of a revelation than maybe it should have been.  If someone had a … [Read more...]

Be Careful What You Ask: Ramadan and Periods

This post was written by guest contributor Rana S.I no longer feel awkward saying it out loud - some may think I'm too blunt about it. You know, like, about my period.Menstruation is one of the factors that nullify a person's fast (regardless if it is during the month of Ramadan or not) - it automatically "breaks" it. Every Ramadan, I get asked by at least a few people I know (and a few strangers have asked as well) about why I'm not fasting whenever I get "caught" eating or drinking a … [Read more...]

Ramadan Blues and Mommy Guilt

This past May, I was blessed to give birth to a beautiful baby boy. It took a bit of adjusting, but as we already have two girls, I do view myself as a slightly experienced parent and as such, I was prepared. I knew what to expect, kind of. Compared to my previous experiences, this time has been a breeze, thank God. Baby eats well, my body has been healing well, and I have been able to sleep quite a bit. Not enough, but quite a bit. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, is the spiritual wasteland … [Read more...]

I <3 the Moon Calendar

Pumpkin with a palm tree and crescent moon carved into it.

This post was written by Brooke Benoit and originally published on her blog.This Ramadan is hard. Right smack in the middle of summer, these are the longest fasts of my Muslim life, it’s hot, and the kids are home all day. Well, my kids are always home all day, but I’m sure that’s an extra challenge for most Ramadaners.I have six children and they are currently kind of a mess. My eldest two want to just stay up all night so as to not miss suhoor and indeed they are very hard to wake for s … [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...]

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...]

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...]