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...]

Reflections in the Kitchen

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Another Ramadan. It’s hard to believe there’s little over a week left. It’s been yet another blur of a month with 17 hour rozas: sehri, work, nap, make, iftaar, sleep, with prayers and reading Quran interspersed throughout the day. Repeat.It’s been another year of not making it to the evening tarawih prayers and little inspiration at the Jumaah prayers I’ve attended. In my life at this point in time, Ramadan is far more a time for personal reflection and commitment to making my own changes th … [Read more...]

My “Anti-Social” Ramadan

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I moved from India to the USA two months back, and my life has completely changed, as expected. Before Ramadan started, because of the very long days and the fact that I was the primary caretaker of my 1 year old (like most mothers are), I worried if I would be able to fast. With God's grace, I have been able to till now. All the Ramadans that I remember from my past are when I had busy schedules outside my home. Working full time for the last 9 years and before that of course bring in college, … [Read more...]

Ramadan Thoughts On Muslimness and Indigeneity

Ramadan cards with traditional Tehuana flower designs

For the longest time I have been pondering what, if anything, makes me Muslim. Is it the shahadah? Is it pure belief in the divine? Is it community acknowledgement? Is it the fasting and tarawih prayers during Ramadan? Or is it the fact that I have somehow forced myself in other Muslims’ lives by writing in sites like MMW?The question is timely. I do not think I am the only one who wonders about this. Whether converts or born-Muslims, I seem to always end up having the same conversations w … [Read more...]

Friday Links

Ramadan isn't just a time where millions of Muslims fast - it's also a time where they're subjected to ignorant and irritating questions. Radhika Sanghani lists the worst. 'Miss Muslimah' Photos Show Just How Outdated Western Views Of The Muslim World Really Are. Instead of bathing suits there are headscarfs, competitors pray five times a day, and the winner is chosen by a jury of orphaned children. But the girls are similar to the girls in the West. Given the rise of hate crimes and … [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...]

365 Days: The Ramadan Love Letter

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This post was previously published at the author's blog. Dear Saad: Some days I wonder if you can hear me… see me… smell me.For the longest time I felt your presence in my every move. I would wake up and start my morning rituals by imagining that you were sitting at my kitchen table just watching me. I would force myself to pray (despite the fact that for many years I had abandoned the practice) in the hopes that I would continue to feel your energy around.It has not been easy. For da … [Read more...]


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