In Life and in Death, Muhammad Ali Proved to the World You can be Unapologetically Black, Muslim and American

Today the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, is holding a political rally in my city of Richmond, VA. Hundreds of miles away in Louisville, KY, thousands upon thousands have gathered to see an Imam facilitate an interfaith memorial service for one of the most beloved Americans of our time – who happens to be a Muslim.The juxtaposition of those events today leaves no doubt in my mind that there is something extraordinary happening through the grace of God in the holy m … [Read more...]

How Young is Too Young to Fast?

She sat on the sofa and refused. I tried everything I could to convince her, but she kept refusing and refusing and refusing.You're not ready, I told her. You're too young. It's too long a day. I love that you want to, but not today. Next year!And that's when she started to cry. Why are you making me stop when I really want to? And then she said the words that I have said to her so many times. This is between me and Allah. I want to fast. I know I can. So don't stop me.And so I wiped … [Read more...]

Ramadan, Autism and the Trials of Our Hearts

At 4 a.m. there was a party going on at my house. With my nieces and nephew having spent the last 24 hours at our place having a sort of epic, ongoing Ramadan sleepover, and my sister-in-law and her husband coming over to do sehri (the pre-fasting meal) with us before taking their kids home – the atmosphere was noisy and fun.Come on, finish eating! There’s only a few minutes left!Quick, drink that water! Time’s almost up!Who’s coming to the masjid to pray fajr?And then through th … [Read more...]

Ramadan, Fasting Soccer Players and the Story that Blew Up

Is your news feeds are clogged with articles about how Muslim footballers (soccer players) who have moved onto the knockout rounds in the World Cup will or will not be fasting in Ramadan? If not, then you aren't Muslim or you are not into the World Cup -- and I feel sorry for you. No, I'm kidding. Seriously though - this is like the latest and greatest new story for journalists to be covering at the World Cup. And the headlines, tweets, status updates, debates and comments are killing … [Read more...]

Ramadan, the World Cup and the Challenge for Fasting Athletes

I’m no athlete, not by a long shot. But last summer I was in a semi-decent groove, doing some running at the gym on a regular basis, attending various classes and such. I knew, given how much I dislike exercise, that the onset of Ramadan was going to totally derail me. I’ll do yoga classes a few times a week in the mornings, I thought. Surely I can do that.Yep. Nope. Pacing myself through the 16 + hour fasts during the dog-days of summer was challenging. But keeping up with the kids and man … [Read more...]

Ingratitude in the Face of Gratitude – the Autism Oxymoron

I finally broke at 1:02 a.m. this morning – July 26, on the 17th fast of Ramadan the day before our big trip. The deluge began with this text to one of my best friends:“I am so sad to leave Lil D. Eff autism. Not fasting right now – I can say that, right?”To which my friend replied, “I’ve been waiting for this text …”And I answered, “Eff eff eff eff eff autism. He should be coming with me. … I should not be leaving my son for a month. … I’m feeling like a bad mom …”And we went bac … [Read more...]

The Fasting Project – Hopefully More Than Ramadan Tourism (List of Posts)

If you scroll social media, read the plethora of Ramadan pieces out there or even spend time talking with fellow fasting Muslims, the majority of what you hear about the fasting experience is positive – yes, it’s hard, but Alhumdullilah (thanks be to God), it is going well. You’ll hear jokes for sure about the difficulties of getting up for suhoor (the pre-dawn, pre-fasting) meal or the mundane difficulties of fasting. (Ramadan breath anyone?)We Muslims also share a lot of quotes from the Qur … [Read more...]