Koran by Heart: Wajahat Ali

8-29 We are winding down the days of Ramadan, a spiritually potent month in which Allah revealed the Quran. Since this is a month of remembrance, reflection, reconciliation and resilience, Muslim communities worldwide devoted the month to reciting as much Quran as possible and attending nightly tarawih prayers at the mosque, in which the entirety of the Holy Book is completed roughly over a course of nearly 30 days. Although these are not obligatory rituals, there is massive spiritual … [Read More...]

“Top 10 Things to Rama-Don’t”: Maria Jan

Top 10 Things to Rama-don't by Maria Jan This Ramadan Muslims are flocking to local grocery stores gathering items for nightly feasts that rival anyone's modest Thanksgiving. Being that many of your friends and neighbors might not know the proper etiquette - below I have attached a brief set of guidelines which can be distributed to set individuals ensuring a smooth and calm process for all. 10. Hamburger...? 9. We still love you, and that will be more evident post-feast. 8. … [Read More...]

“Ramadan: Expecting the Unexpected”

Liana I’ve been Muslim for a dozen years now--hard to accept that the years are passing at a rate quicker than I can appreciate them.  As a new Muslim all those years ago, I looked at the advent of my first Ramadan as a challenging exercise of the will.  I was excited to put my faith to the test, to directly measure the depth of my faith by the depth of my willpower.  Once Ramadan started, I remember the pangs of hunger towards the middle of the month and feeling ill at ease with my … [Read More...]

Between the Layers: How to Make Burek (Recipe Included!)

Between the Layers: How to Make Burek Lina Sergie Attar On a hot August afternoon, I was in the kitchen planning a Ramadan iftar. The act of preparing a dish is as much about memory as tasting it. My personal memories involve making burek. Although this tradition stems from my paternal Turkish great-grandmother, the top burek chef in my family is my mother. Burek, is a pastry made of thin layers of dough that holds any variety of fillings: cheese; spinach; meat; the possibilities … [Read More...]

Ramadan and Nutrition- Preventing Booty Jiggle

Rida Wali-Munif The month of Ramadan is here. The super organized amongst us have a stock pile samosas and kebabs in the freezer while the rest of us have located the nearest mithai (sweets) shop for jalaybees (fried sweet batter soaked in sugar syrup), parathas, samosas (fried bread stuffed with vegetables or meat),  and other “necessities” of Ramadan. On the other hand, many of us are hoping to lose weight this month. Thinking that not eating and drinking during the day will … [Read More...]

Iftaar Interlude: A Lesson in Doubt and Forgiveness

By Dilshad D. Ali It’s like a scene from “Dinner Impossible” on Food Network, and I am playing the role of Chef Robert Irvine – except its “Iftaar Impossible.” Your mission is to create a complete iftaar (fast-breaking) meal plus a full dinner and dessert to follow, and all must be served to your guests within a tight one and half hour time frame, which includes a 10 minute break to pray Maghreb, and have guests out on time to be able to make Ish’a prayers and tarawih … [Read More...]

Facebooking Your Ramadan: By Pakistani Kuri

Pakistani Kuri While growing up in Pakistan, we were taught that there are 11 months in a year and then there’s Ramadan: the holiest month for us Muslims. When I was five, I was captivated and wondered astonishingly why “Roza Kholna (Open your fast) and Sehri Karna (Close your fast)” was a significant part of my parents’ routine during this month. I remember distinctively my parents being utterly calm, absolutely devout to the Jah Namaz (Prayer Mat) and not yelling at us for 30 … [Read More...]

“Hitting the Suhoor Wall….”: Muslimah In Progress

Thanks to "Muslimah in Progress" Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah. Halfway through Ramadan.  The alarm clock went off on time.  Bleary-eyed, I stumble to the kitchen to make suhoor, the morning meal that is supposed to sustain us throughout the day of fasting.  I stand there in front of the refrigerator, staring at the contents, contemplating what to make.  I start rummaging through yogurt containers, none of which actually contain yogurt.  Hmm... cucumber … [Read More...]

Seeking Perfection: Wajahat Ali

8-15 I am hoping one day Muslim Americans can forgive themselves for simply being human. We Muslims sure like to pretend we are perfect. At the very least, we love promoting the myth. We preach it in our sermons, via our social propaganda to our non-Muslim neighbors, as talking points to the local and national press, and we even peddle it to our fellow community members at over-priced weddings in cramped banquet halls. Everyone smiles, shows off their White teeth, engages in the … [Read More...]

Dennis Rodman Emotional Hall of Fame Speech

This might seem like an odd entry for our "Spiritual Appetite" blog but I believe it fits in perfectly with the Ramadan theme of introspection, reflection and resolve. Here, the always colorful, flamboyant, volatile, retired NBA player Dennis Rodman wears his heart, his pain and his regrets on his sleeve with a 12 min, emotional Hall of Fame Speech. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQQu-JWzBug … [Read More...]