“Somalia: Nevermind”: Poem by Amir Sulaiman

Thanks to celebrated, HBO Def Jam poet Amir Sulaiman for letting me publish his brilliant poem on Somalia. May we all open our palms to pray for her and our wallets to feed her. "Somalia: Nevermind": Poem by Amir Sulaiman black faces white tongues the smell of sea water taunts with sarcasm drink me   oh somalia im sorry i couldnt be there for you but while you were trying to to get your daughter to drink her urine a singer died while your … [Read more...]

Ramadan Despair: Dilshad Ali on raising a child with autism

Ramadan Despair I looked at the clock, and it read 6:30 p.m. “Daanish should be home any minute now,” I thought to myself. And I moved to the stove to turn off the burner under the haleem I was making for iftaar, and went to get his dinner ready, because when Daanish returns from a CBI (community-based instruction) outing with his therapist, he’s usually starving. If I don’t have dinner ready, I am risking a meltdown. I heard him before the doorbell rang – wailing in a way … [Read more...]

“Praise”: Haroon Moghul

Praise I’m standing about six rows back from the Imam, surrounded by mostly Afghan and Pakistani men, and during the very first cycle of the prayer, it hits me.  Here I am, before my Creator, and the sudden awareness isn’t in my mind.  It’s in my heart, where it should be, leaving me overawed and reduced.  Each verse of the opening chapter of the Qur’an began to make that much more sense. "All praise is due to God, Lord of all the Worlds" Our eyes down in the … [Read more...]

“FIRST NIGHT OF RAMADAN”: A Poem by Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore

A single stone is thrown in and the canyon resounds with the   hallelujahs of angels   A single breath contains the known and unknown universes   Back behind edgeless space are motions that   vibrate the heart   Back behind ancient mountains and historical intricacies   a shadow gives way to Light that has a door in it to   let us through   We take no step that doesn’t bring us … [Read more...]

“Ramadan Blues” – A Short Story by Wajahat Ali

  A child prepares food for Iftar (evening meal) before the breaking of fast on the first day of Ramadan. (REUTERS/Athar Hussain)   The story originally appeared in the anthology, POW-WOW (Da Capo Press, 2009). “I promise.” The young boy – ashamed, dishonored, and fearing the wrath of a vengeful, omnipotent Allah – promised his Pakistani immigrant father with conviction and resolve. “I promise not to eat during my fast. I will only eat at … [Read more...]

A Ramadan State of Mind

First Post: 8/1/11 A Ramadan State of Mind When Ramadan-ing, it’s encouraged to have a Ramadan State of Mind. It's a state of mind and state of body that is resilient to pain, longing, easy comfort and selfish desires. An observer can easily perceive this month long fast as an exercise in masochism commanded by a sadistic Creator who enjoys denying his “trying-to-get by worshippers” food, water, sex and bad etiquette from sunrise to sunset. To add insult to famine, we’re … [Read more...]