“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 Sulaimanblack faceswhite tonguesthe smell of sea watertaunts with sarcasmdrink me oh somaliaim sorry i couldnt be there for youbut while you were trying to to get your daughterto drink her urinea singer diedwhile your … [Read more...]

Ramadan Despair: Dilshad Ali on raising a child with autism

Ramadan DespairI 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 that cuts thr … [Read more...]

“Praise”: Haroon Moghul

PraiseI’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 presence of His M … [Read more...]

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

A single stone is thrown inand the canyon resounds with the hallelujahs of angels A single breath contains theknown and unknown universes Back behind edgelessspace are motions that vibrate the heart Back behind ancient mountains andhistorical intricacies a shadow gives way to Light that has adoor in it to let us through We take no step thatdoesn’t bring us n … [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 maghrib, aft … [Read more...]

A Ramadan State of Mind

First Post: 8/1/11A Ramadan State of MindWhen 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 also enco … [Read more...]

Welcome to ‘Spiritual Appetite: Observing Ramadan with Wajahat Ali’

Salaamualaikum and Happy Ramadan (Ramadan Mubarak, Ramadan Kareem) everyone! I'm so happy to announce that one of my favorite writers, Wajahat Ali, will be keeping a Ramadan blog at Patheos detailing his Ramadan experiences this year. If you've read anything by Wajahat (funny or serious), heard him speak, seen his play, "Domestic Crusaders," or are one of his thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook friends, then you know what I'm talking about. If you've never read anything by Wajahat, now's y … [Read more...]