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What are you doing for Ramadan?


What are you doing for Ramadan?

By Wajahat Ali
May 16, 2018

Ramadan is here. It’s the holy month during which healthy and able Muslims are commanded to abstain from food, drink (Not even water? Nope, not even water) and sex from sunrise to sunset and invest in intense prayer, charity and spiritual discipline.

In recent years, Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, has become part of mainstream American society. In keeping with the tradition started by Thomas Jefferson, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama hosted community leaders and dignitaries at Ramadan dinners featuring a variety of exquisite halal meats. (Mr. Trump eliminated that beautiful gathering. That’s not surprising given his belief that “Islam hates us.”)

This Ramadan, I’m in search of something substantive that nurtures my soul and truly transforms America, which is wounded, suffering from a resurgence in open expressions of hate against racial and religious minorities, and politicians who seek to profit off the divides. I know the solution will start at home, so this month, I aspire to evolve into an overweight, middle-aged superhero without a cape, disciplined and mindful, grateful for my privileges, spiritually aware and more compassionate. I’ll try praying for enemies, friends, frenemies and Kanye West.

I must, however, make a confession: I usually end up hangry, drained from juggling work and chasing my two hyper toddlers. As I do every year, I’ll probably find myself musing: “You know, Buddhism is looking pretty good. The disruptions bring pain and annoyance, but they can also create opportunities for growth.

A few weeks ago, I was driving to the University of William & Mary to give a speech about Ramadan when my right tire blew out on the highway right before the exit. I pulled over to change it, but my car jack broke, leaving me stranded on the side of the road.

I tried to flag down a friendly car. For 35 minutes, nobody stopped. With my dead cellphone in hand, I just stood there, freezing, praying that someone would help me. Finally, a young black driver, who turned out to be a transgender student working on a doctorate, pulled over. The student waved off my profuse thanks by saying, “If it happened to me I hope someone would do the same.”

I used the student’s phone to call a tow truck, and then we started chatting about life as a transgender person on campus — with me confessing my nervousness about using the correct pronouns and receiving much more credit than I deserved for my efforts.

We were interrupted when a tough-looking white dude with an earring arrived, smiling broadly, to change my tire and jump-start my car. He went above and beyond the call of duty, assuring me that I’d make it to my speaking engagement and taking the time to make sure I knew the best places in town to have dinner afterward.

My small crisis had just created an opportunity to form a tiny, temporary multicultural community. I can find the Ramadan spirit not only in fasts or prayers, but in places like this: on the side of the road in Williamsburg, Va., where a black trans student and a white man from the South reached out to help a brown Muslim stranger, a fellow American, get his car running.

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5/16/2018, 3:43 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


Avoiding my observant Muslim neighbors in the late afternoon as they are grumpy, and struggling to deal with their children being thirsty, hungry and having caffeine withdrawal from not drinking their usual four little cups of thick coffee per day.
5/16/2018, 6:12 pm Link to this post PM Geezess Blog
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


Nothing that I don't ordinarily do as I'm not a muslim. However since I see no reason not to be tolerant of the beliefs of others (unless they involve human or animal sacrifices} they are welcome to celebrate in any way they like. emoticon

---
Ignorance is Bliss in the Mind of a Fool

5/16/2018, 9:46 pm Link to this post PM crogin
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


quote:

crogin wrote:

Nothing that I don't ordinarily do as I'm not a muslim. However since I see no reason not to be tolerant of the beliefs of others (unless they involve human or animal sacrifices} they are welcome to celebrate in any way they like. emoticon



Except in one way that they believe in celebrating. Tolerance for the questionable beliefs and practices of Muslims is obviously not unlimited among those who profess tolerance for Muslim beliefs and largely dependent on a lack of knowledge of what those beliefs are.

quote:

Muslims engaged in the Hajj (pilgrimage) are obliged to sacrifice a lamb or a goat or join others in sacrificing a cow or a camel during the celebration of the Eid al-Adha,[22][23] an Arabic term that means "Feast of Sacrifice", also known as al-Id al-Kabir (Great Feast), or Qurban Bayrami (Sacrifice Feast) in Turkic influenced cultures, Bakar Id (Goat Feast) in Indian subcontinent and Reraya Qurben in Indonesia.[24] Other Muslims not on the Hajj to Mecca also participate in this sacrifice wherever they are, on the 10th day of the 12th lunar month in the Islamic [sign in to see URL]

5/16/2018, 10:02 pm Link to this post PM Philer Blog
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


I treat all religious festivals with contempt.
5/16/2018, 11:20 pm Link to this post PM Yobbo
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


I love Christmas even though I'm a agnostic. It's a recapturing of childhood warmth and love. I assume that the celebrations of others which aren't as familiar to me mean the same thing to them. I spent my childhood in Trenton, NJ until I was 12. Our neighborhood had Episcopalians (me & mine), Irish Catholics. Italian Catholics, generic Prots, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Jews (of various types). So I grew up taking these religious and cultural differences for granted. I see no reason to be different about others be they Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu, etc. In fact I find them interesting but then I'm a history aficionado.

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5/17/2018, 1:00 am Link to this post PM crogin
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


Christmas here is mid summer and we tend to have a boozy picnic at that time altho I sometimes have to go to our son's farm and work.
5/17/2018, 2:35 am Link to this post PM Yobbo
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


I've been rereading Harry Kemelman's Rabbi books and being reminded of how orthodox Jews celebrate their holidays. They are very interesting, as well as the beliefs of Judaism as contrasted with the beliefs of Christianity. Did you all know that there is no hell in Judaism? There is no afterlife. This life is all there is.
5/17/2018, 11:48 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


quote:

Yobbo wrote:

I treat all religious festivals with contempt.



So you're a generic bigot?

What about the people who celebrate those festivals? Do you have contempt for them also?
5/17/2018, 12:41 pm Link to this post PM Philer Blog
 
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Re: What are you doing for Ramadan?


quote:

I love Christmas even though I'm a agnostic. It's a recapturing of childhood warmth and love. -crogin



Yes, for lots of children there was no other holiday that compared to Christmas. It was truly a wonderful time of the year for kids.

quote:

I assume that the celebrations of others which aren't as familiar to me mean the same thing to them. I spent my childhood in Trenton, NJ until I was 12. Our neighborhood had Episcopalians (me & mine), Irish Catholics. Italian Catholics, generic Prots, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Jews (of various types). So I grew up taking these religious and cultural differences for granted. I see no reason to be different about others be they Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu, etc. In fact I find them interesting but then I'm a history aficionado.



Religions are certainly interesting as well as the psychology that allows bad ones like Islam and Mormonism to continue to thrive.

If you're a history buff you probably realize the important role that religions have played throughout history. They have been one of the main driving forces that have influenced it.
5/17/2018, 12:49 pm Link to this post PM Philer Blog
 


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