August 15, 2011

Ramadan is whooooshing by!

Filed under: rambling — hijabeng @ 5:10 pm

Salam y’all,

Today is August 15th!!!! We started Ramadan on August 1st, so that means half of the month is over, gone, kaput! How did that happen? Isn’t it scary how time just flies? That really makes me feel old. I remember when a week used to feel like a very long time. And now…a week feels like 3 days to me, maybe 4, tops. So strange how our perception changes with time.

So Ramadan and working is turning out to be way less difficult than I thought it would be. It’s definitely much easier than full-time work, fasting and full-time grad school all at once (man, I was nuts). What’s especially interesting is that even though the days get longer year by year, as the Islamic calendar moves up the Gregorian calendar by 11 days each year, the fasting isn’t getting harder, alhamdulillah. I love how my energy stream stays the same throughout the day, no sugar highs or lows, no midafternoon slump or caffeine buzz, it’s beautiful. It was definitely more challenging the first few days but it’s getting easier and easier. I wonder if I can sustain continuous fasting after Eid. Hmmm, let’s see.

One of my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE blogs of all time, Corporette.com, featured a question from a reader that I thought was pretty interesting (I should probably ask permission to write about Corporette but I’ll just link. Go check ’em out). The reader was asking about how to deal with the fact that she’s fasting for Ramadan, except she doesn’t want people to know that she’s fasting for Ramadan or that she’s Muslim. Especially in foodful workplace scenarios.

Ay Dios mio. Questions/scenarios/situations like these just hurt. HURT! Because yes, discrimination exists. And being a Muslim is not a popular thing to be, especially in America, especially if you don’t “look” like a Muslim (I guess that means if you don’t look Arab/South Asian?). But homegirl, you exist and your right to personally observe whatever you want to exists. Why are you so ashamed of yourself? Of your beliefs? And your relationship with your Creator?

Gah, that’s all I want to really say on the matter, as I have discovered through my many years of living life, advice pertaining to religion from a hijabi is almost always taken poorly and defensively. But girl, put on some big girl panties and woman UP! Also, the Corporette community did a wonderful job responding to the query, as did Kat, in my very humble opinion. So, thank you for that.

Now, non-Muslims may ponder about why Ramadan is such a big deal (because it really is, a huuuuuuuuuuge deal). It’s so hard to explain but I’ll try to do my best. Whether a Muslims practices or not, prays or not, drinks or not, sins or not, etc., etc., etc., we all have this deep down belief that we believe that we will be saved from the effects of our wrongdoings, or sins, if you will. And during the month of Ramadan, we believe that Satan/Shaitan/the Devil/Lucifer/Whateveryouwannacallhim is chained, so whatever bad you do, it’s due to your own influence. And whatever good you do is magnified during Ramadan. It’s also the month during which the Qur’an descended from the throne of God to the upper heavens. And it’s the month in which the Angel Gabriel/Jibreel (peace be upon him) began teaching the revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). It’s also the month when the teachings ended, 23 years later (so the entire Qur’an took 23 years to come together). So Ramadan is also known as the month of Qur’an.

The other thing is that fasting is such a truly personal act of worship. Other acts of worship such as praying, giving in charity, wearing hijab, growing a beard, building a mosque, etc., can be rooted in showing off. But fasting is truly between you and God (or whatever you’re fasting for). Nobody will know if you cheat your fast. But you do. We truly and duly believe that it’s salvation from the Hellfire for us and a boost to get to Paradise.

Wow, I got more religious than I realized I was going to. Anyways, peace out peoples, talk to you laters.


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