fasting

My First Ramadan as a Muslim

As a white, American-born, new Muslim the hostile social pressure that’s constantly pelting me like rocks should be breaking me right now. Yet, the exhausting and ultimately, inspiring experience of my first Ramadan is acting as a shield, despite the challenges. People keep asking me why, at the height of…

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Ramadan ready?

The amount of coverage being given to Ramadan in recent years is growing, drawing more attention to one of the most spiritual experiences for Muslims. Much of it is humorous and enlightening – guaranteed to give one a sense of pride and joy in these most precious of days. Below…

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I am the captain of my soul

In my fifteen years of fasting, I was mostly going through the motions. Sure, I knew that Ramadan was a time for increased God-consciousness, but last month I learned the difference between knowing something and feeling something. This Ramadan, I felt it.
Reaching a level of spirituality at which I felt a connection to my Creator in my bones required preparation. Just as we begin each fast with a niyaat (or intention), I also commenced this year’s Ramadan with a niyaat.

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The Ramadan doldrums

For many of us residing in the northern hemisphere, Ramadan began begrudgingly. Starting last Tuesday or Wednesday or even Thursday, in some cases. We wake up at or stay up until dawn —around 3:30am —and struggle to adequately hydrate and nourish ourselves for the anticipated seventeen to nineteen hour fast in melt-your-face-off heat. We then open our fast with a quick meal before rushing to and through prayer so we can catch a few hours of sleep, only to get up and do it all over again.

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News Briefs: Week of August 9, 2010

The holy month of Ramadan commenced this week, and a British imam tells BBC News that pregnant women are exempt from fasting during this month if it poses health risks to the mother or her baby. Health professionals observe that many pregnant women still continue to fast, even with knowledge of this provision, as they find it harder to make up for the missed fasts when the month is over because no one else in their families is fasting along with them. A study found that pregnant women who fast are likely to have smaller babies who are more prone to learning disabilities in adulthood.

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