ramadan

The gift of solace

During Ramadan, everything turns upside down. You eat breakfast before dawn; the first signs of anger and temptation suddenly also become the first reminders of restraint; and your experiences of community, if they involve communal prayer, involve more silence than chatter.

And for some of us, your nights become your days.

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Decorating our home for Ramadan- a family tradition

Ramadan is undoubtedly the most special time of year for Muslims around the world. Even more so for Muslims in America because we grow up surrounded by a plethora of religious holidays but without one of our own. So when Ramadan finally rolls around, it feels like it’s our turn. Our turn to skip school, feast with our families and celebrate. Eager to showcase our religious enthusiasm in the form of lights and colors, my sisters and I tried to decorate the house for Ramadan/Eid. Failed attempts include:

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We celebrate our Ramadan traditions

It’s a time for reflection for everyone, including the altMuslimah staff. Join us in reflecting upon our memories and traditions during the month of Ramadan. From family time escapades to the gift of solace, we each have something we would like to share with our readers.



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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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Ramadan: A wife’s perspective (and a husband’s)

My husband’s heavy breathing assures me he is sound asleep. I cautiously tiptoe out of the darkened bedroom, careful not to stub yet another toe on a piece of furniture, and make my way downstairs to the kitchen. As I begin to prepare the French toast and tea, warm smells fill the first floor of our home, but at this early hour they do not strike me as appetizing: it is 4:30 a.m. and I am putting together my and my husband’s sehri.

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Ramadan: A wife’s perspective (and a husband’s)

When my husband finally makes his way down the stairs, my frustration abates and he and I sit across from each other and share our early morning meal. We speak intermittently and keep one eye trained on the clock to ensure we finish our food by the time dawn prayers begin. Despite the sparse conversation and the hurried meal, I enjoy the feeling that we are both beginning our obligatory fasts together, as a unit.

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News Briefs: Week of August 9, 2010

This week in the news, why pregnant women exempt from fasting still fast, Taliban responds to TIME’s cover story on Aisha, Satirist claims he is not joking about his plans to open an Islamic gay bar next to Cordoba Mosque, and a young American Muslim man abstains from alcohol and dating for the month of Ramadan.

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