traditions

altM’s Asma Uddin for Newsweek ME – Marrakesh: Rites of Passage

altM’s Founder, Editor-in-Chief, and religious liberties lawyer Asma Uddin reviews the Marrakesh Declaration, and what it means for religious freedom. In the 13th century, when the Mongols conquered Baghdad, their ruler Hulagu Khan gathered the religious scholars in the city and asked them: According to spiritual law, which option is…

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Ramadan and repentance, through a child’s eyes

I was nine years old when I made one of my first major pleas of repentance to God. It was Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. Kids are not required to fast until they hit puberty, but even in kindergarten, I hated being left out of Ramadan and begged my parents to let me fast. To put an end to my whining, they told me that if I didn’t eat anything between my meals, it would count as a “half-fast.”

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South Asian-American Men Balance Tradition and Modernity to Find a Bride

The Urdu phrase “bus bohot hogiya hay” sends chills down Umair Khan’s spine. Roughly translated as “enough already,” it’s something Mr. Khan, 34, a Manhattan lawyer, has heard uttered by his mother, his aunt and their Pakistani-American friends on several occasions, lately with increasing exasperation. The frustration stems from Mr….

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Rohina Malik

It’s interesting how that painful day became the seed that would later become Unveiled. Art can sometimes be inspired by the things that are ugly and scare us.   Who are you? Growing up in London, as the daughter of South Asian immigrants, racism was intense.  When I turned fifteen, I moved to…

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Sacred readings

Over the last fifteen years I have collected dozens of books on Islam: Tariq Ramadan, Al-Ghazali, Ingrid Mattson and Martin Lings, along with many other authors, share the bookshelf. My passion for collecting Islamic literature quickly outpaced my ability to read the books I bought and many still languish on the shelf with unopened bindings. Every Ramadan I make an effort to make my way through two or three books in hopes of slowly shrinking the “To Read” section which far outnumbers the “Read” section.

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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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