Saturday, August 22, 2009
Ramadan has begun so I thought I would reflect on a few of my goals for the month.
Last year I was not able to fast the full time because of migraines and blood sugar issues. I was very underweight so I am hoping this year will be better. I want to try to fast a much as possible because this is an important aspect of the month. The idea is to really feel empathy for those who are truly unable to eat because of their financial restrictions. And you can't really feel this without experiencing it yourself.
I also want to focus on my diet. I am very lax about eating pork lately. I used to follow this dietary restriction (similar to Jewish laws) but I have just been lazy. So no pork and no alcohol. Both of these should be very good for me. Another aspect of Ramadan is to clean out your body. I always feel great when the month is over.
I hope to read the entire Koran again and get back to my prayers. I pray in my head a lot, but I have not been doing the traditional Muslim prayers, which are beautiful. I have heard it said that in Christianity, prayer is about getting your needs met and in Islam it is about worshiping God. I find this very true and I think I can say that as a Christian-Muslim. There are beautiful aspects of both faiths and I am very grateful to be a part of both.
I also want to spend time with other Muslim families. At night I'd like to make some special dinners for my kids and other guests. This is a wonderful time to reconnect with some people who are very special to me.
Lastly, I am really hoping to refrain from arguing with my husband. This is a huge drain on me. When you show hatred or contempt, you break your fast. The traditional response when someone tries to bait you during Ramadan is to say "I am fasting". As many times as it takes for the person to leave you alone.
I am really struggling to both speak my truth and be as kind as possible. It is difficult when my husband is constantly reading my blog. But I have challenged myself to do it anyway. I will try to stay on the positive side this month. My nerves are shot and there is no money in the bank. So perhaps this will be the most trying test for me.
The following appeared on Boston.com:
Headline: Observing Ramadan
Date: Aug 22, 2009
"Muslim faithful throughout the world are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan. Observant Muslims participate in fasting (sawm), one of the five pillars of their faith, this entire Lunar month (this year it extends from September 1st to the 30th). Eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity is prohibited from dawn until sunset, when the fast is broken with the evening meal called Iftar. Local customs define varying traditions, including differing types of food used to break the daily fast. The fasting is meant to teach a person patience, humility and sacrifice, to set aside time to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future."
To see this recommendation, click on the link below or cut and paste it
into a Web browser:
The picture above is from this site and there are many other beautiful pictures featured here showing Muslims during Ramadan around the world.