Monday, June 30, 2014

Ramadan Reading

This past weekend marked the onset of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and as I do every year, I try to link to pieces from around the web that embody the many diverse ways that Muslims from all over the world and all over the cultural spectrum try make the most of this blessed month. To wit, here's my friend Amanda Quraishi on first learning to fast after embracing Islam:
If you look at it objectively, it seems almost insane that a person would get up out of bed on a Saturday morning and attempt to run 26 miles; continuing to run even when she is exhausted, near dehydration and in pain. Not-Muslim friends and family often look at our Ramadan fast the same way. Why would you subject yourself to that kind of torture? But any runner will tell you that there is no feeling like crossing the finish line, and any faster will tell you there’s nothing more satisfying than that first sip of water and a date after a long day of abstinence. 
These disciplines –physical, mental and spiritual — that we humans engage in cause us to transcend our comfort and, sometimes, even logic. We do these things precisely because they force us out of our comfort zones and challenge us in ways that we inherently understand are important; especially in a culture like that of the U.S., where we are constantly seeking new ways to be comfortable. Every new product or service promises to make our lives easier, more fun and help us feel better. 
When we intentionally make our lives harder and allow ourselves to experience discomfort, we gain valuable perspectives and allow our mettle to be tested. The reward is the confirmation that we have the ability to overcome our own weaknesses, which is even more satisfying in the case of Ramadan when we’re doing it for the glory of the One God.
Read the rest from Amanda here, and look for more Ramadan readings throughout July. Hopefully you'll find them as insightful as I do.

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