6 Post-Ramadan Lessons From A Pair Of Mediocre Muslims

Muslim Taking Iftar To Break Their FastI’m Sima, I’m 23 and I’m a pretty casual Shia Muslim. I was born in Toronto, have lived in various parts of Canada and come from an Iranian background. I did not fast this year but I’m wishing a Happy Eid Al-Fitr to all my fellow Muslims who did!

I’m Farah, I’m 35 and I’m a casual Sunni Muslim. I was born in Toronto, raised in Markham and come from an in Indian-Pakistani background. This year, for the first time in years, I challenged myself to keep almost every fast in Ramadan and succeeded! Please, come eat with me!

So, it’s done. Ramadan has come and gone, and gone with it are the early mornings of rising to eat before dawn, persistently empty stomachs and a solid case of daily “hanger” as you struggle to keep your fast throughout the Holy Month. It may not seem like we’ll miss very much, but as the long days passed, we two mediocre Muslims — that is, Muslims who consider ourselves fairly casual and relaxed in our practice — sat down to talk about what makes this month extraordinary — not just this year, but every year. The lessons we’ve learned have changed our views on food, religion and most importantly: life.



‘The Love of Christ’: Christians Host Muslims at Kansas Megachurch for Ramadan Dinner

ramadandinnerfb_hdvOver 300 Muslims and Christians gathered last week at a megachurch in Kansas to share a meal after sunset based on Muslim tradition during Ramadan.

The Church of the Resurrection in Kansas is the largest Methodist Church congregation in the United States.

Rev. Adam Hamilton said he wanted to host the May 22 dinner to share Jesus’ love and break the stereotype that Muslims and Christians can’t get along.

“We’ve been trying to look for ways to build bridges with the Muslim community in Kansas City and to demonstrate the love of Christ to them,” Hamilton told the Christian Post.

The Dialogue Institute of Kansas City helped organize the event with the mission of promoting “mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation among people of diverse faiths and cultures.”

“I think it was a chance for Muslims to get to know who we are,” Hamilton said. “Our people enjoyed the chance to hear other people’s stories and hear what they experienced in their fasting and why it was important to them.”

About six to eight people sat at each table during the dinner, including two to three Muslims.

The church posted to Facebook the following day to celebrate the night’s success. It wrote, “Great turnout for the Ramadan Dinner last night! We enjoyed sharing a meal and conversation with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”


Islam is an American religion too, Mr. President

la-1528926282-7g54hgucfx-snap-imageThursday night is Eid, when followers of Islam gather together with friends and neighbors to celebrate the end of Ramadan, a month of daily fasting.

Since 1996, when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton began the tradition, the White House has hosted an “iftar” — the daily fast-breaking dinner — during Ramadan. It has been a staple of both Republican and Democratic administrations, an opportunity to celebrate Ramadan with the American Muslim community, the leaders of its civic groups, its imams, its writers, artists and entertainers.

But not in the Trump administration. President Trump, whose animosity towards Islam and the Muslim community is well documented, didn’t host an iftar at all last year. This year, he honored the tradition with a dinner on June 6. But the representatives of American Muslim groups were not invited to the White House. Instead of community and religious leaders from across the United States, the guests included foreign ambassadors and dignitaries from Muslim-majority countries. It was as if the president hosted a White House Seder but with no American Jews invited.

In his remarks at the dinner, Trump avoided Ramadan’s devotional message of reflection and sacrifice. He used the occasion to reminisce about his visit to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he received a hero’s welcome and made deals that have fomented more enmity in the region, particularly between Iran and the Saudis.


A peek into the lives of Puerto Rican Muslims and what Ramadan means post Hurricane Maria

file-20180516-155573-1iweiiFor Juan, Ramadan is a balancing act. On the one hand is his religious faith and practice. On the other is his land, his culture, his home: Puerto Rico.

Although he weaves these two elements of his identity together in many ways, during Ramadan, the borderline between them becomes palpable. For the Puerto Rican Muslimslike Juan, the holy month of fasting brings to the surface the tensions they feel in their daily life as minorities – and as Muslims among their Puerto Rican family and Puerto Ricans in the Muslim community.

That is even more true this year in the wake of Hurricane Maria, the storm that made landfall in the southeastern city of Yabucoa on Sept. 20, 2017, and devastated parts of Puerto Rico. Even today, many parts of the island are without essential services, such as consistent electricity and water or access to schools.

I met Juan in 2015, when I first traveled to Puerto Rico in an effort to better understand the Puerto Rican Muslim story as part of my broader research on Islam in Latin America and the Caribbean. What I have found, in talking to Muslims in Puerto Rico and in many U.S. cities, is a deep history and a rich narrative that expands the understanding of what it means to be Muslim on the one hand, and, on the other, Puerto Rican. This Ramadan, Muslims in Puerto Rico are using the strength of both these identities to deal with the havoc of Hurricane Maria.


Christians should honor their close ties to Muslims this Ramadan

ad_208172771Sadly, tensions have increased between Christians and Muslims but the truth is the two peoples and their religions could not be closer. Muslims and Christians have always gotten along and defended each other. And these days both need to stand together in the face of terrorism against civilians whether it is in New York City, in the Gaza Strip or in the Arab World. Ramadan Mubarak to all Muslims during their holy month of Ramadan

By Ray Hanania

This week as Muslims around the world celebrate the Holy Month of Ramadan, I have to wonder which religion has done more to embrace and honor the principles and beliefs of their religion, Muslims, Christians or Jews.

As a Palestinian Arab Christian, I have always been proud of my religious roots.

My father was born in Jerusalem and my mother was born in Bethlehem, two cities that are such important symbols of the Christian religion.

I grew up believing that though I am a Christian Arab, I am “Muslim by Culture,” a statement of deep respect for the powerful religious foundation of true Muslims.

Throughout the centuries, Muslims have always protected not only Christians but Jews, too. In college I studied the Ottoman Empire and the rule of the Sultans. It was always clear that the Ottoman Sultans always protected the Christians and the Jews, and that the real threat of true Christianity has come from the West where Christianity has been diluted with commercialism, xenophobia and selfish foreign politics.


Why are Muslims fasting? What you need to know about Ramadan

Waht-is-RamadanIn a few days, millions of Muslims around the world will recognize Ramadan with prayer and dawn-to-dusk fasting for a month.

Here’s what you should know about the Islamic holy time.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a month when Muslims fast and pray to grow closer to Allah. It’s a time to improve moral character and focus on positivity. Observance is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

When is it?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It can last between 29 and 30 days.

The dates vary each year, depending on a moon-sighting methodology. This year, Ramadan will begin May 15 or May 16 and end between June 14 and June 16.

What can Muslims eat or drink?

Nothing, during fasting hours. A single sip of water would break the fast. Muslims can eat a pre-dawn meal (usually packed with power foods like fava beans, dates, potatoes or yogurt) to get them through the day. After sunset prayer, Muslims are also allowed to eat and drink as part of iftar, a feast with family and friends.


Muslims, Christians have a tearful exchange of roses on Eid’l Fitr in the Philippines

A distance from the devastation and turmoil in Marawi City was a peaceful moment—Christians and Muslims exchanged flowers in celebration of Eid al-Fitr at an evacuation community in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte on Sunday.

The interreligious gesture brought tears to some Muslim women of the 180 families seeking shelter in the Iligan City National School of Fisheries, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) reported on their website.


“The OPAPP is currently conducting a series of ‘social healing’ activities in Lanao del Norte that aim to restore trust and respect among the different ethno-religious groups in the affected areas,” the article said.

With the ongoing crisis in Marawi proving to be a challenge for Maranao unity, the residents who have spent a month in the facility took part in an OPAPP-hosted celebratory program welcoming the end of Ramadan.