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Rama-What?

(Taking a break from my hiatus to bring you this…I will not return to blogging until August 28)

I never talk about my religion because I don’t believe in advertising my faith. The biggest cornerstone of my faith is that it’s between me and God. I may not look it but I’m a proud, practicing Muslim. I know that there are misconceptions about Islam because of the news, images in media, etc. I’ve been pretty quiet about it all, except when someone asks me a question. I don’t talk about it in my blogs but I’m very passionate about my religion.

Today is one of the days I look forward to the most every year. The first day of Ramadan!!

“Rama-whaaaat?”

Ramadan is the holiest month of Islam and the third pillar of the 5 pillars if Islam. Because the Islamic calendar is based on the moon cycle, it isn’t like Christmas where it’s the same day every year. This doesn’t really matter a whole lot but it will be a little different for me this year because it is my first year fasting during summer time. Islam is a religion based on purity of the heart, mind and body. During the month of Ramadan, the fast is aimed to help Muslims keep their focus off the superficial things and grow spiritually as a person.

For me, Ramadan has always been one of the most exciting times of the year. As a Muslim, I may not be perfect but I know where my faith lies. I look forward to Ramadan and to fasting. I may get a little spoiled and selfish at times but when Ramadan rolls around, all my superficial needs take a seat back. For the month of Ramadan, I try to steer my thoughts in the direction of purity. This isn’t to say that I’m not grateful for all that I have on the days outside of Ramadan…but fasting is an incredible experience for me. It’s only become a little different in the past few years as I became sexually active. I’ve been fasting since I was 10 and I look forward to it every year!

The actual fast itself may be taxing for some people but for me, it doesn’t get that difficult. Basically, I’m not allowed to eat or drink ANYTHING from sunrise to sunset. The fast also includes smoking, sex, etc but the only things that really apply to me is the eating and drinking. Yes, that also includes water. I also will not be drinking alcohol during the month of Ramadan.

Since I’m supposed to be completely pure, I am not allowed to fast while on my period. Women who are pregnant and anyone who is taking medication isn’t allowed to fast. There are a couple of reasons for this. The obvious is that women who are pregnant or anyone who is sick/taking medication needs their food and water to keep them strong. The reason I can’t fast while on my period goes hand in hand with the purity of the body. In the Islam religion, being pure is incredibly important. After sex (both men and women), or in a woman’s case, after her period, a person must take a special bath that is supposed to purify the body. A person can’t touch the Quran, or a prayer book without being pure in that sense and that also applies to fasting. Until my period is finished, I can’t fast because I have to take that special bath. After sex, both men and women have to do this.

Coming back to the fasting… One misconception that people have about fasting is that after sunset, you can binge as much as you want so you aren’t hungry the next day. That’s just stupid because your metabolism slows down and binging is almost a sin. When your body is full, you shouldn’t force any more food just because you won’t be eating the next day. The hardest part about fasting is not being able to drink water but after a couple of days, my body adjusts to it. I love fasting…don’t ask me why. It’s just always come so easy to me and I’m the only one in my immediate family that lasts for the entire month of Ramadan.

Some facts about Ramadan:

— The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground, and shortness of rations. It is considered the most venerated, blessed and spiritually-beneficial month of the Islamic year. Prayers, sawm (fasting), charity, and self-accountability are especially stressed at this time; religious observances associated with Ramadan are kept throughout the month.

— The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Ramadan migrates through the seasons.

–The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the fast is supposed to induce a comfortable feeling of peace and calm. It also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, as well as sympathy for those who are less fortunate, intending to make Muslims more generous and charitable.

— One of the most important aspects of the Ramadan fast is called niyyah. Niyyah literally means “intention.” Muslims must not simply or accidentally abstain from food; they must achieve the requirement of niyyah. To achieve this requirement, a Muslim must “intend in [his] heart that [the fast] is meant to be a worship for Allah alone.” So, if someone fasts for political or dietary reasons, he would not achieve niyyah. In fact, according to scripture, “Whoever does not make niyyah before dawn, would not have fasted.” The determination to fast is equal in importance to the fast itself.

I won’t ramble on anymore. From this point, I’ll take any questions about Ramadan or Islam in general. It’s just easier to see what questions you guys have rather than writing a long-winded blog about it…because I can go on for hours.

On a funny note…Whenever I say Ramadan, my roommates break into this:

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • LivingWicked August 21, 2009, 1:50 pm

    I have learned a lot about Ramadan from my oldest friend Liz. She converted to Islam about 5 years ago and it has been a learning process for everyone that has stuck by her in the change.

    Great blog babe.
    .-= LivingWicked´s last blog ..YGWM, Friday Eye Candy & Vote! =-.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 1:54 pm

      I know. You mention her everytime we talk about it 🙂 I love hearing about people who have converted because it’s one of most important parts of who *I* am.

      Thanks.

      • LivingWicked August 21, 2009, 1:55 pm

        Instead of “AsalamAlakum” (or however the crap you spell it) I say “Aslababacon” she laughs. 😀
        .-= LivingWicked´s last blog ..YGWM, Friday Eye Candy & Vote! =-.

        • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 1:56 pm

          Haha, I remember that!!

          You’re a dork.

  • phampants August 21, 2009, 1:50 pm

    this was very informative. thank you for posting this
    .-= phampants´s last blog ..Heresy =-.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 1:56 pm

      🙂 No problem.

  • Nahl August 21, 2009, 2:00 pm

    I LOVE RAMADAN!
    nice to know someone else on 20sb shares the enthusiasm too!!!! 🙂
    I absolutely enjoy fasting..esp the entire family gathering together to break the fast at sunset(otherwise everyone at my place is having their meals at different times), and going to the mosque together for Taraweeh!
    I don’t like sounding all preacher-ish too, but at the risk of sounding so, i hope all your prayers are granted this holy month! Ameen.
    .-= Nahl´s last blog ..Who else thinks cheating isn’t all about the sex? =-.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 2:13 pm

      Ramadan Mubarak 🙂

  • On a limb with Claudia August 21, 2009, 2:09 pm

    Do you make that great soup to eat at sunset? Sorry I always forget what it’s called. Is there a get together tonight, the first night of Ramadan?

    Thanks for helping us understand! 🙂
    .-= On a limb with Claudia´s last blog ..Friday Fiction .: The Fey :. Chapter Twenty-Eight =-.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 2:13 pm

      Hmm…what’s in the soup? LOL

      No, not tonight…It’s going to be kind of strange since I moved out…I’m going to be eating dinner with the family on Sunday for sure.

  • Lauren August 21, 2009, 2:16 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! Very informative and completely answered all my questions I had. :O)
    .-= Lauren ´s last blog ..I LOVE…Fridays! =-.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 2:56 pm

      Well good! 🙂

  • justjp August 21, 2009, 2:17 pm

    Have a blessed Ramadan.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 2:56 pm

      Thank you very much 🙂

  • Bret August 21, 2009, 2:19 pm

    Not a practicing muslim, but I have read the Quran, and feel that many of the ideas and ideals presented are moore worthy than those presented bby other modern day religions. And yes, I do fast for Ramadan and pray for those lost to ignnorance and misinterpretation of scripture (be they christian, jewish or muslim.

    As to you fasting, good for you! I can’t believe how many people don’t make it, but I think the effort is just as important as success. Be proud of who and what you are, I assumed because you were born in Turkey, but I didn’t ask because many who are muslim take their faith as personal or live in fear of reprisal for the wrongs of those misled.

    Mohammed, Abraham and Christ, all prophets for the same god. Why can’t people understand this? All three books say that followers of the one God are to be saved, but all persecute those who worship God in a different way. Sorry, religious scholar here venting about religion again! I really need to stop that.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 4:03 pm

      Thank you, I appreciate it 🙂

  • Patrick August 21, 2009, 2:46 pm

    I’m getting hungry as I read this- so I don’t know how good I’d be at fasting.

    Have a wonderful Ramadan!
    .-= Patrick´s last blog ..Being That Blogger Friend =-.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 2:50 pm

      Thank you!!

      The first couple of days are hard…I still have 5 hours to go!

  • LA Cochran August 21, 2009, 2:47 pm

    I wish you a good holiday!
    .-= LA Cochran´s last blog .."Down in the dungeon I’m having a hard time" –Billy Squier =-.

    • PrincessQ August 21, 2009, 2:49 pm

      Thank you!

  • Squish August 21, 2009, 6:30 pm

    I’m better at fasting than dieting. The Muslim faith intrigues me. Always has.

    Thank you for posting this. I like learning!

    • PrincessQ August 22, 2009, 1:37 pm

      I don’t see fasting as dieting though. I think they’re both very different things…or they should be.

      Thanks babe!

  • Anne August 21, 2009, 9:29 pm

    Very cool blog! Glad I did the clicky-clicky tonight.

    I do have one question. Is/Are there books that you recommend for one to read up and get the best understanding of Islam?

    • PrincessQ August 22, 2009, 1:38 pm

      Not at the moment but I’ll do some research and get back to you 🙂

  • Jill Pilgrim August 21, 2009, 11:55 pm

    Very interesting- thanks!
    .-= Jill Pilgrim´s last blog ..Its A TMIT Treasure Hunt, A Very Awkward Treasure Hunt =-.

    • PrincessQ August 22, 2009, 1:38 pm

      No prob! Thanks for reading!

  • Cassi August 22, 2009, 1:10 am

    Well being a fairly nonreligious person and one that HATES having religion stuffed down my throat, I can honestly say that I almost skipped this blog. I always skip religious blogs. 2 reasons why I didn’t skip this one. 1)It was your blog 2)You didn’t seem pushy That being said, it was one of the most interesting reads I have had in quite some time. Actually, I can’t believe I am saying this but… I would love to read more blogs on it so feel free to throw them in from time to time 🙂 Living in the bible belt where there is literally not more than 7 blocks in this ENTIRE town of 60k people, I have become a bit more sour about religion I guess.

    Here is some fun facts about Texarkana (the butthole town I live in):
    There are 60,0000 people here.
    There are 191 Churches listed on yellowpages.com in Texarkana alone
    That breaks down to 314 people per church.
    Within walking distance of my house (less than 7 blocks… I’m lazy) I can walk to 3 churches. All of which are Baptist.

    Have you ever met a southern baptist? Just sayin.
    .-= Cassi´s last blog ..Monkey Eggs with Acne Weather Dear So and So… =-.

    • PrincessQ August 22, 2009, 1:39 pm

      It’s never my intention at all to shove religion down people’s throats…Which is why I hardly write about it but I get a lot of questions/misconceptions about Ramadan so I throw this blog out every year 🙂

      I’m real glad you enjoyed it…As the monnth goes on, if I feel the need, I might put together another blog or two…

      I have never met a Southern baptist but I can imagine.

      Thanks 🙂

  • Cassi August 22, 2009, 1:14 am

    ps… that song totally makes me hear this every single time now…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se8ABHcq8g4

    Go Steelers!! 🙂
    .-= Cassi´s last blog ..Monkey Eggs with Acne Weather Dear So and So… =-.

    • PrincessQ August 22, 2009, 1:39 pm

      LOL…Nice

  • Jaime August 22, 2009, 9:06 am

    OK. This is, without a doubt, my favorite blog you have posted ever. My favorite. I LOVE learning about you, and about your religion. I LOVE IT.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I can read all I want about anything, but hearing about religious practices from someone who actually practices it (and someone I understand and love) is so much easier to digest.

    xoxo
    .-= Jaime´s last blog ..I LOVE…Fridays! =-.

    • PrincessQ August 22, 2009, 1:40 pm

      Well I’m glad honey and I get why it’s easier to learn from someone who’s speaking about personal experience rather than just throwing facts out there.

      xoxo

  • Taylor August 22, 2009, 10:33 am

    You are definitely a stronger woman than me. I NEED FOOD!!! 🙂 haha
    .-= Taylor´s last blog ..Why Yes, I am a Scaredy Cat! =-.

    • PrincessQ August 22, 2009, 1:40 pm

      Haha, we all need food…but it’s about discipline 🙂

      Thanks!

  • Julie @ Wearing Mascara August 22, 2009, 8:13 pm

    Thanks for the informative post! So you fast everyday for the month or just one day? xoxo
    .-= Julie @ Wearing Mascara´s last blog ..Body Product Hoarding =-.

    • PrincessQ August 23, 2009, 9:46 pm

      I fast everyday, except when I’m on my period.

  • Svaha August 24, 2009, 3:41 pm

    A few years back one of my daughters had a school friend who was/is Muslim (not a rarity but not very common in our area back then). The class discussed Ramadan and the many aspects of it. While children are usually ‘exempt’ from the strict fasting, her classmate explained the giving up of certain treats during the month, which some of the kids could relate to Lent. During Ramadan the class picked one day where they would try and fast from dawn to dusk.

    During this time my dad was living in the UAE. He was home for a visit during a Ramadan with his fiancé, a Christian but born and raised in the UAE. They told my daughters how they fasted through Ramadan themselves, as do many non-Muslims. My dad told them how easy he thought his first Ramadan was going to be, until he was almost passing out from the heat. The Muslims he worked with laughed, thanked him for his effort and explained to him they would not be offended if he needed to drink water during the day.

    My youngest and I were just talking about Ramadan starting and we would pick a day to fast (don’t think I’m up to a whole month).

    Ramadan Karim

  • MinD August 25, 2009, 2:46 pm

    I always found Ramadan and the entire Muslim faith completely fascinating. Thanks for delving into your personal religion and sharing this.
    .-= MinD´s last blog ..Too close for comfort. =-.

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