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Time to Talk Ramadan

written by Theresa Corbin

Hello boys and girls of islamwich. In case you didn’t know, Ramadan is right around the corner. Err, maybe a little ways down the street and then a right at the corner.

Talking about Ramadan

Whatever distance it is from us, I am getting ready. This year, I want to share your Ramadan traditions with the world, like literally because I am writing an article for Al Jumuah magazine about you. That’s right, you. 🙂

So, this week’s post is interactive. Let me know how you as a Latino, African, Russian, American, Middle Eastern, or Australian, etc. Muslim celebrate the month of Ramadan.

What special dishes do you make? How do you share the month with the community? How do you celebrate the sighting of the new moon at the beginning of the month? What cultural garments are purchased or made and worn for Eid? What is your unique cultural take?  

Let’s not simply prepare for and celebrate the holy month, let’s get to know each other, as God said in the Quran:

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another […]. (Quran 49:13)

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Comfort of the Heart vs. Comfort of the Body

Written by Theresa Corbin and originally posted on aboutislam.net

The first few days are a breeze. I always worry if I will make it through them before Ramadan even begins. But they always end up being the easiest.

Then the dark circles set in, the lips begin to chap, and, if I let myself, I could sleep 12 + hours a day.

Comfort of the heart

These symptoms usually set in around day 10 for me. But this is also the time I hit a rhythm in Ramadan and despite eating less, I can taste a different kind of sweetness.

Indeed he who is pleased (and content) with Allah as his Lord (Rubb), Islam as his Deen and Muhammad as his Messenger has tasted the sweetness of faith (iman).” (Muslim)

 

I know this is true, but it is hard to describe the feeling. Even though the body is uncomfortable, the heart finds solace in the satisfaction of striving in Ramadan. It is a feeling to which nothing else compares.

Hold this World in Your Hand

I am ashamed to admit it but sometimes I try to fit the life of this word into a vessel that will never accept it. It’s so easy to be seduced by all the things that glitter around us. It is comfortable to fall back on old habits. It’s our nature to seek the path of least resistance.

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5 Pivotal Moments That Took Place in Ramadan

Written by Theresa Corbin

Stroll with us down memory lane as we take a look at some of the significant moments of Ramadans gone by.

Ramadan is a month full of blessings. And throughout the ages it has been a month full of events that have turned the tide of history. Many Muslims are well versed in the momentous events that took place during the months of Ramadan in life of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

However, records of Ramadan events throughout history trail off after the time of the Prophet (pbuh) and his immediate companions, causing Ramadan phenomena to be lost to obscurity.

It is hard to believe that it has been 1,436 years since the first Ramadan was celebrated by the Prophet and the early Muslims. In all that time, God continues to bless us in the holy month throughout history.

All holy books were revealed in Ramadan

bible-quran

The Suhuf or Scrolls were revealed to Abraham (PBUH), The Torah was revealed to Moses (PBUH), The Psalms were revealed to David (PBUH), The Gospel was revealed to Jesus (PBUH), and The Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad (PBUH) all in the month of Ramadan.¹

The father of Trigonometry was born

Abu al-Wafa al-Būzjānī

On the second of Ramadan in 328 AH –June 10, 940 CE– Abu al-Wafa al-Būzjānī was born. An astronomers and mathematicians, Abu al-Wafa made significant contributions in observational astronomy and trigonometry.²

Slavery was abolished in the US

13th amendment

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery. This important Amendment was passed by the House of Representatives on the 5th day of Ramadan 1281 AH— January 31, 1865.³

World’s first antibiotic was introduced

Alexander_Fleming

On the 5th of Ramadan 1347 AH—February 14, 1929—Sir Alexander Fleming introduced his mold by-product called penicillin that would later save millions of lives. 4

Two world wars ended

peace
World War I ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles (29 Ramadan 1337 AH / June 28, 1919) and World War II ended with the surrender of the Empire of Japan on (24 Ramadan 1364 AH / September 2, 1945).

Click here to see more pivotal historical moments that happened during Ramadan. 

¹Tafsir Ibn Kathir 2:185

²http://www.muslimheritage.com/article/abu-al-wafa-al-buzjan%C3%AE

³http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/house-passes-the-13th-amendment

4 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/penicillin-discovered

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Ramadan Ramp-Up

Written by Theresa Corbin

Ramadan is coming! And we are excited!!

What is Ramadan, you ask?

Ramadan is a month of fasting from sun up to sun down and so much more. Read more here if you are a non-Muslim and have like a million more questions.

Why would we be excited about THAT, you ask?

Well, if you let it, fasting in Ramadan can transform you into a healthier and more spiritual, grateful, charitable, patient, and disciplined person. Ramadan is a month where you empty your stomach to feed your soul.

This year, I decided to be prepared for Ramadan instead of letting it sneak up on me like I usually does. And I thought why not share my prep with the good people who come to islamwich. So here are a few great ways to prepare for the holy month. Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

Ramadan Ramp-up

Three ways to Ramp-Up to Ramadan

Pre-Ramadan Reminders

Fasting prior to the month of Ramadan is pretty much the only way to get your stomach ready for the Ramadan-athon. And bonus!, fasting any time of the year is good for the soul.

This year I made a printout that both lets me keep track of how many days are left until Ramadan and lets me know the times I have to begin and end my fast.

I bought a document frame (8.5″x 11″) at the Dollar Tree (holla! it’s a dolla!). Printed this doc that you can download here and used one of my liquid chalk pens (you can use dry erase marker or any marker that can be wiped away daily) to update on top of the glass of the picture frame. Read more

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Humans of Ramadan: Humans Who Forgive

Humans Who Forgive

Over the past month, we here at islamwich have been observing Ramadan in a communal way. We have opened up our home to the voices of many (read more  here, here, and here) so that we can enrich our understanding of what Ramadan means to its observants.

This week, the last week of Ramadan, we shift focus from fasting to forgiveness. Ramadan is a month about many things and forgiveness is a huge theme. It is a month in which its observants draw closer to God, seeking His pleasure and forgiveness.

But God tells us that He forgives those who forgive others. So we thought it would only be appropriate to hear from Humans of Ramadan about how they have decided to not only give up food and drink but give up anger and grudges during Ramadan.

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Humans of Ramadan

Humans of Ramadan
graphic by Kaighla Um Dayo

Ready. Set. Ramadan!

That’s right, folks. Ramadan has begun. That means all of the able-bodied, adult Muslims in the world are abstaining from food and water from sun up to sundown.

This year instead of droning on and on about what Ramadan is to me, I decided to let my brothers and sisters chime in. I am questioning all who come in my path about all things Ramadan and serving up answers in a series called “Humans of Ramadan”.

This segment will go over the basics: What is Ramadan? Why is Ramadan? What is Ramadan to you? And the community has spoken:

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Ramadan Giving: Home of Hope

Ramadan Giving: Home of Hope

Written by Stephanie Siam

As Ramadan 2014 progresses into its midway-point, most of us have established a daily routine that incorporates suhoor (pre-fasting meal before dawn), dua’a (supplications), salaah (prayer), dhikr (remembrance of God in word and action), and iftar (fast-breaking meal at sunset), often culminating with tarawe’eh (supplementary evening prayers offered during Ramadan) and witr (supplementary midnight prayer).

For most, iftar is a time we gather around the table with our family and/or friends, joyfully sharing food and fellowship. We laugh and talk about the day’s events; we contemplate our fasts and discuss stories of our Prophets (peace be upon them). And as we sit around our living rooms, lounging on sofas in post-fast dazes, we look at our children playing and the spirit of this blessed season overcomes us, and we say, “Alhumdulillah wa shukr!” (Thank you, God!)

Our children are the greatest gift Allah bestows upon us, and we owe it to them (and Him) to provide, support and protect them at all times.

Yet, not every child has a parent who can – or will – care for and love them. And so it is, at this time, I want to share with you, dear readers, a noble and worthy cause and opportunity for zakat (tithing) and sadaqa (charity) during this holy month: Home of Hope.

Home of Hope
Photo Credit: Home of Hope

Home of Hope opened in 1991 in Beirut, Lebanon. Established by the Lebanese Evangelical Society (Christian-based, but it doesn’t matter – we’re talking about CHILDREN!), it “serves the misfortunate, abused, abandoned and orphaned children of Lebanon.”

It also provides a home and shelter for refugee children coming from neighboring at-war countries, such as Syria and Palestine.  And one of the best aspects of Home of Hope is that it doesn’t discriminate based on religious affiliation. That’s right – they accept every child.

3 yr old
A 3-yr-old refugee arrives in the middle of the night/ Home of Hope Facebook

But the problem is they’re running out of room (or have possibly run out by now), supplies, and just plain financial support. As this month progresses, more and more children have been taken in by their organization, in an effort to save the kids who generally live on the street from being arrested. These are children who have no parents, whose parents are in jail for various reasons (sometimes legitimate, sometimes not), whose parents have cast them aside due to being illegitimate, whose parents force them out on the street to work and earn money for them.

Boys sleeping on mattresses with barely a blanket to cover them/ Home of Hope Facebook

Just a few of the problems they’re experiencing are:

  • insufficient heat during the winter due to not having access to a generator during country-wide electricity rations
  • lack of protein-based food supplies (i.e., meat)
  • shortage of beds and bedding
  • not enough clothing, including undergarments and coats, for children of all ages

These are children who, after reaching the age of adulthood and leaving Home of Hope, will never be considered legal residents or citizens of Lebanon. These are children who have no agency. Children who will always be at risk of arrest or detainment, simply because they’re alive.

What does Home of Hope do besides provide shelter, food and clothing for homeless/refugee/orphaned children in Lebanon?

Our aims for the Home of Hope are many and multi-faceted, but they all focus on creating a nurturing, encouraging, and helpful environment, which shall: first of all, help them to recover from the traumatic events which they have passed through; and second, to educate and raise the children to be intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually prepared to face an increasingly biased future.

Where can I learn more about Home of Hope?

Check out their website at http://www.homeofhopelebanon.org/home.html.

Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/homeofhopelebanon.

You can also check out the following articles that have been featured by news sources around the world:

Al Jazeera: Syrian child refugees, alone and exploited

The Washington Post: In Lebanon, Syrian refugee children find safety from war but new dangers on the streets

NOW: The lost children of Lebanon’s streets

IRIN Middle East: LEBANON – Alaa Al-Bouz, Beirut, ‘I was taken to an orphanage when I was too young to even remember’

How can I donate?

Secure online donations are being accepted through Tying Vines. Go to https://www.tyingvines.org/donate/  and select Project 1302/Home of Hope.  All donations are tax deductible.

To make a donation to Hope of Hope via bank transfer:

Lebanese Evangelical Institute for Social Work & Development

USD IBAN : LB43 0001 0005 5266 1512 0030 4001

LBP IBAN : LB53 0001 0005 5266 1512 0010 4001

SWIFT CODE : FSAB LB BX FRANSABANK– Hazmieh Branch

Contact Person:

Maher Tabarani

Email: mtabarani@lesociety.org

Phone: +961 71 798 879

And for the sake of Allah, please remember these children in your prayers and dua’a this Ramadan. . .and always!

help the children
Home of Hope Facebook Page

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Like the post, share it, pin it, comment on it, and/or do whatever social media magic it is that you prefer. Find out more about us in the understandably named “About” page and browse other posts in “Table of Contents”.