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A Greener Ramadan: A Brighter Future

written by Theresa Corbin for Al Jumuah

Many People Associate the color green with Islam. The flags of Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia all include the color green. According to the Quran, the people of paradise will wear garments of green silk. And some say the Prophet’s (PBUH) favorite color was green. I have yet to find a reliable hadith to support this favorite color claim. But I think it is safe to think of Islam as a green hued faith for another reason: The Environment.

Embedded in the tenets of Islam is an ecological imperative. “The Earth is a mosque, and everything in it is sacred. I learned this basic tenet of Islam from my father,” notes Ibrahim Abdul-Matîn, environmentalist and author, who begins his book Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet with these wise words.

We as human beings were placed on this earth as caretakers of it, as stewards.

Now, behold! Your Lord said to the angels: I am placing upon the earth a human successor to steward it. [Sûrat Al-Baqarah, 2:30]

As stewards on this earth, we have been entrusted with its care, and we will be held accountable for our actions towards it.

We will register “in the book” what they have done and what footprints they have left, and everything we have accounted for in great details in a detailed book. [Sûrah Yâ-Sîn, 36:12] (emphasis added)

Ramadan is a time for self-examination, a time to come nearer to Allah, and to become better versions of ourselves. So as we contemplate how we can become better to ourselves and to each other, let us also contemplate how we can become better stewards to our home. Let us take this opportunity to be more cognizant of the footprint we leave, and have a greener Ramadan.
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Practical Ramadan Tips for New Muslims

written by Theresa Corbin for Al Jumuah

Entering into my 15th [now 16th] Ramadan, I feel an excitement building. I am looking forward to the fast of Ramadan and all the amazing things that come with it: growing spiritually, strengthening community ties, coming nearer to Allah, and much more.

However, it wasn’t always this way. I converted during the month of Ramadan and jumped straight into fasting even before I knew how to pray correctly. I want to be honest here. Those first fasts were hard. Very hard. Coming from a Catholic and American background, I had never experienced real fasting. The most I knew about fasting was eating less to fit in a smaller size and not eating meat on Fridays during Lent.

So my first Ramadan was a shock to my system. And as my second Ramadan approached, I was very nervous about my ability to endure. I feared the pains of hunger, the thirst that left me dehydrated, and the fatigue that comes along with fasting. I felt like this was something no one ever talked about and for good reason. Complaining about hunger, thirst, and fatigue defeats the purpose of fasting.

I realized a couple things during my struggle to acclimate to fasting.

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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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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”.

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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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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”.

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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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