RELIGION

Beautiful Ramadan Photos From Around The World

Jul 14, 2014 | Updated Jul 15, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The holy month of Ramadan is being celebrated around the world as observant Muslims fast during the daylight hours. Though the fast is intended to emphasize personal discipline and a focus on spiritual rather than material things, it's also a time of celebration and feasting as communities come together to break the fast, traditionally beginning the meal with a date.

We will be updating this slideshow with Ramadan photos from around the world. Follow along to see how the international Muslim community observes this special holiday.

Ramadan 2014

07/28/2014 10:12 AM EDT

Eid Mubarak!

Eid al-Fitr is a day of great merriment and thanksgiving. Muslims celebrate by gathering with friends and family, preparing sweet delicacies, wearing new clothes, giving each other gifts and putting up lights and other decorations in their homes. A common greeting during this holiday is Eid Mubarak, which means, “Have a blessed Eid!”

See photos of the holiday here:

Click here for more information about Eid

07/28/2014 10:09 AM EDT

A Final Ramadan Reflection: Look Inside Your Heart

We have a commitment to each other in our shared humanity to be our very best on this day and every tomorrow that we are blessed to see. Don't be selfish and keep yourself from being surrounded by selfish people. The mindless consumption that renders a short-lived complacency from a simple a satiation of our stomachs should no longer be our pursuit. Instead elevate yourself to your highest station, free of any of fear of reaching your potential, and pursue real contentment by satisfying your soul through a nourishment that sees beyond the acquisition of things worldly. Do it so that the world will be better, even if it's just the world of those who are blessed to meet you. Where they might end up will be totally different because of how you impacted their life.

Read Imam Khalid Latif's full reflection here

07/24/2014 3:02 PM EDT

The Last Few Days Of Ramadan

07/24/2014 12:54 PM EDT

Ramadan Reflection Day #25: Yesterday I Met One of the Children of Gaza

As I am sure was the case with most of you, the last couple of weeks for me have been a roller coaster of emotions. The social media waves bombarding their respective networks with tweets and statuses filled with the faces of young, innocent Palestinian babies killed for no justifiable reason and the annoyance of those seeking still for some reason to justify it nonetheless has been more than intense. Our eyes have seen homes blown apart, people's faces fall as their lives shatter in front of them, the dirty realities of politics and the superficiality of some relationships. These images have hit us all hard, even those who knew better from before hand. How could one not be disturbed at such utter disregard for life?

gaza

Read Imam Khalid Latif's full reflection here

07/23/2014 12:36 PM EDT

Kid's Adorable Note Shows The True Meaning Of Ramadan

A Reddit user found a note outside his university which shows the real meaning of the holy month of Ramadan. It was shared with the explanation, "Kid's note about Ramadan - found outside my uni. I am not Muslim but this made my day."

Read more here

07/23/2014 9:55 AM EDT

Learning The Art Of Fasting

As I was sitting under an old Oak tree in Harvard Yard reading, the midday heat slowly crept up on me. I paused, put down my book, and observed the sunlight filtering through the green branches, causing tiny beads of sweat to form on my forehead. Coming from Europe, I had yet to get adjusted, not only to the intense heat, but also to the high demands of my educational endeavors, and life in the United States as a whole. In addition, having just recently embraced Islam as my religion of choice, I was still in the process of exploring my new faith.

The summer semester was soon to begin, and so was my first Ramadan. It was hot – too hot – and I couldn’t imagine fasting for over 16 hours each day, while at the same time taking classes, conducting research and studying for exams. I was about to give up before I even started. Picking up my book once again, I sifted through pages of poetry, and found some well needed inspiration:

"Stop eating bread. The sweet fast is here! You learned the art of eating. Now learn the art of fasting!"

Rumi’s call resonated. I too wanted to learn the art of fasting. Despite my concerns – and despite the heat – I was eager to find out the purpose and deeper meaning of Ramadan.

For many new Muslims, learning how to fast can be as rewarding as it is challenging. The process not only involves a change in eating and sleeping patterns, but also the acquisition of important religious practices, such as the nightly Taraweeh prayers. Perhaps the most valuable gift during this learning experience is the spiritual aspect of fasting, which involves establishing a connection with your inner self and the Devine. Despite the benefits however, fasting can be difficult, particularly for new Muslims whose bodies are not used to abstaining from food and water. Therefore, it is crucial to seek encouragement, support and guidance.

Luckily, I was surrounded by a vibrant Muslim community whose positive attitudes and uplifting spirits made fasting so much easier and enjoyable. I also signed up for a number of programs at local mosques, tailored specifically for converts. These programs ranged from classes regarding the basics of Islam, to monthly converTsations and iftar dinners for new Muslims and friends. Harnessing the power of social networks has also helped me to connect with and learn from likeminded individuals. Making use of these opportunities not only facilitated fasting, but also helped me to form enduring friendships, deepen my knowledge about Islam, and gain confidence as a new Muslim.

Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States and around the world. Nearly a quarter of the estimated six million American Muslims are converts, coming from diverse cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. It is therefore crucial to accommodate the needs of converts – not only during Ramadan but throughout the year – in order to facilitate the learning process and to support new Muslims in their quest for knowledge, meaning and purpose.

Thinking back, sitting and sweating under the old Oak in Harvard Yard, exited and anxious, inspired by Rumi to learn the art of fasting. I am now wondering, what did it teach me? Fasting cultivates within me – within us – important values. It teaches empathy towards the poor and the needy. It provides space for community and friendship. It teaches patience, gratitude and perseverance. Fasting empties our stomachs, yet nourishes our souls.

Michelle Bangert studies International Relations at Harvard University’s Division for Continuing Education, specializing in Middle Eastern Affairs. She is an avid believer in the power of storytelling. Follow her on Twitter at @michellebjj

07/23/2014 9:51 AM EDT

Ramadan For All

07/21/2014 12:31 PM EDT

See How Families Around The World Break Their Fasts

ramadan

This combination of two photos taken on Thursday, July 3, 2014, shows an Iranian Muslim family waiting to break their fast, top, and their meal, bottom, during the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran. After a long day of fasting, the moment of pay-off finally comes in the form of “iftar”, the evening meal that breaks the fast. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

See more here

07/17/2014 2:02 PM EDT

Imam Khalid Latif's 2014 Ramadan Reflections

07/16/2014 1:06 PM EDT

There Is Power In This

What happens when a billion people decide to collectively starve together?

RAMADAN!

The feelings of Ramadan are ones that Muslims know too well. It’s the most wonderful time of the year—so wonderful that it makes Christmas seem lame. There’s an air, a spiritual high of sorts—and once a year, the Muslim world gets a taste of what it’s like to embrace Islam in its true glory. Mixed with our bad breath is a wonderful sense of brotherhood, sisterhood, and community. We struggle together to refrain from food, and come together as a community almost every day- realizing once again why we like being Muslim. The struggle is there, but success is sweet, and it can be- dare we say it- fun!

We taste the unity, the sense of community and the beauty that can ensue when an ummah comes together in submission to the Almighty. We eagerly spend in the name of God, we work together, have dinners together, and we pray together . We give much in charity and we empathize with our brothers and sisters suffering around the world. We remember their plight and feel their pain. Some of us may even live in the mosque. We do all of this while we struggle to survive without food and water in the summer’s heat for 18 hours. For a month, we have the type of community that God envisioned for us to have throughout the entire year. We forsake the world for loftier goals, and we take pleasure in our worship. We take control of our own destinies, and become free in the way that God intended: submitting to Him entirely, free of any other attachment.

The beauty that we see in Ramadan is the result of a funky social experiment. This is what happens when people voluntarily starve together.

It’s not only beautiful, it’s a powerful idea. As Tariq Ramadan said: “Muslims, through this month of fasting are resisting: [showing] that they are against this order of profit and consumption." And, it’s true. There is nothing except for Allah SWT that can control us—there is nothing that we will not forsake in submission to Him. We will not bow to any system of power and greed. Materialism and satiation cannot control us—we control it. We are the epitome of self-control. We will resist and stay away from our most basic needs in submission to our Lord, and we will be united and composed even when ravenously hungry. Struggling together creates an unbreakable bond between us. In more revolutionary terms: There’s nothing they can do to stop us. Israel may wonder why starving Palestinians into submission to their internationally illegal occupation isn’t working, but to those who have seen Ramadan at work, it’s not that weird.

We will surely test you with a measure of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and fruits; and give good news to the patient—those who, when an affliction visits them, say, ‘Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him do we indeed return. [The Qur’an, 2:155-6]

Threatening us with starvation [or anything else] will not work in coercing us to submit to oppression. The truth of the matter is that we will voluntarily starve in submission to our Lord, in our journey for the truth. We will let go of our most basic needs in submission to God, and we cannot be tempted by desires or needs: we are headstrong.

There is power in this-- hold it.

-Fatimah Amirali

","short_text":"

If you haven't done so already, seek forgiveness from those whom you have wronged, and forgive those who have wronged you. #Ramadan

—...Read More"},{"id":"35","created":"07/15/2014 5:28 PM EDT","title":"Make Real Changes","tweet_link":"35_make-real-changes","entry_text":"

A truly meaningful #Ramadan is when you make the changes in your life that will continue after the holy month is over, stay focused.

— Khalid Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri) July 15, 2014

","short_text":"

A truly meaningful #Ramadan is when you make the changes in your life that will continue after the holy month is over, stay focused.

— Kh...Read More"},{"id":"34","created":"07/15/2014 11:04 AM EDT","title":"Another White House Iftar, Another Ramadan Without My Brother","tweet_link":"34_another-white-house-iftar-another-ramadan-without-my-brother","entry_text":"

As many Muslims sit down tonight to break their Ramadan fast at the annual White House iftar, a tradition started by President Bill Clinton, I am thinking about my brother Ahmed spending his 11th Ramadan away from my family.

President Obama, just as he has done every year since coming to office, will probably include in his remarks stories of successful Muslims making significant contributions to American society, attempting to show how interwoven Muslims are in the fabric of this country. What he won't mention, and what most in the room would rather not think about, is the growing number of Muslims who are victims of the U.S government's ruthless persecution of Muslims that includes spying, torture, and unfair trials.

Read more from Mariam Abu-Ali here

","short_text":"

As many Muslims sit down tonight to break their Ramadan fast at the annual White House iftar, a tradition started by President Bill Clinton, I am thinking about my brother Ahmed spending his 11th Ramadan away from my family.

President...Read More"},{"id":"33","created":"07/15/2014 11:02 AM EDT","title":"Amazing Ramadan Photos","tweet_link":"33_amazing-ramadan-photos","entry_text":"

Ramadan around the world!

More here

","short_text":"

Ramadan around the world!

More here

"},{"id":"32","created":"07/12/2014 12:30 PM EDT","title":"'I'm So Hungry' Parody Of Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy' Is The Ramadan Anthem You Need ","tweet_link":"32_im-so-hungry-parody-of-iggy-azaleas-fancy-is-the-ramadan-anthem-you-need-","entry_text":"

Read more from The Huffington Post here

","short_text":"

Read more from The Huffington Post here

"},{"id":"31","created":"07/11/2014 11:39 AM EDT","title":"Ramadan, Prayer, and Drawing Maps","tweet_link":"31_ramadan-prayer-and-drawing-maps","entry_text":"

Ever since I was a young girl, I knew that Ramadan was an extraordinary time of the year. It is a time when there was an abundance of everything in our lives -- food, family, friends, love, giving, forgiving, and prayers.

Much to the exasperation of my parents, I insisted on fasting all 30 of the fasts, including on school days, when I was only seven-years-old. My parents instructed my teacher to keep an eye on me -- to feed me and give me water if I felt faint. But I spent the whole day -- even sitting through lunch in the cafeteria- without craving a bite. Thoughts of iftar and breaking fast with my family kept me strong and full.

While breaking our fasts, Baba asked us to pray; to remember all that we were blessed with and to thank Allah for these blessings. He then reminded us of those who never broke their fasts because they were too poor to buy food to eat. Our iftars were a time for deep reflection.

Read more from Sabina Khan-Ibarra here

","short_text":"

Ever since I was a young girl, I knew that Ramadan was an extraordinary time of the year. It is a time when there was an abundance of everything in our lives -- food, family, friends, love, giving, forgiving, and prayers.

Much to the ...Read More"},{"id":"30","created":"07/10/2014 5:25 PM EDT","title":"Fasting Safely","tweet_link":"30_fasting-safely","entry_text":"

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has issued a leaflet with advice on how to fast safely in the current hot weather.

Read more here

","short_text":"

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has issued a leaflet with advice on how to fast safely in the current hot weather.

Read More"},{"id":"29","created":"07/09/2014 11:43 AM EDT","title":"Ramadan Reflection Day 10: I vs. We, Illness vs. Wellness","tweet_link":"29_ramadan-reflection-day-10-i-vs-we-illness-vs-wellness","entry_text":"

The Muslim community hasn't always been the best about dealing with real-life experiences, including issues relevant to mental health. In the United States at least, aside from a masjid in most cities, there is an absence of other much-needed organizations and social services. Mental health and counseling have been taboo at best for many years and now as people start to discuss these topics more, one adverse consequence is many in our community being more confused about what they are supposed to do with the information they are hearing and how it is supposed to fit into their lives.

...

In Ramadan you're going to find a lot of people who are coming to terms with certain things about themselves. In order to move forward, they will be taking on obstacles that have existed within themselves for years but they're only starting to see now. You don't have to be their adviser or counselor. You don't even have to be their friend. You just have to be there. Take a step toward them so that they can continue to take steps forward in their lives.

Read Imam Khalid Latif's full reflection here

\"ramadan\"

","short_text":"

The Muslim community hasn't always been the best about dealing with real-life experiences, including issues relevant to mental health. In the United States at least, aside from a masjid in most cities, there is an absence of other much-need...Read More"},{"id":"28","created":"07/08/2014 11:03 AM EDT","title":"The Lost Soul Of Shariah Law","tweet_link":"28_the-lost-soul-of-shariah-law","entry_text":"

Excerpted from Maryam Sakeenah's \"Boko Haram and the Crisis of Authority in the Muslim World\":

‘Whose Shariah?’, however, is a contentious, tricky question we do not have many answers to- but it is the very heart of the matter. The implications of this are seriously damaging to the wider interests of Islam.

Because this gives a distinct religious colour to the violent, attention-seeking tactics used by these groups, Islam is perceived as either intrinsically violent or with a dangerous potency to fuel religious violence. Simplified, reductionist stereotypes of Islam and Muslims are strengthened. This makes harder the task of peacemakers, healers and arbiters engaged in toning down the precarious polarization between Islam and ‘the West.’

The media shows such violence and militancy as essentially religious, not seeing it for its secular-materialist socio political underpinnings and the raw drive for winning power to redress perceived disempowerment by fringe groups.

Speaking of Boko Haram, it has been heartening to see Muslim opinion leaders and scholars speak out against its methods, emphatically dissociating it from mainstream Islam. However, highly needful as it was, what was found wanting was a more specific refutation of the textual basis from where such actions of such groups seek justification.

In fact, there is a vital and basic understanding almost missing from Muslim collective consciousness- that many minutiae of Islamic law are rooted in cultural context. They were neither revealed laws nor stipulated as universal, absolute unalterable laws by divine will. The Quran and sunnah directly address and legislate for a few matters, and these texts are but few compared to the entire volume of Islamic juristic literature which was compiled and developed over the historical evolution of Islamic civilization.

...

The failure of contemporary Muslim jurisprudence has been the inability to put the spirit at the core of the letter of the law and to make Muslims understand that the law exists to protect the essential values; that it is the protection of those values that are the heart of the matter, while laws are often bound by culture and historicity. This explains the unseeing literalism and fanaticism for restoring the letter of the Shariah in corrupt and decadent Muslim societies and the preoccupation with juristic nitpicking in the Muslim world.

It is the crisis of authority in the Muslim world due to which random groups pining for the return of Muslim glory make bold claims as to what constitutes Shariah law and give their own misconstrued versions tracing them back to sacred texts or early Muslim culture. Those who got together to condemn Boko Haram’s actions as unIslamic must also with a single voice present a blueprint of Islamic law that is relevant, practical and applicable today, in tune with contemporary cultural and socio political context. It is a long haul, but unless such a juristic magnum opus is initiated, twisted, grotesque and soulless versions of ‘Shariah’ will keep haunting us like a spectre. Authority as to who interprets religious law and how has to be won back.

Continue reading more from Maryam Sakeenah here

","short_text":"

Excerpted from Maryam Sakeenah's \"Boko Haram and the Crisis of Authority in the Muslim World\":

‘Whose Shariah?’, ...Read More"},{"id":"27","created":"07/08/2014 10:39 AM EDT","title":"Community","tweet_link":"27_community","entry_text":"

My name is Cody Scercy. I am twenty years old and a convert to Judaism. It has become my tradition, for the third consecutive year, to fast for the month of Ramadan in solidarity with the Muslim community. I'm from the small town of China Grove, North Carolina but I attended UNC Greensboro the year before last where I met some Muslim friends and became exposed to the Islamic community.

On July 5th, my synagogue, Temple Or Olam, will be doing a charitable act of Biblical origins. We will be gleaning a local farmer's corn field and donating it to the poor. Gleaning comes from the mandate in the Torah for farmers to leave an appointed portion of his crop unharvested to be given to the poor and needy (Leviticus 23:22). I can think of no other message more central to the theme of Ramadan than feeding the poor and hungry. As it is echoed within the Hebrew Bible: \"Is this such a fast I desire? A day for men to starve their bodies? Is it bowing the head like a bulrush and lying in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call that a fast; a favorable day of the L-rd? No, this is the fast I desire, to unlock the fetters of wickedness and untie the cords of the yoke. It is to share your bread with the hungry, and to take the poor into your home; when you see the naked, to clothe him and not to ignore your own kin\" (Isaiah 58:5-7). So, as I am fasting and my Jewish community is performing good deeds, know that you we stand with you in this holy time. We wish you all, Ramadan Mubarak!

","short_text":"

My name is Cody Scercy. I am twenty years old and a convert to Judaism. It has become my tradition, for the third consecutive year, to fast for the month of Ramadan in solidarity with the Muslim community. I'm from the small town of China Grove, North ...Read More"},{"id":"26","created":"07/07/2014 3:53 PM EDT","title":"The Skies Are Torn Apart By Sighs Of Fasting ","tweet_link":"26_the-skies-are-torn-apart-by-sighs-of-fasting-","entry_text":"

-Prayers in this month are answered, the skies are torn apart by the sighs of fasting.”—Rumi, Ghazal #2344

— Brad Gooch (@RumiSecrets) July 7, 2014

","short_text":"

-Prayers in this month are answered, the skies are torn apart by the sighs of fasting.”—Rumi, Ghazal #2344

— Brad Gooch (@RumiSecrets) Read More"},{"id":"25","created":"07/07/2014 3:37 PM EDT","title":"Solidarity","tweet_link":"25_solidarity","entry_text":"

Peace is more than the absence of war:Over 150 Hindu inmates keep #Ramadan roza along with 2300 Muslims at Tihar Jail pic.twitter.com/ne64no6QLL

— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) July 6, 2014

","short_text":"

Peace is more than the absence of war:Over 150 Hindu inmates keep #Ramadan roza along with 2300 Muslims at Tihar Jail Read More"},{"id":"24","created":"07/06/2014 9:14 PM EDT","title":"Fasting Wisdom from Rumi 'I empty my house to make room for you'","tweet_link":"24_fasting-wisdom-from-rumi-i-empty-my-house-to-make-room-for-you","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

“I empty my house to make room for you. I trim and prune myself, so that your love may grow and increase.”—Rumi, Ghazal 622

— Brad Gooch (@RumiSecrets) Read More"},{"id":"23","created":"07/04/2014 2:04 PM EDT","title":"Patience","tweet_link":"23_patience","entry_text":"

Many great thinkers have spoken about the value of #patience. This is a virtue everyone can strengthen by fasting during #Ramadan.

— Harris Zafar (@Harris_Zafar) July 3, 2014

","short_text":"

Many great thinkers have spoken about the value of #patience. This is a virtue everyone can strengthen by fasting during Read More"},{"id":"22","created":"07/04/2014 2:03 PM EDT","title":"DKNY Launches Ramadan Collection","tweet_link":"22_dkny-launches-ramadan-collection","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

‘Glam and modest’: #DKNY launches #Ramadan collection ht...Read More"},{"id":"21","created":"07/03/2014 2:57 PM EDT","title":"Ramadan Reflection Day 5: Change it to #EyalGiladNaftaliMuhammed","tweet_link":"21_ramadan-reflection-day-5-change-it-to-eyalgiladnaftalimuhammed","entry_text":"

\"Why is that in every piece written from the NY Times to CNN on Muhammed Abu Khdeir, all that is shown are images of soldiers fighting civilians? No tears, no sorrow, no grief to empathize with. Just images that add to the overt otherizing of a people that feel pain just like any other people would. Images that justify our own passivity to a real conflict that is taking place that all of our hearts should feel torn apart by. Images that make us numb to the reality that there are actual lives tied to the thousands of casualties of this conflict. Each one has a name and a narrative, including young Muhammed Abu Khdeir. He lived in the same land as Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel, was the same age as them, and lost his life senselessly just as they did. Why do we not get to see him? Some articles are not even mentioning his name. They are just referring to him as \"a young, Palestinian teen.\" His life, his Palestinian life, and the lives of countless others whose stories we will never hear, are just as important and we have a duty to sanctify each one.\"

Read the rest of Imam Khalid Latif's blog here.

","short_text":"

\"Why is that in every piece written from the NY Times to CNN on Muhammed Abu Khdeir, all that is shown are images of soldiers fighting civilians? No tears, no sorrow, no grief to empathize with. Just images that add to the overt otherizing of a people ...Read More"},{"id":"20","created":"07/03/2014 2:18 PM EDT","title":"Chinese Muslims Celebrate Ramadan","tweet_link":"20_chinese-muslims-celebrate-ramadan","entry_text":"

Even with China's recent sanctions on Ramadan fasting, these Chinese Muslims are celebrating the holy month.

\"ramadan\"

","short_text":"

Even with China's recent sanctions on Ramadan fasting, these Chinese Muslims are celebrating the holy month.

"},{"id":"19","created":"07/03/2014 2:02 PM EDT","title":"Ramadan Reflection Day 4: Mopping vs. Manliness -- You Don't Have to Be a Woman to Clean","tweet_link":"19_ramadan-reflection-day-4-mopping-vs-manliness-you-dont-have-to-be-a-woman-to-clean","entry_text":"

\"Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said of her husband: \"God's Messenger used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching his garment for lice, milking his sheep, and doing his own chores.\" She was once asked what did the Prophet use to do at home. She replied, \"He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was time for the prayer, he would get up for prayer.\"

In discussing this briefly with a few other men, the idea came up that women are \"supposed\" to be the ones that take care of the home and that's why they don't really do too much. Because Islam tells them not to. I guess someone must have forgot to tell that to the Prophet Muhammad since he seemingly helped around the house. It's a good thing that we know better today. (This is sarcasm, by the way, in case you are reading it as something else.)

Our ability to do should not be stifled by a weak argument of whether we are obligated to do or not. As husbands, brothers, sons, nephews, friends or guests, we as men should be doing our fair share and beyond, especially in this month of Ramadan.\"

Read the rest of Imam Khalid Latif's blog here.

","short_text":"

\"Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said of her husband: \"God's Messenger used to patch his sandals, sew his garment and conduct himself at home as anyone of you does in his house. He was a human being, searching ...Read More"},{"id":"18","created":"07/02/2014 4:52 PM EDT","title":"Ramadan Desserts","tweet_link":"18_ramadan-desserts","entry_text":"

Sweet tooth? Indulge with 10 Middle Eastern #Ramadan desserts http://t.co/mlOsITR3dz pic.twitter.com/aQOGax0aIf

— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) July 2, 2014

","short_text":"

Sweet tooth? Indulge with 10 Middle Eastern #Ramadan desserts http://t.co/mlOsITR3dz Read More"},{"id":"17","created":"07/02/2014 10:06 AM EDT","title":"Ramadan Reflection Day 3: The Problem With Conditional Compassion","tweet_link":"17_ramadan-reflection-day-3-the-problem-with-conditional-compassion","entry_text":"

\"Many of us like to treat the month of Ramadan as a spiritual bubble that serves as a retreat away from the world. We hope that for 30 days and 30 nights we can engage in introspection and spiritual growth. It's important to remember that whether it's Ramadan or not, life doesn't stop. Being in a real state of fasting should make us more sensitive to the realities that this world sometimes slaps us in the face with.

The news of the last 24 hours has been heartbreaking to say the least. From the Supreme Court ruling on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby to the explosive disruption of rockets in the Middle East, the world regularly reminds us that it is not an easy place to live in. To see the images of rockets blasting in Gaza brought tears to my eyes. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the people there. And to anyone who reads that sentence and says, \"What about the three Israeli boys whose bodies were found this week?\" I include them and their loved ones in my thoughts and prayers as well. My question is, what is really the implication of that question and do we understand how asking it is a key indicator of why we are not moving forward together, but quite separate from each other.\"

Continue reading Imam Khalid Latif's erflection here

\"ramdaan\"

","short_text":"

\"Many of us like to treat the month of Ramadan as a spiritual bubble that serves as a retreat away from the world. We hope that for 30 days and 30 nights we can engage in introspection and spiritual growth. It's important to remember that whether it's ...Read More"},{"id":"16","created":"07/01/2014 3:29 PM EDT","title":"","tweet_link":"16_","entry_text":"

#Ramadan 2014: Ideal meals for a 15-hour fast: http://t.co/J1m2FtIOPn pic.twitter.com/vBUX07KyBO #رمضان

— Elan Magazine (@elanthemag) July 1, 2014

","short_text":"

#Ramadan 2014: Ideal meals for a 15-hour fast: http://t.co/J1m2FtIOPn pic.twitt...Read More"},{"id":"15","created":"07/01/2014 11:33 AM EDT","title":"Unplugging This Ramadan","tweet_link":"15_unplugging-this-ramadan","entry_text":"

Unfortunately, I fall into the category of social media addict. I cannot live a day without checking into my Facebook. Lately, a lot of issues politically and socially have been driving me up the wall that my diarrhea of complaints and anger have been quite fatal on Facebook. I felt like it was getting quite out of hand and has negatively affected me both physically and psychologically.

So this Ramadhan, I decided to step back, stop all my social activities online, reflect on my current problems and retreat into a spiritual zone. It has been 3 days and it is working quite beautifully. Alhamdullillah syukur :)

(One great thing about fasting is the low energy level. No need to waste them on unnecessary anger or negativity.)

-Emilia Johari

Melbourne, Australia

","short_text":"

Unfortunately, I fall into the category of social media addict. I cannot live a day without checking into my Facebook. Lately, a lot of issues politically and socially have been driving me up the wall that my diarrhea of complaints and ange...Read More"},{"id":"14","created":"06/30/2014 5:12 PM EDT","title":"Indian and American Flavor of Ramadan by Dr. Afshan Hashmi","tweet_link":"14_indian-and-american-flavor-of-ramadan-by-dr-afshan-hashmi","entry_text":"

\"Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and this holy month lasts for 29-30 days depending upon the visual sightings of the moon. I am originally from India and now live in USA. As soon as Ramadan starts in India, in my town of Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, there are decorated markets and stalls of various Mughal -inspired food everywhere in bazaars. Last year at the time of Ramadan I was in India and not a single day passed where I did not attend Iftar (refers to the evening meal when Muslims break their fast at the time of sunset).

Along with my family and friends we invited people who are deprived of festivities of Ramadan due to their financial condition. It gave me so much comfort and happiness to feed these underprivileged individuals. There were huge gatherings at my place in Aligarh of people praying together at the night of power which is considered the most holy nights of the year. Also there was so much happy energy around where we all shopped for new clothes for Eid.

In USA we celebrate Ramadan with friends and on weekends go to mosque to pray besides the special evening prayers taraweeh which we also offer in special gatherings alongwith friends and do lot of charity in this month. Besides this we enjoy the company of friends on Iftaar either at each other’s place or in mosque. The foods prepared for iftar are a gastronomic delight and we love preparing it and sharing with friends as well as with people who are facing economic difficulty in their lives. We look forward for Chaad Raat fair a night before Eid for getting in the mood of Eid.

Happy Ramadan friends!!\"

-Dr. Afshan Hashmi

","short_text":"

\"Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and this holy month lasts for 29-30 days depending upon the visual sightings of the moon. I am originally from India and now live in USA. As soon as Ramadan starts in India, in my town of Aligarh in Uttar Pr...Read More"},{"id":"13","created":"06/30/2014 5:10 PM EDT","title":"10 Photos That Show How Ramadan Can Bring Muslims Together ","tweet_link":"13_10-photos-that-show-how-ramadan-can-bring-muslims-together-","entry_text":"

These photos show just how powerful Ramadan can be as a unifying holy month take a look here!

\"ramadan\"

Indian Muslim religious students read the Koran at a madrassa during the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan in Mumbai on June 30, 2014. (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

","short_text":"

These photos show just how powerful Ramadan can be as a unifying holy month take a look here!


\nIndian Muslim religio...Read More"},{"id":"12","created":"06/30/2014 9:54 AM EDT","title":"","tweet_link":"12_","entry_text":"

Two young men came by our Islamic Center at New York University the other day as we were getting things ready for Ramadan to start, one of Albanian/Bosnian descent from Staten Island and the other of South Asian descent from Virginia. I shook their hands and gave them hugs and asked how they were doing. As our conversation continued, a pattern started to develop. I would speak, the young South Asian man would listen attentively, and then he would sign what I had said to his friend, \"hear\" him through his own signing, and then tell me what he said. We did this because both of these young men were deaf, and I don't know sign language.

The experience also made me reflect on my own relationship with my prayer and the Qur'an itself. These young men would do anything to be able to hear the Qur'an, and they even stand in prayer despite not being able to hear it.

Read entire reflection

","short_text":"

Two young men came by our Islamic Center at New York University the other day as we were getting things ready for Ramadan to start, one of Albanian/Bosnian descent from Staten Island and the other of South Asian descent from Virginia. I shook their han...Read More"},{"id":"11","created":"06/28/2014 2:09 PM EDT","title":"Ramadan Reflections To Welcome The Muslim Month Of Fasting","tweet_link":"11_ramadan-reflections-to-welcome-the-muslim-month-of-fasting","entry_text":"

HuffPost Religion asked some of our favorite writers to share with us their thoughts about the spiritual meaning of Ramadan, collected here. You can also send in your own reflections to our Ramadan Live Blog.

We wish all our Muslim sisters and brothers Ramadan Kareem!

Read all the reflections here

","short_text":"

HuffPost Religion asked some of our favorite writers to share with us their thoughts about the spiritual meaning of Ramadan, collected here. You can also send in your own reflections to our Ramadan Live Blog.

We wish all our Muslim sisters and br...Read More"},{"id":"10","created":"06/28/2014 10:04 AM EDT","title":"World Cup's Muslim Players Face Big Challenge With Ramadan Fast","tweet_link":"10_world-cups-muslim-players-face-big-challenge-with-ramadan-fast","entry_text":"

RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) As the World Cup reaches the quarter finals this Saturday (June 28), a number of Muslim players whose teams have made it through the tough group matches will be facing a bigger challenge off the field than on it.

The holy month of Ramadan coincides for the first time since 1986 with the soccer tournament. The 30-day period of fasting and prayer, which requires dawn to dusk abstinence from food, drink and sex, begins Saturday and is expected to end July 28.

Read whole article

","short_text":"

RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) As the World Cup reaches the quarter finals this Saturday (June 28), a number of Muslim players whose teams have made it through the tough group matches will be facing a bigger challenge off the field than on it.

The holy mon...Read More"},{"id":"9","created":"06/27/2014 4:59 PM EDT","title":"President Obama's Ramadan Wishes","tweet_link":"9_president-obamas-ramadan-wishes","entry_text":"

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to Muslim communities here in the United States and around the world on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan.

A time for self-reflection and devotion through prayer and fasting, Ramadan is also an occasion when Muslims around the world reaffirm their commitment to helping the less fortunate, including those struggling because of economic hardship and inequality. Here in the United States, we are grateful to the many Muslim American organizations, individuals, and businesses that are devoted to creating opportunity for all by working to reduce income inequality and poverty, not only through their charitable efforts, but also through their initiatives to empower students, workers and families with the education, skills and health care they deserve.

Ramadan also reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves and the basic principles that bind people of different faiths together: a yearning for peace, justice, and equality. At a moment when too many people around the world continue to suffer from senseless conflict and violence, this sacred time reminds us of our common obligations to pursue justice and peace and to uphold the dignity of every human being.

As I’ve done every year as President, I look forward to welcoming Muslim Americans from across the United States to the White House for an iftar dinner. It will be another opportunity for me to convey America’s appreciation for the contributions of Muslim Americans to our country and to wish Muslims around the world a month blessed with the joys of family, community, peace and understanding. Ramadan Kareem.

Read more:

","short_text":"

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan

On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to Muslim communities here in the United States and around the world on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan.Read More"},{"id":"7","created":"06/27/2014 4:38 PM EDT","title":"Macy's Celebrates Ramadan With ModernEID","tweet_link":"7_macys-celebrates-ramadan-with-moderneid","entry_text":"

Thank you to everyone who came out today to celebrate Ramadan with Macy's South Coast Plaza and modernEID. Such... http://t.co/1Gx2NN1xF6

— modernEID (@modernEID) June 26, 2014

","short_text":"

Thank you to everyone who came out today to celebrate Ramadan with Macy's South Coast Plaza and modernEID. Such... http://t.co/1Gx2NN1xF6

— modernEID (@mod...Read More"},{"id":"6","created":"06/27/2014 4:21 PM EDT","title":"Ramadan Tweets Around The World","tweet_link":"6_ramadan-tweets-around-the-world","entry_text":"

How #Ramadan is Tweeted around the world with this story map. #RamadanCountdown LINK: http://t.co/06xYMpSGLe pic.twitter.com/KXVEtfvQlq

— Twitter Data (@TwitterData) June 26, 2014

","short_text":"

How #Ramadan is Tweeted around the world with this story map. #RamadanCountdown&#...Read More"},{"id":"5","created":"06/27/2014 3:54 PM EDT","title":"How Long Muslims Fast For Ramadan Around The World","tweet_link":"5_how-long-muslims-fast-for-ramadan-around-the-world","entry_text":"

HuffPost Religion has created an infographic to show how long the fast will last in cities around the world, by calculating the time between Fajr and Maghrib. Check it out below:

Graphic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post.

Click here for more

","short_text":"

HuffPost Religion has created an infographic to show how long the fast will last in cities around the world, by calculating the time between Fajr and Maghrib. Check it out below:


\nGraphic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post....Read More"},{"id":"4","created":"06/27/2014 3:51 PM EDT","title":"When Does The Fast Begin?","tweet_link":"4_when-does-the-fast-begin","entry_text":"

#ramadan basics: The fast begins at first light of dawn - not sunrise - and is broken at sunset.

— Ingrid Mattson (@IngridMattson) June 27, 2014

","short_text":"

#ramadan basics: The fast begins at first light of dawn - not sunrise - and is broken at sunset.

— Ingrid Mattson (@IngridMattson) Read More"},{"id":"3","created":"06/27/2014 3:51 PM EDT","title":"The Purpose Of Fasting","tweet_link":"3_the-purpose-of-fasting","entry_text":"

#ramadan basics: The purpose of fasting is not to inflict suffering but to get stronger - it is a kind of spiritual athleticism.

— Ingrid Mattson (@IngridMattson) June 27, 2014

","short_text":"

#ramadan basics: The purpose of fasting is not to inflict suffering but to get stronger - it is a kind of spiritual athleticism.

— Ingrid...Read More"},{"id":"2","created":"06/27/2014 10:52 AM EDT","title":"Twitter Celebrates Ramadan","tweet_link":"2_twitter-celebrates-ramadan","entry_text":"

Ramadan 2014 is upon us and Twitter is joining in the celebrations this year with special icons, instant iftar times, and an interactive map.

Ahmad AbouAmmo, Twitter's Head of Media Partnerships for the MENA region, rolled out the new features with a blog post, saying, \"Ramadan is an important event around the world — full of celebration, friends and families. We look forward to seeing how many of you come together to share these special moments on Twitter.\"

So what can we look forward to this year?

Find out here!

","short_text":"

Ramadan 2014 is upon us and Twitter is joining in the celebrations this year with special icons, instant iftar times, and an interactive map.

Ahmad AbouAmmo, Twitter's Head of Media Partnerships for the MENA region, rolled out the new features wi...Read More"},{"id":"1","created":"06/27/2014 10:50 AM EDT","title":"Ramadan 101","tweet_link":"1_ramadan-101","entry_text":"

Ramadan 2014: Facts, History, Dates, Greeting And Rules Of The Muslim Fast

Read more here

","short_text":"

Ramadan 2014: Facts, History, Dates, Greeting And Rules Of The Muslim Fast

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