Sunday, October 30, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

When Ramadhan began, I had no idea that my schedule would take a life on its own. I just thought I'd go for the free iftars (breaking the fast) on the Georgetown or GWU campuses and spend the night by myself reciting prayers and dua's (supplications). However, this month has been a flurry of activity which included tons of iftars of various cuisines with friends, praying together with other Muslims, deep conversations about life & Islam and introspection about what Islam & Shiaism in particular means to me.

I've hardly been at home & next week, I'll be heading out for my organization's conference Global Solutions, Local Connections: making the global local one activist at a time. Although I'm really excited about it since it will also be my first business trip, it'll be during Eid (the festival celebrating the end of Ramadhan), so I'm sure I will be a little homesick since I won't be celebrating it with my family or my Muslim friends. The most ironic thing is that on eid night (Thurs night) I will be at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport on transit!! Of all, the itineraries to New Mexico, it is weird that I will be at MSP on transit - it's really weird for me since Minnesota has always been an end point - HOME - for me.

When I get back on the 6th, I'll only have a few days before I have to attend another conference called "Exploring the Layers of Our Identity" by The Qunoot Foundation. The organization was created by my dear friends Zahir & Mohamed for three reasons: create opportunities and scholarships for American Muslims, organize youth driven forums and produce articles, podcasts, and research on issues relating to the American Shi'a Muslim community. I'm also very excited about this conference but in some ways, I feel like my November is already gone with these conferences & new exciting challenges at work! I guess, it's better to be busy than bored!

I always feel very sad about the last few days Ramadhan. To many this may seem weird because we can't eat or drink during the fast, but I will miss the spirit of this holy month. I have been able to get closer to the Muslim community in DC, which I am very grateful for, but I also wonder if I made the most of this month. This month is like a huge sale - everything is at least 50% off & all we have to do is take advantage of the bargains. Allah promises forgiveness and blessings during this month and I just hope I've been able to get a small portion of His bounty...

"In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful
I seek refuge with the majesty of Your gracious self
from the passing of the month of Ramadhan,
or the appearance of the dawn of this night,
while I still have a duty that I have not carried out,
or a sin that You may punish me for"