Monday, October 03, 2005

Ramadhan Mubarak & more!

Shalam (I read this somewhere & really like the way it combines the Jewish & Muslim greetings),

Well, the most important month for Muslims is finally here, where millions of Muslims will fast for a whole month - from dawn to dusk. Unfortunately, every year, different Muslim scholars and communities within the US & around the world politicize the whole concept of moonsighting (to determine the start of the month) & rarely, do Muslims end up starting it or ending it together. To me, it's a real pity & a disgusting take on the state of Muslim communities today - even when we have technology to determine astronomical accuracy.

In Dubai, it was rare for Shias & Sunnis to celebrate the first of Ramadhan or Eid together - mainly because UAE would follow what Saudi Arabia had to say and we would go according to Iran or Bahrain, since we don't trust the Wahabi government - for a good reason! Even when I was in Jordan 2 years ago, I was surprised that Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon & Egypt celebrated Eid one day while the rest of the Arab world chose another day.

Although I understand that moonsighting is interpreted differently according to the various jurisprudence and it also depends greatly where you live, there is only one moon for crying out loud! For great commentary on this check out A united Ramadan? Shut yo mouth! and Luna(r)cy.

Despite all the politics, it's my favorite time of the year because of the spirit, the holiness of the month, the togetherness of Muslims, the beautiful prayers and of course, the great food! :o)

It will be interesting to see how this month goes for me as I spend it away from my family and my community - but I'm still excited because I have made so many new Muslim friends in DC, and I'm sure it'll be a great spiritual experience and a lot of fun trying out a whole new way of celebrating the month. What I am also looking forward to our all the iftaars (when we break our fast) esp since GWU & G'town will be offering free ones during the week!

Click here for a great resource on Ramadhan.

Tonight is also a special night for Jews as they begin their High Holy Days: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. So, for all of you celebrating those events, I wish you a blessed holiday too.