Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eid al Fitr

According to the proper Islamic traditions, Eid Al-Fitr is on Tuesday, Sept 30th. Islam requires only that one or two trustful sources have reported the naked-eye sighting of the new moon anywhere in the world for the rest of the Muslims (no matter where they are) to break their fast.

A lot of fitna has been produced by so-called modern "fiqh councils". However "la ta3t elMakhlooq fi ma3siyat al Khaliq" (there is no following the one who has been created (man) in the disobedience of the Creator) - AND "Whosoever obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah (God)".

A Fatwa (or religious verdict) cannot be made to change a matter for which precedent has already been set by Allah and his Messenger. In this matter, precedent has been set, so it is upon the servants of God to obey and encourage their leaders to fall in line with what is Islamically correct.

Verily we are living in times of fitna and in need of reform. Let's take example from Imam Hasan al-Basri who humbly and effectively began the reformation of Islam to bring it back to the teachings of the Qur'an after the two fitnas. (for more on that, please see my article on suite101.com on Islamic Reformation and Hasan al-Basri).

Just because a "ruling" may come from Saudi Arabia or an American or European "Fiqh Council", does not mean it is correct. I encourage everyone to be responsible for obtaining proper knowledge and to keep their leaders in check armed with that knowledge. When a person lets knowledge disappear, they are lost.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Laylat El-Qadr

Laylat el-Qadr (the Night of Power) is estimated to occur during the last 10 days of Ramadan. Many speculate that it is the 27th night, others say it is any odd night. I think it is best to say that Allah alone knows best.

Having said that, I just had to share somthing. While I was praying Taraweeh alone tonight, the ground trembled beneath my feet. When I would finish each 2 rakats, it would stop. Let me make it more clear: Whenever I was reading Qur'an out loud or making du'a aloud, the ground shook, subhanAllah - when I would stop, nothing. I literally thought that I was going to fall through the floor.

I just wanted to share that and see if anyone else had a similar experience tonight, as we are in the last ten nights of Ramadan. You can ridicule me all you want, but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

One more thing... during the second week of Ramadan, I happened to be making more du'a than usual while facing the heavens, and a shooting star shot down exactly where I was looking. It really sent happy shivers down my spine. There is barely over a week of Ramadan left, everyone. Let's try to get the most out of it!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ramadan is Zooming By

It is hard to believe that the last time I posted was 9 days ago (the first day of Ramadan)! Ramadan is about 1/3 over. It may be hard for those who do not fast to understand that Ramadan feels like a guest coming to visit you - the kind of guest who's company you enjoy - and when that guest leaves you miss it.

With Taraweeh prayers at night, and fasting in the day it has been hard to keep blogging. I just want to say to those out there who are observing this month of Ramadan to remember that a lot of it is about learning to control one's self and one's desires. Keep this in mind, when remembering that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said that if one intentionally breaks his fast for one day during Ramadan without an excuse, even if he spent the rest of his life fasting it will not make up for that day.

Peace out folks!

Monday, September 1, 2008

First Iftar (Fast-Breaking) of Ramadan

All of you will be greatly relieved that I did not spend my first Iftar eating a Hot Pocket alone. I was invited to break fast with a very lovely family and my son who had just arrived back from the conference.

Here is a "shout out" to that family: "Jazakum Allahu khairan" (May God reward you with Good). You know who you are. What a wonderful Indian meal - MMMmmmmmm!

I still have my name on that Hot Pocket though - this time for Suhur (the meal before beginning the fasting day).

Here is my question though - I was told that they didn't see my blog yet (only because I wondered if they had seen Brother Ali's video "Ramadan Reruns" on it) and all I got was shrugged shoulders - yet when we were leaving, the sister gave me a container of dates saying, "You said you didn't have any dates". All fine and dandy - God bless her.

This is where it gets interesting folks... I didn't mention anything about having or not having dates - but it IS written in my blog below. How embarrassing! Do you think I got a pity invite?

Well, everyone, here is how to do it - if you want to get invited somewhere for Iftar announce that you are planning on staying home alone and eating a Hot Pocket!

First Day of Fasting Ramadan

Ramadan Kareemun Mubarak to all of you "celebrating" Ramadan today. Yes, today is (was for some of you) the first day of fasting. As is to be expected, my mouth feels like sticky cardboard - after the third day that kinda goes away. When one thinks about the blessings of the sacrifice though, it is easy to make peace with a cardboard tongue - it is kind of like a badge of honor.

Probably many of you are expecting me to make some exotic meal to break my fast with - a lamb and rice dish with sides of hummus and chutneys and salads. Sorry to disappoint you - it's Hot Pocket night for me (the 4 cheese one).

I haven't found any dates yet (edible ones folks - mind outta the gutter, we're fasting here), so I will actually break fast with plain water, pray, then eat the Hot Pocket. You see, people? It doesn't have to be complicated. Besides, that 4-Cheese Hot Pocket is basically nothing more than "Mana'eesh bi-Jibnah" except that it only takes 90 seconds to make!

I wish a successful fast to everyone inshallah!