Ramadan mubarak!

Ramadan mubarak!

I’m still fumbling around without enough brainpower to write, but I am still obsessed with buzzfeed, which has a relatively cute post about fasting here.

Also the Atlantic has done its traditional big, shiny picture spread of Ramadan celebrations here.

For the non-Muslims out there, I’ve always been told by Muslims that fasting in the summer is harder (and from the couple of times I’ve done it, that was my experience, as well) – obviously the days are longer, so it’s a longer period of fasting, and also the heat can make the negative side-effects worse.  So if your Muslim friends seem a little more stressed than usual, this may be the culprit.

I’ve seen a couple of posts floating around tumblr and the blogosphere asking people to tag food posts for the next month, which I think is a great idea – if you’re in the habit of posting foodie pictures or recipes, just tag them as “food” so that people who are fasting can easily skip over them if they want.

I also try to be conscientious about eating and drinking in public during Ramadan – again, I’ve only fasted a few times myself, but the times I’ve done it, watching someone down a bottle or water or snack on a granola bar when I know I can’t do either for several more hours was torturous.  So I try not to eat or drink in public spaces that aren’t meant for eating (like restaurants or the student center, etc.).

Ramadan is also meant to be a celebration and expression of the goodness of people, which is definitely something non-Muslims can participate in.  Donating to charity is obvious one part of this – I know times are tight all around, so that’s not always on option.  Remember you can also donate clothes, canned goods, and time.  The hanger trick is always good for clothes – rehang your closet with all of the hangers pointing out.  Each time you wear something, turn the hanger around to face in.  After six months, donate everything that’s still facing out.  For food, if you have a membership card to CostCo or any other bulk food store, check for bulk discounts on non-perishables.  In addition to canned goods, lots of shelters accept donations of paper products and disposable diapers, which you can often get for cheap in bulk.  You can even donate old towels and sheets to animal shelters, to be used as dog beds.

In general, Ramadan is a time for reflection and self-awareness of the things that make us all human.  Which is something I think we all need from time to time.  So ramadan mubarak!

About askanislamicist

I'm an academic who specializes in early Islamic history and the history of religious interactions, who, in her free time, enjoys shouting into the internet.
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