Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9th begins the Islamic celebration of a month of fasting from before sunrise to sunset, generosity and kindness to those less fortunate, and a time of personal re-evaluation, and a purifying of the soul.
This is a re-posting of my post for Ramadan 2011. Last year I was fasting with a beautiful adopted family in Texas.. We never know from year to year where we might be, or where our holidays might find us…This year I am in Costa Rica and feel connected to all who will be fasting..
I wrote this poem below in 2007 when Ramadan was thought to fall on September 13th, and I was living in Jordan. It falls about 10 days earlier on the Gregorian Calendar every year.
I performed it yesterday in a reading at the Criss Museum in SL and a few people have asked to see the words. It is a poetic and simple sketch of some of the moments lived in this blessed month. In the hopes of sharing and bringing more understanding about a tradition many do not know much about, I offer it here on my blog today.
Ramadan Impressions 2007
The naked eye sees new moon over the horizon peek,
Mouth -to -mouth the news is spread around the world.
Ears on buzzing phone lines, whole networks going down;
Millions jumping in their cars to buy last minute treats.
Dates and cookies;
Nuts and seeds,
Fruit and tea..
don’t forget the dried apricot drink
Or sweet coffee.
Keep our bottled water at bedside,
Before dawn take our last drink.
Offer this time to cleansing our soul,
For healing the world
while fasting one month,
We should think of those who starve all year.
Time for us to read and reflect,
The Quran helps our spirits prepare.
When we hear the adthan being sung
We pray together, and it’s a family affair.
At sunset we wait for the muezzin to chant,
Break our fast with dates, water and prayer,
Eat fatoosh, lentil soup, “Pass the stuffed grape leaves please,”
Then walk to mosque, in the cool evening air.
We visit our neighbors and relatives,
Talk and watch our favorite Ramadan fare,
Give alms to the poor and be kind to all,
Let our generosity show that we care.
We go to bed late after having sahour
A tasty 2am lunch to help our bodies repair.
Then wake before dawn and wash ourselves well,
The fast is renewed with the next Morning- Prayer.
Even young children take part in the fast.
They feel grown-up and proudly aware
We decorate our homes in stars and crescent moons,
And feel festive when we go anywhere.
Nothing can describe after fasting, the taste
Of a sip of water, or a bite of date.
A deliciously humbling flavor of gratitude
That is totally beyond compare.
By Karima 2007
Ramadan begins tomorrow for millions of muslims inshallah, as the new moon has been sighted. “Fatoosh” is a delicious salad of cucumber, tomato, radish onion with lemon peel all chopped fine with large bread crumbs in an oil in and lemon dressing..yummy 🙂 “Inshallah” means God Willing.
The “adthan” is another word for the muezzins call to prayer. Ramadan is a blessed and anticipated holiday every year of sacrifice and satisfaction lived together in family.