One of the health hazards associated with living under Saudi Wahhabi-style Islam is a significant risk to expressing any views that might be interpreted to be offensive or irreverent. Another health hazard, one that can be found in nearly every flavor of Islam, is the fasting observed by many during this time of the lunar year. Continue reading “Haramadan 3: Fasting & Other Health Hazards”→
There are other aspects of my cultural and religious background that I continue to honor or at least acknowledge for a variety of reasons: Filial duty, unchecked expectations, checked associations, the die-hard nature of old habits, and even, when it comes to a few specific things, a tinge of fond nostalgia.
Ten years ago, I would have spent my early afternoon reciting al-Fatihah at least four times, chanting Allah hu akbar seemingly endless times to mark my transition from motion to motion. Today, instead, I say the names of people I don’t know, people whose lives were cut short: Sharonda Coleman-Singleton. Clementa Pinckney. Cynthia Hurd. Tywanza Sanders. Myra Thompson. Ethel Lee Lance. Daniel L. Simmons. Depayne Middleton. Susie Jackson.
I’ve not been as active as I had in a while, so to get myself back on track, I’m going to start the Haramadan Chronicles in this Year of Migration 1436*. I’m going to be reflecting and writing, facetiously and seriously, here and on other outlets, on my history with the Islamic month of fasting and its accompanying traditions, rituals, and routines. Dedicated self-reflection and ritual are the only aspects of Ramadan I have truly missed; now that I’m fairly comfortable with my apostasy, there is no reason for me not to give that part of it a whirl again.
Making this especially fun is the fact that my Hijri birthday is the 5th of Ramadan, my partner Danny‘s is the first of Shawwal (aka the day of Eid ul-Fitr), and he is going to be experiencing Ramadan and Eid firsthand for the first time this year.