30 days through Muslim America

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▲ Day 1, New York City: A congregant hurries his meal as the call to prayer is announced at the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood.

Bassam Tariq: During Ramadan last year, Aman Ali and I visited 30 mosques in 30 days around New York City. Regular Boing Boing readers may remember our two-week stint guestblogging here during that experiment. This year, while I was in Pakistan, we decided on a whim to revisit that adventure, but this time, take on the rest of America. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into.

Our Ramadan road trip this year drew much interest from big media, thanks to the "Ground Zero Mosque controversy" and Terry Jones' Quran-burning fiasco. It was unsettling to sit through interview after interview, fielding questions about mosque construction and the state of the American Muslim community. Every TV interview eventually veered into "Islam on trial" territory, and we were the ones defending it. Aman and I became Ambassador Muslim. It sucked.

Ramadan ended, the news cycle moved on, and we were lost to the archives. We're good for clicks, but only when we're controversial. And as far as that part goes, I am happy it's all over.

But I'll miss every other part of our 30-day adventure. It's been two weeks since we've been back and already I miss the road, the people we met, and the America I experienced.

The following photos come from our month-long road trip through Muslim America. I've selected a special assortment of images for Boing Boing, and am honored to share these photos with you.

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▲ Day 2, Maine: Two young men take turns reciting verses they have memorized from the Quran. Both were brought from a special Islamic school in Buffalo, NY to lead the special night prayer during the month of Ramadan.

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▲Day 4, Pennsylvania: A woman meditates near the grave site of Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, a Sufi saint from Sri Lanka who passed away in 1985 in the USA.

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▲Day 4, Pennsylvania: A row of ladies get ready for the sunset prayers, Maghrib. I later commented to one of the mosque caretakers that I had never prayed with this many white people before. I'm happy I got a chuckle.

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▲Day 6, Atlanta, Georgia: A young student at the Muhammad School pays close attention to her social studies teacher as she takes notes. The Muhammad School is an organization established in the late 1980s that prides itself in a 100% college transition rate.

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▲Day 6, Atlanta, Georgia: One of the the Lady Caliphs, the name of the Muhammad School's girl's basketball team, saves the ball from falling out of bounds.

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▲Day 8, Jacksonville, Florida: A boy jumps off the slide. Soon enough, the other kids follow suit.

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▲Day 11, Houston, Texas: At the Nigerian Mosque, three girls compete to see who can put on their hijab (head scarf) the fastest.

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▲ Day 14, Colorado: Shaikh Abu Omar fled Iraq in the 60's and since then has made Colorado his home. He sticks his tongue out in hopes of ruining the photos I was taking. If only he knew how much he helped, instead!

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▲ Day 15, Abiquiu, New Mexico: Benyamin (left) and AbdurRauf stand by the door of the prayer hall of Dar Al Islam. Dar al Islam is a large educational facility built in a traditional North African Nubian architecture style.

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▲Day 16, Phoenix, Arizona: The loneliest girl to ever sit on a swing, attempts to swing.

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▲Day 17, Santa Ana, California: Two Cambodian Muslim youth play basketball in the field outside of the Indo-Chinese Muslim Refugee Center. Muslim Cambodians live in homes arranged around the compound. Many of them fled from the brutal Khmer Rogue regime in the early 1980s.

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▲Day 20, Boise Idaho: Fahruddin is 21 years old, and is the visiting Imam from Bosnia. He stands outside of the mosque during soccer practice.

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▲Day 18, Las Vegas, Nevada: A boy attempts to jump an elevated chain in the parking lot of the Islamic Society of Nevada.

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▲Day 22, Ross, North Dakota: The first mosque in the United States used to stand here. It was built in 1929, then demolished in the 1970s due to family issues. Only recently, in 2005, did some of the family decide to a build a small building to commemorate community members who have passed away.

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▲Day 23, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Eid Ali, a cab driver in Minneapolis, checks his light fixture to see if it is working. The Somali refugee community in Minneapolis is large: by some estimates, more than 20,000.

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▲Day 25, Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Aziza Igram, a first-generation Syrian immigrant to the United States, shows a picture of the Mother Mosque, formerly known as the "Moslem Temple." The Mother Mosque is considered the longest standing mosque in all of North America.

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▲Day 30, Canton, Michigan: Our last stop before New York leads us to the largest population of Muslims in North America, Dearborn, Michigan. We also end up visiting neighboring cities densely populated with Muslims. Here, an uncle who is a local community leader lands an epic hit—making him the champion for the day.

52 Responses to “30 days through Muslim America, a photo essay”

  1. TinSoldier says:

    Great photos!

  2. ibbers says:

    awesome photos, bro! haven’t been to a masjid in years, and these took me back a bit – can remember many a masjid being simply microcosms of the broader muslim world, and just, well, ordinary centres of community at the same time.

    well done, and thanks for the smiles :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    wonderful photos! thank you for sharing an otherwise (rather) invisible part of America to the rest with the world.
    br / tobias, stockholm

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for bring this photo essay to the public! The comments were almost as interesting as the photos. Nice camera work too!
    Very insightful observations about post modern attitudes. I remember giving this explanation to my neice, now grown but 10 years at the time: “OK, remember the guy born at Christmas? Easter is about his death and going to heaven.”
    As far as I know, this could have been the first she heard of it despite her heritage as a caucasian kid descended from a family that considered themselves Christian including a couple of circuit riding preachers in the deep south. Now aged 25, she probably couldn’t tell you why there is bread and wine at a communion service. That’s not necessarily a judgement call but a commentary/snapshot of American life.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What great photos, and I love the little snippets of history that go with some of them.

    shukran!

  6. Egyptgrrrrl says:

    Salaams (Peace) Raum,
    Wow, man, that IS disappointing if the dude couldn’t explain what Ramadan was in any meaningful way. Here goes my humble attempt.

    1. The Islamic and Judaic calendars are both on a lunar cycle as opposed to the Chrisitan calendar that is based on a soloar cycle. The Jewish calendar is adjusted about 2 weeks ever year which is why you see dates stay in the same general time frame.

    2. Ramadan is the 9the month of the Islamic calendar. We begin and end our months obviously by the sighting of the new crescent moon, “hilal” in Arabic. Note the symbol of Islam is the crescent moon.

    3. It was during this blessed month that the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)was contemplating in a cave high above Mecca as was his habit. He was visited by the Angel Gabriel(PBUH) and commanded. “Iqra!(Read!)In the name of your Lord who created Man out of a clot and taught him what he knew not”.

    4. The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was illiterate and the order to read was contrary to his abilities. However the divine words of the Creator were sealed upon his heart by the Angel Gabriel and this is how the Holy Qur’an came to Mankind and was revealed to the Prophet by Angel Gabriel (PBUH). Ramadan is also recognition of when Almighty God (Allah swt) once again spoke to Man and gave him guidance.

    5. Ramadan is a blessed month to Muslims because it is the month of the Qur’an but also it is when the gates of Paradise are open and the Gates of Hellfire are shut and the devils are chained.

    6. During Ramadan, Allah swt requires all ABLE Muslims to fast from dawn(not sunrise) to sunset. Avoiding all normal desires, food, water, intimacy, smoking and our focus in on our connection with the Creator of All Things, and the rights of the poor upon us.

    7. It is not only the stomach that is supposed to fast. The eyes fast, the tongue fasts, the ears fast, the heart fasts.

    8. It is said that if all one gets from fasting Ramadan is hunger and thirst then they have truly wasted the Month of Mercy.

    (PBUH)- Peace be upon him – we say that after the names of all the Noble Prophets
    (swt) – translated loosely as “Exalted and Mighty is He” after the name of God in Arabic “Allah”.

    Hope that helps. Maybe you can try fasting a day next year with Muslim friends just to experience what it’s like.

    • mindysan33 says:

      Well, I think that Egyptgrrl explained it all for us non-Muslims! Thanks!

      Although, one slight correct regarding Christian holidays, and I could be wrong, but I believe that the Christian holiday of Easter is also set to the lunar calendar (as it moves every year). You have to remember that most of the Christian holidays in Europe were set to help convert pagans, so holidays often coincided with Pagan holidays (Christmas was at mid-winter, Easter with the spring rites, hallows mas as all saints day, etc). Much of the imagery even remained –Christmas tree, yule log, Easter bunny, etc — even Christ’s sacrifice can be seen as similar to pagan death and rebirth notions.

      cmderfire — maybe you are thinking of another holiday? Isn’t there a time period where Muslims are supposed to go to Mecca in honor of this event?

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        About Easter: IIRC there was once a sect of heretics prosecuted by the Church, who had committed the unpardonable sin of insisting upon holding the Easter celebration on a fixed date, every year.

        I suppose one really ought to wear breathing apparatus while exploring old ruins: sometimes while excavating, one may disturb pockets of poisonous gases, no matter how careful one may otherwise be.

  7. Raum187 says:

    Hi there, Great photos. They look like a beautiful slice-of-life; which raises an important question, for me – what is Ramadan?

    One of my company’s branch offices has a very strong Muslim contingent (which is kind of strange in New Zealand). I was visiting recently and I overhead a co-worker asking an observant chap what Ramadan is. More importantly, where the tradition comes from. The young man couldn’t answer beyond a literal description of what he must observe. Which I found disappointing.

    I’d love to hear your views on this question, if I may call it that – you have one of the best points of view that I, as an atheist, have come across.

    I know you must get this every day, but I’d love to hear your views in a boingboing context; I’d like to think this crowd will ask the question with respect.

    Cheers

    • cmdrfire says:

      The 30 days of fasting are also representative of the Hijra (also spelled Hegira, or “flight”) from Makkah to Medinah. The Prophet and his Companions left the persecution of Makkah and crossed the desert to Medinah – it took thirty days, during which food and water were scarce. They did not eat or drink during the day, having a date at sunrise and sunset to begin their fast (this is where the tradition in Ramadan of opening and closing your fast with a date comes from).

      • Anonymous says:

        The entire ‘migration’ or ‘hijra’ did not take more than 16 days (by most accounts). This has nothing to do with the fasting prescribed during the month of Ramadan.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is because fasting of a kind was required in the original revelations of both Jews and Christians, so it is also required of Muslims. We happen to fast during the month of Ramadan specifically (in addition to six days after Eid ul-Fitr and three days during each other lunar month, though these smaller fasts are not required, they’re optional) because it was during that month when the first verses of the Quran were revealed, and because the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions also fasted during Ramadan.

      In reply to cmdrfire – I’ve never heard that explanation for Ramadan before, what is your daleel for it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Ramadan is 1 of the 12 months in the Islamic calendar. In the month of Ramadan, all Muslims who have come of age (both male and female) – there are exemptions – are required to fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting is one of the 5 pillars (tenets) of Islam.

      The requirement for Fasting was dictated by Allah: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become God-fearing.” (The Quran, 2:183)

      During fasting, Muslim are required to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, sex, and keeping one’s ears, eyes, tongue, hands and feet, and other organs free of sin.

      Thanks for your interest in Islam.

    • ankaboot says:

      On Ramadan: From dawn (first light) to sunset each day, until the next new crescent moon (“hilal”) is seen locally after sunset, we abstain from food, drink, sex, anger, and dispute, reading aloud a (designated) thirtieth of the Qur’an each day, usually in the evening ~ the day begins at sunset. Scented oils, perfumes, and incense adorn the breezes, inducing subtleties of contentment and peace and softening tensions.

      As the day proceeds, thirst is quenched by splashing water on the face and arms; hunger sharpens the senses and increases sensitivity to external stimuli; routine activities require additional concentration, making distractions a potential source of irritation; intellectual processes become sharpened and perception widens.

      And as the days of Ramadan proceed, the stomach shrinks; the water content of the body diminishes; the subjective effects of fasting intensify; will power increases, often through consciously suppressing responses to irritations; and toward the end of the month of this disciplined regimen, consciousness expands and may reach “the music of the spheres,” the subtle nuances of perception neither seen nor heard that span time and space to guide us on our way through life in a sensory universe. The readings/recitations of the Qur’an come in shorter passages, each discrete group of verses focusing the intellect on a singular concept of faith or unavoidable expectation or dynamic of social interaction, none taxing a shortened attention span and each sound triggering visceral responses in the radiant aura surrounding the cells of the most primitive core of the brain.

      Then, toward the end of the month, the devoted may catch a glimpse of the year ahead ~ which passes quickly into recollection of having seen it as if it were memory, but with no persistent detail susceptible to rational articulation or recall.

      And then, when the crescent moon is seen, we weep, in gratitude, for longing, and the departure of an intimate friend, and embark on an eleven-month wait for Ramadan’s return.

      He is no yogin whose heart sings not, or who tends no sacred flame.

  8. Raum187 says:

    P.S. On my return to my home office, I spent a good while explaining the difference between Muslims and Hindus. To an office 100% atheist (which is NOT uncommon in new zealand). Embarrassing, but typical.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Aman, you are as good a photographer as a comedian. Keep up the good work.

  10. Raum187 says:

    P.P.S the Khmer Rogue were heavily influential (murderous) in the 70s, not the early 80s (I may be splitting hairs in terms of their impact on a culture). But still, those girls would be in their mid 30s. I have a lot of Cambodian friends who fled here; all of whom are highly successful.

    Echo chamber….anyone…anyone……

  11. rebdav says:

    I love these mosques in rural places where nobody would expect them.

  12. evebutterflies says:

    Stunning shots. I wish that what you’ve done here, showing the reality of Muslim life, will help our society separate Islam from extremist. We all know extremists exist in all religions, especially Christianity…(I actually practice Buddhism and was told by a Christian that my meditating is demonic and I’m going to hell if I continue). I am so very pleased to see someone, even if by default, educating the masses.

  13. SamSam says:

    Beautiful photos. If only more Americans coud see how diverse Muslims are.

    @Raum187: While I’m sure Tariq could answer more eloquently, have you tried looking up the answer? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan

    As you will note, it basically is exactly what your friend described: the actions you take (fasting, etc) and what you think (reflection, humility). If you were hoping for there to have been some Biblical story about it originating from a specific time when, say, people were starving for one month, like the reasons for Lent or many Jewish holidays, there doesn’t sem to be one.

    • Raum187 says:

      A Wiki link. Fantastic. Thanks.

      And the rest of your post is EXACTLY what my “friend” did not describe. If he had said that, with any conviction or weight, I would not be asking the question.

    • Raum187 says:

      Sorry, sorry. That was pretty harsh.

      What I meant was, where does the tradition come from in the context of their (the observants) lives. Beyond a historical story.

      I have plenty of christian friends who do not observe christmas or easter in any sort of historical (biblical) context but consider themselves christian. I guess that’s the how I meant my initial question.

      What does it mean to modern, clearly “westernised” (again, sorry to label) Muslims? All of my christian friends have post-modern views on their relgion. Does that make them less christian? If a Muslim has the same approach, does that impact on their religion?

      • Anonymous says:

        Raum187,

        The reason your Christian friends still call themselves Christian but may not observe the ritual is because Christianity is based on Orthodoxy — that is, correct belief.

        Islam is based on Orthopraxy, correct actions, although to be fair we do have certain beliefs that must be met as well.

      • Ugly Canuck says:

        “All of my Christian friends have post-modern views on their religion. Does that make them less Christian? If a Muslim has the same approach, does that impact on their religion?”

        These questions may only be answered bu other Christians, or Muslims, as the case may be.

        It is an intestine question: and one which historically has been the cause of much civil, and international, disturbance.

        What do you care, anyhow?

        • Chris Tucker says:

          What do you care, anyhow?

          It’s called ‘learning something new, because one is curious and wishes know more, the better to understand and to appreciate a people, their culture and faith.’

          Imagine your child asking, “Why is the sky blue?”
          and you reply, “What do you care, anyhow?”.

    • mindysan33 says:

      I read this all month, and commented on the blog a few times. It was fantastic to the diversity in American culture. I saw several comments over the month from non-Muslims thanking Bassam and Aman for sharing American-Muslim’s lives here in the US.

      And I love, love, LOVE that picture of Shaikh Abu Omar! What a delightful man!!!

      As for Ramadan, the observance is related to the first month that the Q’uran was revealed to Mohammad, so there are theological underpinnings (much like Christian and Jewish holidays). Just because wikipedia doesn’t have it, doesn’t mean it’s not there… Also, the fasting is in part to remember the less fortunate amongst us, and of course charity is an important part of Ramadan as well.

  14. ackpht says:

    You had the heart to go out and see our country (yours and mine) for yourselves.

    Your pictures show the human faces of Islam, as well as the promise of America- what we’re supposed to stand for.

    Thank you.

  15. capl says:

    Great photo set, thanks for sharing and providing the insight. I echo Tobias from Sweden, it is often a world that is invisible to most of the US. Our images of the Muslim world are generally frightening images. We rarely see the peaceful side and day to day life of American muslims.

  16. ShaneAH says:

    Stunning photos! I love the use of natural and available light, especially in the photo of the cab driver adjusting his courtesy light.

  17. nerak says:

    I love the diversity that these photos show!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Day 18 …took years to get that Mosque built. My parents struggled for years to rally the community for donations. But there was a will to congregate, even in Vegas. -FQ

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you guys for your road trip, for being “ambassadors” and for the lovely photos. I am not a Muslim, but consider myself to be a Friend of Islam. I am reading the Qur’an and books about Islam. More importantly, I am getting to know my local Muslim community. I feel if I want to know something about Islam, I should ask a Muslim and turn to Muslim sources. I enjoyed several iftar dinners at the local mosque during Ramadan.

  20. Centricity says:

    This was really neat. I love pictures of those ‘slices of life’ themes to which I’ve been underexposed. Thank you for sharing them here. =)

  21. Anonymous says:

    just waiting for that one person to toss up some derogatory comments and some racist remarks by some uber-patriot of hypocrisy.

    oh wait…….i guess only smart, educated people frequent this site! ; )

  22. Anonymous says:

    loved looking at these photos! I think they represent what Islam truly is is – very simple and beautiful :)

  23. Anonymous says:

    Very nice photogaphs indeed, what camera was used can I ask?

    I’d imagine a full frame body at least given the natural fullness of the look to the pictures!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Asalaam alaykum, thank you very much for sharing these stunning pictures. I am from a Chinese Muslim ethnic minority called Hui (回). I wonder if you could share with us some pictures of Chinese Muslim living in the US. Islam is reviving after the culture revolution in 1970s. Islam came to China more than 1000 years ago, and most Hui Muslim ethnic minority are descendants of Arabs, Persians and people living in central Asia. The Muslim population is estimated to be 25 million at least, which is almost equal to the whole population of Egypt. You guys can find more information about Hui Muslim on Google.

  25. Daedalus says:

    B. A. Yootiful.

    Don’t let the media vultures get you down. In fact, if you guys give another interview (and I wouldn’t recommend it), I suggest you respond to all of their questions wherein they try to make you speak for All Muslims Everywhere as the Defender of All Islam, just wordlessly show them these pictures.

    “Do you think it is insensitive for Muslims to build a mosque at ground zero?”
    *hold up picture of girls playing basketball*
    “How would you react if I burned a Quran in front of you right now?”
    *holds up picture of an man making a funny face*

    ….it would perhaps be the greatest interview ever. ;)

  26. Anonymous says:

    awesome pics mashAllah!

  27. toyg says:

    “Soccer practice”… with those shoes?

    Muslim or otherwise, Balkan people are crazy.

  28. Ugly Canuck says:

    Bah. “by” for “bu”, in my last post.

  29. travtastic says:

    More posts like this!

  30. mgfarrelly says:

    Bassam and Aman,

    Thank you so much for doing this. I’m a Irish kid and not Muslim, but my MA is in Islamic history and for years, and especially this summer when the Park51 “controversy” erupted, I’ve had people asking me all kinds of crazy questions about Islam and Muslims. Most of them fueled by the craziness in the media, total misinformation spouted off by radio hosts and other clowns

    Your project is something I can point people to and say “Here, look see, this is what goes on in a mosque, this is what goes on during Ramadan, these are not the scary people you have been made to fear by demagogues. Look at all that delicious food!”

    Thank you again. You’re doing a simple and noble thing that can only help people better understand your faith. Much success to you both.

  31. Avram / Moderator says:

    Oh, man, that first photo! I just wanna reach through the screen and straighten that guy’s glasses.

  32. Flying_Monkey says:

    Lovely pictures, and a really worthwhile project. Thanks.

  33. grikdog says:

    Thanks for pointing out the dates and duration of the “earliest North American” mosques. Here in Cedar Rapids, we were sure the Mother Mosque came first.

    As far as Muslims in North America go, there is one school of thought that says quite a few Cherokee Indians were Muslim, in particular George Gist aka Sequoyah, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet. That would put Islam in the U.S. back to the 19th Century at least, if true.

    • Anonymous says:

      Islam in the US is as early as the first muslim slaves to be brought over so should predate the 19th century by at least two centuries

      • ankaboot says:

        Islam in the US is as early as the first muslim slaves to be brought over so should predate the 19th century by at least two centuries.

        Long before that, but not visibly.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Ozayr,

    This is an exceptional venture. Fantastic. I should be working on our website, but this has cast that aside for the night. A wonderful patina of wisdom, youth, humour, and life. Thanks for that.

    Chris Brett

  35. Anonymous says:

    I really enjoyed the pictures! Thank you! I’m so sorry the two guys had to be spokespeople for all of Islam (and I bet it was, in that sense, one of the worst Ramadans they ever spent) but appreciative for what I am sure was their really fine “ambassadorship”.

    To Raum 187: this is how I understand Ramadan (I am married to a Muslim, raising Muslim children but half Jewish/half Christian myself, and yes, probably a “post-modern” type)-

    Traditionally it is believed that the Quran was handed down (by God) and received (by Mohammed) during the month of Ramadan. In the Quran itself it says, “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous – (183) [Fasting for] a limited number of days. ..The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. … Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.”

    For religious folk, a lot of reading of the Quran and attempts to be “closer to God” through prayer and trying to be as “good” as possible is involved.

    If you grew up in a country which was largely Islamic, or had parents with flexible jobs/vacation policies in this country, Ramadan would be a little like the Christmas or Easter season here…it’s a time when everyone is supposed to do their best to restrain their anger and be as kind and forgiving as possible. So people might have the “holiday spirit”. People might be sleeping late and staying up late, not working… Special foods are eaten every day as part of breaking the fast…if you are a child, you aren’t fasting so it’s just special foods. The adults around you potentially have more leisure time and it’s a real family time for people– my husband remembers playing trivia games in large groups as a (pre-TV, rural) child…now there are special TV shows, some with religious significance (about the Quran, special religious singing contests), some just holiday fare (30 day serials with dramatic story lines).

    I think the primary thing to understand is that it’s one great big holiday season where the spiritual emphasis is a little harder to avoid because nearly everyone of age is fasting during daylight hours. (I say “avoid” because my experience of the Christmas season was that some people really keyed in on religious themes during that time while others didn’t at all–i.e. avoided the spiritual emphasis entirely…)

    For those with a true religious bent, the fasting during Ramadan provides a time to celebrate the spiritual vs. the mundane– to really work on self-improvement. Reading the Quran is meant to be one of the primary things one does, and many people strive to read the entire Quran over the month of Ramadan.

    I’ve had different experiences with Ramadan and fasting but I’ve found at times that the day flies by and I become aware suddenly of how much time I spend thinking about my next meal (when I’m not fasting). My thoughts become clearer and I find myself operating at sort of an “optimum” level, until about 30 minutes before I’m supposed to break the fast– when I suddenly become aware of quite a bit of thirst and hunger!! Other times, it’s more of a struggle (office job, cold weather fasting was the “fly by” time; mid-summer, high-temperature/long day fasting with small kids constantly around– the struggle!) – and then the fasting can be a used as a reminder of the hardships that those who are less fortunate often suffer. I fast but know that there are people, including children, for whom fasting is not a choice (I mean, in countries where there are famines/wars, etc.) but the only option; people for whom feeling weak and tired but still needing to go on is the ONLY option. It’s a time to try to be more compassionate and remember our own blessings. Eid, the holiday at the end of Ramadan, is maybe a little like Easter after Lent…
    a time to celebrate. Most people get/wear new clothes; money or gifts may be given to some relatives. When I’ve celebrated it with Muslim relatives, everyone gets all dressed up, a lot of visiting and eating goes on, and there seem to be trays of sweets and candies and nuts all over the place everywhere you go.
    I have no idea if this is what you were looking for but there you go…

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