This is the 9th time I’ll be celebrating this month-long holy event so somehow, I’ve quite adjusted to it already.
Ramadan occurs on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar when the crescent moon becomes visible and ends with the sighting of the new moon. It is believed to mark the time God revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
If I’m not mistaken, I think Ramadan starts 11 days earlier each year, thus the change in the dates/months it is celebrated. (The first year I came here, if my memory serves me right, Ramadan started maybe late August thus ended around the third week of September.) So it can occur in both hot or cold seasons. The length of day varies and matters a lot since Muslims are fasting during this month. Fasting is one among the five pillars of Islam. (The other four include the testimony of faith, charity work, praying five times a day and the holy pilgrimage to Mecca).
We also have to keep in mind that when we speak of fasting, it doesn’t only mean fasting from food, it also includes abstaining from smoking, drinking, sexual intercourse, etc. As what I’ve seen here, they usually break the fast by eating dates and drinking water or laban (and some other drinks, I forgot how they’re called) right after sunset and then followed by a festive meal. It was a great shock for me the first time I’ve witnessed such until I eventually got used to it.
Anyhow, I just really wanted to wish all my Muslim friends a Happy Ramadan. I hope you don’t forget the true meaning of this holy month and put it in practice.
My acquaintance with Sam Harris just started I think last month when he was introduced to me by a dear friend. I first watched one of his videos on Youtube and then tried reading one of his works, Letter to a Christian Nation. I think it was a good start because it led me to this other work of his, The End of Faith.
The book, the way I understand it, is basically telling us that beliefs with proof must triumph over beliefs based on our religious faith. Sam Harris made some very important points here and it does rather hit hard on the core of religion but definitely worth your time reading.
Quotable Quotes :
“Reason is nothing less than the guardian of love.”
“Nothing is more sacred than the facts.”
“As a man believes, so he will act.”
“Religious faith is the one species of human ignorance that will not admit of even the possibility of correction.”
Rating : 4/5 stars
I was born and baptized as a Catholic but I have always been open-minded about other religions and yes, atheism. This is my first from Sam Harris and the first atheistic book I’ve read. I must say, this book is very thought-provoking. It isn’t something that would convert the reader to become an atheist nor would it shake a devout Christian/Muslim’s faith, but I think it would help us understand what atheists are like.
It would probably be an uncomfortable read but I personally would still recommend it to my Catholic/Christian friends. Aside from a very easy to read writing style, I really find this book very insightful. With that said, I’ll leave you with this:
Clearly, it is time we learned to meet our emotional needs with embracing the preposterous. We must find ways to invoke the power of ritual and to mark those transitions in every human life that demand profundity — birth, marriage, death — without lying to ourselves about the nature of reality. Only then will the practice of raising our children to believe that they are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish be widely recognized as the ludicrous obscenity that it is. And only then will we have a chance of healing the deepest and most dangerous fractures in our world. -Sam Harris
Rating : 4/5
Long weekend ahead! Yes, more time to rest, read and relax (I hope) because it’s holiday!
Every year, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid Al-Adha, The Festival of the Sacrifice. It’s a big holiday that takes place at the end of Hajj or the pilgrimage to Mecca which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is also to honor and commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.
It is also during Eid Al-Adha that many Muslim families buy an animal, like sheep or cow, to be used as sacrifice and then share the meat among themselves, their relatives, friends, neighbors and the less fortunate. It reminds me of Christmas where Christians also share what they’ve got to everyone and that there shouldn’t be anyone left with nothing to eat. Oh, the idea of sharing! I hope it happens every day, not only on holidays!
Anyway, the holiday kicks off on Wednesday, the 23rd and runs through Sunday, the 27th.
Eid Mubarak! 🙂