Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 1 of Ramadan

Ramadan MubarakMonday, August 1, 2011 | Ramadan 1, 1432
Sahri - Pre-Dawn meal before early morning prayer (fajr).
Iftaar - Sunset Meal as a conclusion of the fast.
Sawm - fasting from surise to sunset - No food, no water, no nothing and no intake of any food or water. More critically it is a practice to abstain from ill-will, malice, anger, temptations and human desires. Don't hear, see, speak or act less than goodness.

Rituals - There are several variations of the terms, and rituals vary from place to place. Whole family gets up early around 4:00 AM and together cook extensive meals for Sahri /Suhoor and some just pre-cook earlier night and choose to eat on time. The Iftaar is done elaborately at mosques, homes or other gatherins places where friends from different faiths are invited to break bread and nurture goodwill.

Purpose of this site: To share diverse experience of Ramadan with our friends and families Muslims and others. ......................................... ...
Sahri - Bagel Sandwich
Iftaar - Grilled Fish

Alhamdu Lillah, (Praise the Lord) today is the first day of fasting in the month of Ramadan 2011. It's Monday, Yasmeen my wife, dropped me off early in the morning at Louisville Airport, and on the way we grabbed a Bagel sandwich from McDonald's for Sahri aka suhoor (early morning meal). I reached Dallas at 8:00 AM

Theoretically Ramadan should commence on the same day for all Muslims, but it seldom happens. It is the same moon that every one follows, but sighting technicalities makes it different for different groups, usually a day or two apart. Most Muslims wish it were on the same day. I suggest that we learn to appreciate that wish, but ask people to resist the temptation to think anything less of others who begin a day earlier or later. The article “Politics of Ramadan” is about to be published, God willing I will share that on this blog. Ramadan is about humility.

For Iftaar (meal to break the fast) I went to Richardson Mosque, the oldest Mosque in Dallas built in the mid eighties. I was early and went straight to see Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci (links below) in his chambers. He is such a delight to talk with and he has more than once said that he finds that he could talk with me about anything comfortably. Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci has been recognized as one of the 500 influential Muslim leaders in the world. He is a lawyer, a scholar of Islam and an Imam. He has now established an institution with his name to impart education to the youth born and raised here in the D/FW Metroplex. The future American religious scholars will be influenced by his wisdom and he has both male and females students learning to be the future leaders. One of them is Rashad Hassan, US Ambassador to OIC, Organization of Islamic countries.

We talked about the Sharia conference briefly and the need for Muslims to have a plan, rather than react to situations. The situation in Murphree, Terry Jones and other topics and ended up talking the Chapter I am writing on Muslim Agenda which puts together a blue print for Muslims to define where we need to be twenty years from now and how we are going to get there. The need to become participants and contributors towards the safety, security and prosperity of America is crux of the Agenda. He was enthused about the plan and mentioned about the Late Dr. Dilnawaz Siddiqui who was planning on writing one. The phrase Insha Allah jumped quickly and repeatedly out of my mouth. I panicked.

Well, he and I shared his fruit plate and yogurt for breaking the fast. I enjoyed it very much. He is a great host!

Being the work day, there were about 150 people at the congregational evening (Maghrib) prayers which he led.

After the prayers I ate my meal in the car which I had picked up from Silver Spoon Restaurant I used to frequent some 15 years ago. Waqar and Ursula have run that operation for over 20 years and I enjoy their home cooked meals, listened to NPR while I enjoyed the curried grilled fish.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer and a thinker nurturing the pluralistic values of Islam. More at:

** * I did not realize that I have written at least 7 articles about him.

Article dedicated to Imam Dr. Yusuf Zia Kavakci

Can Muslim pray in Cordoba Masjid?

THE PLAN :: Iftaar at a mosque from every denomination including: Ahmadiyya, Bohra, Ismaili, Shia, Sufi, Sunni, Warith Deen Muhammad, Wahabbi and others.


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