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October 16, 2004

Ramadan Stuff



Before I get to a few comments I had about Ramadan, I have to take this moment to shamelessly wish myself a belated 23rd birthday. No thanks to the rest of you who didn’t wish me a happy birthday or send me money. Anyway, I thought it was pretty interesting that I was born at maghrib time on October 15th, 1981 and that’s when Ramadan started (more on this in a bit) in 2004. That’s probably God telling me to get my life in order. Looking at the above picture, I realize how angelic and cute I was as a child… and I look at myself now and I wonder what went wrong. This picture is my first outing after I came home from the hospital… it seems pretty ironic that the first place my mom took me was her hospital. Maybe that’s why I’m doomed to walk the path of medicine for the rest of my life.


So Ramadan starts today… or yesterday, or whenever. I didn’t fast on Friday. I’ll first comment on what I think was a major blunder by Muslim leadership, and then attempt to ease the situation by my final thoughts. As for my rip on Muslim leadership, I found it very irresponsible of them to jump and make a decision based on the reports of a husband and wife (in a court of Muslim law, there needs to be at least two male witnesses)… the fact that only one couple in the whole town of Austin (I know Austin is pretty bufu, but there must be more Muslims that this couple) saw the moon makes me a little suspicious. Also, why was it that no one else in Texas (and for that matter, no one else in the United States) saw the moon? Maybe it was an honest mistake… or perhaps it was an eagerness for people to follow the Saudis because they saw the moon, not realizing that astronomically, the Saudis will ALWAYS see the moon first and its not the end of the world or a sign of Muslim disunity that they fast a day before us or celebrate Eid on a different day. It’s this modern Muslim desire to have a global Eid day–which has no basis in traditional Islam–because it’s so media friendly and gives us this feeling of global unity–though we oughta be united on more important things, like Palestine, for example–that modern Muslims so eagerly want to fast and have Eid on the same day around the world. Anyway, back to the leadership (ie, ISNA, etc): they announce at 11 pm CST on Thursday night that people ought to fast the next day. This wasn’t the smartest thing to do since no one had prayed taraweeh that night since the moon wasn’t sighted in the allocated window; more importantly, 11 pm CST means 12 am EST… how many Muslims who had work the next day probably went to sleep after not hearing anything about waking up for suhoor? In short, the fact that our leadership didn’t verify the sighting (which was later confirmed to be false), didn’t ask for more witnesses (at least from Austin), didn’t verify with other scholars (pretty much every scholar, from Shaykh Hamza, Zaid Shakir, Mawlana Saleem, Mufti Navalur Rahman, etc. said the moon was not sighted) and announced their decision so late at night only worsened the situation and created chaos where there shouldn’t have been.


Anyway, after getting that off my chest, I have the most important and final thing to add about this chaos: it’s really not that big of a deal. While this leadership blunder was troubling, what was even more troubling was the bickering and “heretic-labelling” that was going on amongst common folk over which day was the correct day to fast. People unfortunately didn’t realize that those who fasted on Friday did so with the purest of intentions and listening to Muslim leadership; the same goes for those who chose not to fast on Friday as well. My biggest concern is that people are wondering why such a thing happened and feel that something went “wrong”. Nothing could be further from the truth as we have to realize this “confusion” also came for a reason from Allah. Given that this is month of fasting, and the Qur’an tells us that fasting was prescribed in order that you may be people of taqwah, it’s also interesting to read in Surah al-Nahl, one of the quintessential characteristics of the people of taqwah: “And when it is asked of the people of taqwah, ‘What is it that your Lord has revealed (unto you)?’ They reply, ‘All that is good’. To those who do good, there is good in this world, and the Home of the Hereafter is even better and excellent indeed is the Home of the righteous (16:30)”. As Sidi Abdul Hakim Murad once said, sometimes we as Muslims think that Allah holds the universe in his hands like a ball; and sometimes it slips out of His hands and things go wrong until He can chase it down and pick it up once again. We fail to remember that Allah is always in control of any situation; even this confusion should be viewed by us as something that is good. There must be a reason for this–and even if we can’t quite figure that out exactly right now, at least we should be content that this is from God, and since it’s from Him, it is good. I dont think that it should bother us that Muslims have two days of Eid. If anything, we should feel we are blessed to be part of two days of blessings instead of just one. In other words, we ought to view all of these situations as good and do good with them, rather than mire ourselves in needless intellectual boxing which only leaves both sides battered and bruised with sometimes unhealable wounds. At the very least, whether you started to fast on Friday or Saturday, stop worrying about others and focus instead on trying to make the most of this blessed month.


And send some du`as my way as well: specfically that I’m able to lead taraweeh well and do well in school.


Currently reading (since they don’t have this on Amazon): my prized possession–my veteran 13-liner Qur’an that I did my hifz in (13 liners rule as compared to 15 liners!) that my mom gave me when I was six (when I had completed reading the Qur’an for the first time) and has been my companion since then–and Inshallah will remain with me for the rest of my worldly existence.

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12 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    You dont look angelic. But you look FINE! lol
    Good post, i need my dad to read this one. He was talking about how we cant get on the same page for anything. Plus he’ll finally see i have some good friends… lol
    we are friends right?

  2. we’re more than friends… im your ear-stroker.

  3. Anonymous permalink

    *Looking at time*
    You have no life do you? Iftaar is around 6.10. KR is on Xanga at 6.40. Nice real nice lol

  4. good post…except its Nawal…not Naval….fob.

  5. good post, may Allah subhanahu wa ta’3la grant us the taa’3ah to trust our shuyukh, who look up every night, not once a year.props kr, good show.

  6. man sadiq, you are the biggest eprop nazi ever.
    even in ramadan.
    may God have mercy on your rotting soul.

  7. don’t agree but nice job… and that’s one scary looking baby…

  8. of course you dont agree fahad…you’re middle name is Islamic Foundation…haha…
    and kr…”innee saaim…innee saaim”

  9. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah
    Insha Allah you will lead taraweeh well and do well in school. Please make the same for me..hmm…except maybe the taraweeh part. Pray that I CAN go to the masjid to pray taraweeh insha Allah. Sigh…this is what happens when your 18 and still don’t have your license. Anywayyy, the same thing bout Ramadan happenned in Cali too…my uncle’s family ended up fasting on saturday when we fasted on friday. It’s all good though because it’s MUCH better now than it was a few years ago. Now there’s a little more unity in Cali among the leaders alhamdulillah. May Allah swt bless you bro. Take care.
    Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
     

  10. Anonymous permalink

    Assalam Alaikum bro.  I have finally decided to procrastinate wisely and give you propz.  DOOMED to walk the path of medicine?  Doomed say you? Mashallah bro I want to be just like you, seriously.  You have stud blood in you. And you’re modest too, as all Muslims should be. I want to be a dentist inshaAllah, but I would want do medicine otherwise. 
    All of your posts are so intellectual, even if they are funny.  Lot of times I read your Xanga and the entries are so sophisticated that I think to myself, I don’t even know how to respond to them.  Then I look at the half-(another word for donkey) comments you get usually… so this time I thought, hey, lets throw the man some real comments.  Mashallah I want to be a Hafiz one day.  But I just can’t see myself being able to do it right now.  But I am wondering if maybe it’s different when you are totally immersed in the training of it.  I heard you flew through your Hifz, well that’s what my dad told me, that’s so cool.  You lead my parents in prayer when you all went on Hajj.  Man, you are beyond Superman; you are a Super Saiyan 3-like rolemodel, lol.  And I agree with what you said about how people want the Imam to go faster with the Qur’an during the prayers.  The more time spent in prayer the better.  Somewhere I had heard that when people look back on this materialistic life, they will say things like it felt like I was only alive for three minutes.  And some people will be saying why didn’t I just engage in worship for God Almighty for the better of three minutes.  (I don’t know where this came from and I am not even saying it like I heard it exactly, please don’t bite my head off, but I am sure you are knowledgeable to do so.)  But my point is that whatever time it is that is spent in prayer is for people’s own benefit.  So yeah.  13-liners are my favorite.  They are easy to read and not so crammed.  Ok, well I better be off, as you can see I waited till you made some new entries to post these propz because I knew the jealous comments that would follow trying to deny what I said…lol.  Peace bro.  InshaAllah you will do excellent in Medical school, and your Taraweeh leading, and just life in general, and the Hereafter, Ameen.  Ahh man, I forgot to comment about whenever you give khutbahs…you words are filled with emotion and you give Khutbahs but also show that you love giving them.  You grab our attention and don’t let go until your point has been clearly made.  Mashallah…you are a stud. 

  11. wa `alaykum as salaam.
    jazakallah khayr for the kind and certainly undeserved nice words. especially about the khutbahs, since i give broke khutbahs (hence the comments renamed to broke khutbahs). don’t worry, i won’t bite your head off, i only do that to people who try to be smart alecks while not making any point.

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