An Idiot's Guide to Ramadan
By MortazaviBlog on Oct 05, 2005
The month of Ramadan has begun. So, Ramadan Mubarak!
The BBC has published a rather funny "idiot's guide to Ramadan," which is generally good. The captions on the photos (although not the text) accompanying the guide seem to claim that music, movies or TV are banned during Ramadan. There's actually no such rule. Most Muslim countries carry both music, TV and movies through all kinds of channels during the month of Ramadan. I'm not a Muslim scholar, neither is the author of the guide, Adam Yosef, nor for that matter, his editor, but I believe what matters in consuming any entertainment is whether engaging in it will encourage one to break his or her fast or whether a habitual consumption might prevent one from focusing on performing duties of Ramadan. (For a list of scholars, or ulama, you might want to look here among other places.)
In fact, it might be useful, in this month, to review the works of some Muslim religious singers, including Syrian Artist Imad Rahim who sings the 99 names of Allah. I'm sure there are others, including Sufi singers, who have done renditions of pieces of this same song on a wide variety of melodies. This one was the only "free" one I could find on the net.
The BBC actually has a slightly more serious look at Ramadan. The Wikipedia entry on Ramadan is rather short but gives some very basic facts. Moon calendars and moon sightings are significant part of the Ramadan tradition. There are loads of other web sites devoted to the month.
A Ramadan timetable for the San Francisco Bay Area can be found here.
Ramadan Mubbarak !