An Idiot's Guide to Ramadan

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 !

Comments:

Ramadan Mubarak to you too. Any recommendations on what the best foods and drinks are to sustain yourself from morning to evening? I'm currently taking in a good amount of Gatorade! :P -M

Posted by Moazam on October 05, 2005 at 04:32 PM PDT #

Same with you - Ramadan Mubarak -

The best, I've found, for me, is a large bowl of yogurt (not the sweetened kind, but of the natural type, say from Trader Joe's) mixed with nuts (walnuts are best) and raisins (which can also be obtained from Trader Joe's). For drinks in the morning, a couple of glasses of milk and a couple of glasses of water should do. I might also start all this with an egg. In the evening, I stay close to simpl dishes. Stay away from processed foods. Today was the first day for me. So, I might come up with more advice later.

Posted by M. Mortazavi on October 05, 2005 at 04:47 PM PDT #

Please share your Ramadan experience at Ramadan Forums
Ramadan-Blessings.com

Posted by Ramadan-Blessings.com on October 25, 2005 at 11:59 AM PDT #

By the time my family relocated to Esfahan in 1975, someone within the Irani government had decided that it'd be a good idea to stop flooding the rental market w/in Esfahan proper with Americans, and put them in the new suburbs to the north, such as Khaneh Esfahan and Shahinshahr. Add a mostly American international high school which I attended, and you could say my day to day life was a bit insulated from the larger culture. So, while I was made aware of Ashura, so that I'd stay out of the way, Ramadan could sneak up on me.

That's a long-winded way to set up the scene one Friday at noon as I shopped at the Maidan entrace of the bazaar, hungry. The gentleman selling pastries wasn't doing much business, so I saundered up and bought a couple, then stuffed one into my face as I stepped over to the the bus stop. In mid-stuff, I over heard someone mutter about faranghis. Seldom have I experienced as sudden a transition from nonchelance, to realization, to embarrisment. I ditched my half-eaten contriband into the trash, and nothing more was said.

Posted by Carl Holmberg on November 06, 2005 at 12:25 PM PST #

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