Home > Daily life > Ramadan is over. Should I care?

Ramadan is over. Should I care?

Honestly, I couldn’t care less about Ramadan, when it starts, when it ends, what it stands for, how important it is, who fasts and who doesn’t. There’s more of a hoopla around Ramadan than around Christmas or, for that matter, Rosh Hashana, Diwali, or Vesak, and it gets worse every year.

Ramadan is the month during which Muslims fast. Now, if that sounds like great hardship and fortitude, bear in mind that fasting for a month does not mean not eating for an entire month. It means not eating, drinking, smoking, or having sex from dawn till dusk of every day of that specific month. What non-Muslims are not aware of is that the sahari , which is the meal taken at dawn. and especially the eftar, the meal taken at sundown, are grand feasts. And snacks are allowed from the evening meal till the morning one, before the fast starts. Gaining weight during Ramadan is a common complaint.

Why does Ramadan, like so many aspects of Islam, fascinate us and become front-page news every year, every day for a month–or so it seems? Since September 11, 2001, we have been bending over backward to indicate that we don’t hold all Muslims responsible for the attacks (which would be an incredibly stupid reaction) and, to show our open-mindedness, we feel or feign great interest for and in everything Islamic. One example is our sympathy for the Olympic athletes from Muslim countries who fasted through the recent competitions. Our ignorance of the fact that travelers can eschew fasting is excusable. Less so the ignorance of Muslims everywhere who, faced with a surge of rigid orthodoxy, less and less dare to question any rule presented as Koranic edict, religious law, or tradition. Even less excusable is the idiocy of religious radicals, most recently Tunisians who, instead of being proud of the medals won by Tunisian athletes in London, declared that one should be stripped of her nationality for wearing revealing running gear and the other of his gold medal for drinking orange juice before a swim meet.

In a world growing more sectarian by the day (and that is true of the United States just as much as Tunisia,) we can only hope that our brains will not be completely atrophied when—and if—we emerge from the present cycle of irrationality.

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Categories: Daily life
  1. M M Adibi
    August 27, 2012 at 1:08 am

    In the first paragraph, second sentence you forgot to mention “Noerooz”. A Freudian slip!?

    • August 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Nothing Freudian about it. The post was about religious occasions.

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