Sunday, October 16, 2005

halfway through ramadan

It is common for Muslims to say that Islam is deen al-fitra or a "natural religion". One of the most vivid ways that is manifested for me is in how Islamic rituals are tied into natural phenomena. The prayer times are all based on the position of the sun, the lengths of shadows and the color of the sky. The fasts in the month of Ramadan go from daybreak to sunset. And the religious calendar is strictly lunar, a new month begins with every new moon. As a result you can look up into the sky, see the full moon, and know that we are almost halfway through the month of Ramadan. Worship is part of a natural cycle.

I'm at the midpoint, but I don't know what to say. I don't feel as "spiritual" as in past years. I let my attention and energy get caught up too much by the dunya (the here and now) rather than the akhirah (the hereafter). I am not saying you have to be an escapist in order to be spiritual, far from it. But I feel like I'm focusing on the surface of things rather than their depth. I still have a little over two more weeks to make the most of the month of Ramadan.

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