Ramadan 1432

That feels so strange to me. Originally I typed 2011, but the combination of an lunar month and a solar year looked almost laughably wistful. Regardless of how true it may be for me that I live in 2011 (is that even true?) and not 1432, I have an almost neurotic urge to pin things with precision, and Ramadan 2011 exists on some intersecting plane of fabricated time. (On the other hand, I don’t care, as measurements are invented anyway.) If we pretend time exists, the specified event “Ramadan 2011” can possibly occur more than once, or half-occur, or occur never at all. And so, because I am the way I am, Ramadan 1432. It’s the same reason, I suppose, that I take to saying USian instead of American. I know no one else but us want to be referred to as American, and the rest of the hemisphere is slightly amused/infuriated that we think we’re doing them a favor–but I continue to use USian, because the full title is The United States of America, and America is the adjective, not the noun. I also become frustrated when people cannot recognize the necessity of the Oxford comma, and cringe when they insist on pronouncing the h in ‘vehicle.’ If it weren’t for the incessant human inclination to specify things, I’d write only Ramadan.

But I digress.

My family consists of my mother and two little brothers (17 and soon-to-be 12), and my mother is always working. She saves up her sick days, so that she can take them off during this month. The work will not stop for her however, and I wish I weren’t away so that I could make it easier. Ramadan will be quiet for me, which is well-suited for the month–but so will Eid. I’ll be lucky if I run into friends who would share in the celebrations. If I have children in the future I think I’ll make them an advent calendar.

Hope may be the essence of this Ramadan. For many Muslims, I think, it couldn’t arrive at a more appropriate time. The past couple of days for me in my personal life have been sort of… turbulent. In the larger, global picture it’s been a rough year for everyone, to speak in understatements. And of course, as always, empathy will be revived with community at the center. I’m planning to get through a whole stack of books, as my workload by August will have become lighter in conjunction with my red lipstick and cussing.

The former, because it’s too close to my mouth (technical) and the latter because… well, foul language. I actually don’t cuss at all in real life, not nearly as much as I do here, and this didn’t start until I began hanging around in the comment sections of the feminist blogosphere. Feminists cuss like sailors. =)

Renewal is welcome.

There is something about Ramadan that is soft and ethereal, a thin vaporous unworldliness of dim lights and muffled sounds. There is sleepy rising before the sun to prepare for the day’s fasting, going about the day as usual, and breaking the fast after sunset. (Case you didn’t know: in Islam, days are counted as beginning in the evening of the solar day before, not in the morning.) In harmony with the harsh reality of hunger and work, the spiritual is somehow exemplified, an aerial dreamlike peacefulness and reconciliation. I’ll be checking the night sky a lot, more than usual, and crying over the stars, which I will imagine to be severely and distantly pure, only to conclude at last that I’d rather feel love than cold perfection.

10 thoughts on “Ramadan 1432

  1. I really like this piece.I'm glad I'm not the only one who uses USian rather than "American". The latter always seemed arrogant to me, as if Brazilians (f'rex) aren't American.May Ramadan bring you joy and blessings.


  2. Do Brazilians even WANT to be called Americans? I've never met a Canadian or Mexican who did.This makes me think of what kind of story would be set in Ramadan 2011.


  3. I was in a rush this morning so I barely got to skim the post. I'll teach you some new swear words, Nahida! Abstinence is that much sweeter in the face of temptation!



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