Ramadan is upon us, with alarming speed. (And what I wrote the previous year about a solar year accompanying a lunar month still applies.) I wasn’t going to write an entry for Ramadan this year; while maintaining its characteristic celestial quality the month simultaneously feels procedural at this current point. My family, having grown accustomed to following traditions quietly in the routine of calamity, would only half-heartedly appreciate lanterns or soft lights or advent calendars—and anyhow I seem to be unable to muster up the energy for exhilaration. There is something about this summer that is softly grinding, a restlessness festering in the subtly uneven heat.
And so I intend to observe the fast unobtrusively and find substance to fill these days. I don’t know if it’s been obvious from previous posts, but I’ve been disquiet lately—not religiously vacuous, which I’m sure will be a relief—but more harboring displeasure with myself and my seemingly utter inability to cope with reality. I feel that my natural inclination toward essence and ideal over any tangible sustenance that can offer compassionate relief in fulfillment is set to destroy me—someday, it will, not yet. Meanwhile I have grown weary of falling in love with imaginary things. Yet I am still convinced that they are truer than what we know as actuality. Like some dystopic dream it’s as though I’m rounding the same circuit over and over again. Reality and I have a love-hate relationship because I keep wanting it to be something else. And love, between the fear of committing a grievance and confronting abandonment, will always be a fascinating novelty. Accordingly I am measuring my grief this month, as achingly sweet the activity, in the usual calculating fashion, and expectantly lingering for the turning tide.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t begin on a hopeful note; there is always, always space for that. And I would like to pretend (there we go again) that although you are all dispersed across the… world… we can commence the month together in a tying sort of way. A friend of mine requested that I post recitations of the Qur’an here, and since Ramadan has begun I figured I might as well record al-Fatiha, “The Opening” and find some comfort that in other places there are good friends reciting the same. So here you are. Read with me! Unless you don’t want to… that’s cool. (*pouts*)
Audhu billah mina ‘sh-shaytani ‘r-rajeem
I seek refuge in God from the accursed Devil.
In the name of God the infinitely Compassionate, the infinitely Merciful—
Al hamdu lillaahi rabbil ‘alameen
Praise be to God, Sustainer of all the worlds
the Most Gracious,
the Most Merciful,
Maaliki yaumid Deen
Sovereign of the Day of Judgment.
Iyyaaka na’abudu wa iyyaaka nasta’een
You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help.
Ihdinas siraatal mustaqeem
Guide us to the righteous path.
Siraatal ladheena an ‘amta’ alaihim
the path of those who have received Your grace;
Ghairil maghduubi’ alaihim
not those who have earned Wrath
and who wander astray.