Have you ever wondered what Ramadan is about or what happens during that time? I've wondered the same and decided to put my google skills and resources to use!
In this week's episode, we start with a guided meditation where you use your imagination to get to the basin of peace. When you do this meditation, it's recommended that you set 10min of uninterrupted time aside so you can receive the full benefits of this meditation. As always, take a deep breath and relax...
Afterward, we get into details about Ramadan and my connection to the holiday. Ramadan is a holiday celebrated by Muslims to get closer to God through prayer and do good to humanity. In this episode, I will share a brief history of Ramadan, how it's celebrated, why it's celebrated, and how we can support those who celebrate it.
References from the episode:
“What Is Ramadan and when is it?”
“Ramadan 101: All You Need To Know About The Holy Month.”
What Do Muslims Believe?: The Roots and Realities of Modern Islam, by Ziauddin Sardar
Meditation music provided by Chris Collins at indiemusicbox.com
DP the Unknown provides episode theme music titled "Here/If"
Be sure to follow the social media accounts to stay updated on episodes, highlights, and behind-the-scenes pics. 🤗
Hello, my babies welcome to another episode of MamMaJ(ism) it's your girl MaJhane AKA MamMaJ and we are going to kick things off with our guided meditation. Go ahead and get in a comfortable position. That can be sitting down laying down whatever feels most comfortable for you in this moment. This meditation is going to use your imagination. Closing out with one minute of mindfulness. Get ready.
Lets start with some deep breaths.
Nice inhale in through the nose
And release through the mouth
In through the nose
And exhale through the mouth
Continue with those deep breaths as i walk you through our guided meditation
And as you exhale I want you to loosen your body
As you inhale i want you to breathe in as much as you possibly can
And slowly release it
One last breath, in and out.
If you haven't already, go ahead and lose your eyes or gently rest them.
Imagine that you are standing on top of a hill
At the bottom of this hill is a state of peace, calm, and relaxation.
Before we descend down this hill take note of how you are feeling right now
Imagine taking a step down the hill...
a single step closer to relaxation.
As you take this step, feel your upper body relaxing.
Loosening any and all tension in this area
Continue your descent further down the hill
One step at a time
to a state of calm and relaxation.
Feel your lower body relaxing.
Loosening any and all tension in this area
How big is that hill you’re walking down?
How much further until you’re at that state of calm and relaxation?
At this point you’re almost at the bottom of the hill
Just a few more steps until you arrive at this state of complete peace, calm and relaxation
Picture yourself taking the last few steps to the bottom of the hill
Moving at your own pace
Moving in step with your natural breathing rhythm
As you get closer to relaxation you might start to feel tired
Allow your body to relax and your mind to drift
You’ve made it to the bottom of the hill where
a state of calmness and relaxation washes over you completely
You are now feeling peaceful and relaxed.
Continue to sit in this moment. Simply taking in this peace.
Now that you’ve taken some time to sit in this peace I want you to take another moment but this time you’ll be spending these mindful moments, taking it all in.
Let’s sit in this moment of stillness for one minute
Keep this feeling with you as we close out this meditation with a few deep breaths
Inhale nice and slow through the nose
And release slowly through the mouth
Inhale slowly through the nose
And release through the mouth
Inhale as much as you can through the nose
And release through the mouth
Go ahead and slowly start wiggling your toes
And when you're ready slowly open your eyes
Thank you for doing that guided meditation with me
Lets get on with the episode
DP the Unknown - “Here/If”
Hello my babies as I've mentioned this is your girl MaJhane AKA MamMaJ my pronouns are she her and hers and you are listening to MamMaJ(ism) thank you for deciding to listen in on this talk of love and honest conversation so let's get into it. I want to first start this episode by saying that I know very little about Ramadan what's more I was introduced to it by a friend who later became my best friend in a pre-college summer program called Summer Bridge. And I got to witness it up close I didn't ask him any questions about it for fear of sounding ignorant or uncultured but now looking back on it I really wish I did none the less I have taken the time to research the basics so that this can be as informative for you as it has been for me. By the time you finish this episode you will know the basics of Ramadan and how you can support your friends that celebrate it. I will share the history of Ramadan, how it is celebrated, and also incorporate what I witnessed during Ramadan at that summer bridge program. Oh and also I want to know what that at that time it wasn't my first time knowing about Ramadan but it was the first time that I got to see it up close and personal life experience with it. alright now let's hit it.
So what is Ramadan? All right so Ramadan the word itself is Arabic and it means the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. The first chapters of the Qu’ran were revealed to the prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan, making this a sacred month. Ramadan is one of the holiest Islamic months while also being one of the Five Pillars of Islam. If you're unfamiliar the Five Pillars of Islam are five principles expected of every Muslim Ramadan is a time where Muslims fast and pray to become closer to God.
So when does Ramadan happen? Well it's also important to note that the Islamic calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar which is what most non-Muslim countries use. The Islamic calendar follows the lunar calendar and the month last for 29 to 30 days which means that the Islamic calendar it has 11 days fewer than the Gregorian calendar so Works a little differently. But because of this Ramadan does not start on the same day each year instead of the month of Ramadan begins with the new moon. To put that in perspective this year Ramadan started on April 13th but while I was at that summer bridge program back in 2012 Ramadan started on July 20th. It was memorable for me because that summer program had was very strict and we had to eat lunch at a specific time everyday but once Ramadan started my best friend would just sit at the lunch table and watch us seat and I felt so bad for him at first but then he started judging how I ate my food and I got over that feeling very fast.
So how does Ramadan fasting work? Even though fasting is part of the Five Pillars of Islam some people can be exempt from participation these exceptions include pregnant and breastfeeding women, women on their period, children, and those who are sick, just to name a few. But the fast before the fasting itself the fasting last from sunrise to sunset Suhoor is the meal that gets eaten before the sunrise and Iftar is the meal eaten once the sun goes down. I'm actually going to read an excerpt from this book that I have called “What Do Muslims Believe?: the Roots and Realities of Modern Islam” by Ziauddin Sardar. Just give me a second:
“Fasting is a sublime spiritual exercise. In Islam, fasting is not an act of penitence but an exercise in self-reassurance and self control. It’s primary function is to instill spiritual discipline, develop an appreciation of the physical pains of hunger, and shape a realization for the maintenance of human dignity. Fasting is a form of travel; and those who fast, travel to attain proximity to God. Fasting has a personal and social dimension. It teaches the individual to be prepared to suffer deprivation and undergo hardship rather than give into temptation. This lesson is repeated day after day for a whole month. Just as physical exercise strengthens the body, so moral exercise through fasting fortifies the resolve. The person who is able to control his or her desire is the person who can attain true spiritual and moral greatness. A fasting person is not only required to abstainf rom food, drink and sex, but to avoid all immoral thoughts and actions.”
The book also goes on to talk about how socially, fasting brings the rich and the poor they're because they're both facing the same hardships which I think is pretty cool. And I really wanted to read that excerpt because they obviously did an amazing job explaining that fasting is much deeper than just not eating food and drinking from sunrise to sunset it's so much deeper than that and I think that that is amazing like I had no idea. Now when I was in Summer Bridge talk about not having any idea. When I was in Summer Bridge I knew Ramadan and fasting and that it went hand-in-hand and I was concerned for my best friend not eating for a full months in my mind. Aside from the obvious dying of starvation that I thought was going to happen I was also nervous about how the activities we did during the summer program would affect him. But I learned quickly that he did eat just not at the same hours that I did and I'll never forget how he still participated in all the activities, in the middle of a hot summer with no water, and zero complaints. This showed me how strong and serious his faith is. Really inspiring stuff and I mean that.
All right what are some Ramadan Traditions so fasting isn't the only thing that happens during Ramadan as I mentioned earlier this is also a time where Muslims pray to be closer to God. Prayer itself isn't anything new for practicing Muslim as they pray 5 times a day however tara-wee no Taraweeh Taraweeh yeah I remembered however Teraweeh or voluntary prayer is an additional night of prayer that exclusively happens during Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr which means I'm so sorry for not saying these Right which means Feast of fast-breaking and Arabic is a celebration that marks the end of Ramadan. This celebration consist of enjoying a large meal with family as well as gift exchanges.
so I know you here in all this and you’re thinking to yourself wow I love that how can i show support for my homies that participate in Ramadan. I got you covered don’t even trip. So I am not a practicing Muslim but I ahve always made it a point to wish my bestfriend a “Ramadan Mubarak” which means Happy Ramadan and I feel like hes always appreciated the effort i can speak for him. But I do think that its good practice to support people in their religion even if it may be different from your own. And also taking the time to research and understand the meaning behind a holiday you don't celebrate creates a more understanding Society, I believe anyway. So do your part by understanding why a holiday holds so much meaning into a community of people. It just might change your perspective on life I know it did for me when I bought this book which I will put in the show notes it again it's called “what do Muslims believe” by Ziauddin Sardar and I'm also going to link in the show notes of the other websites that I got my main information from cuz we don't steal information in this in this piece that's the one thing the school has instilled in me I feel like I will go to jail.
All right moving on. So the challenge for this week is to acknowledge the people in your life who are celebrating Ramadan this year you know we make it a point to wish people a Merry Christmas and a Happy Thanksgiving without actually checking with them if that's something that they celebrate which I think is pretty whack. but you know if you're seeing a friend is celebrating Ramadan like wish them a Ramadan Mubarak and at the end of Ramadan you can say I eat Mubarak which is which Ramadan Mubarak let's just do our part to be as inclusive as possible you feel me like so hopefully I've inspired you to want to do that.
Oh and if you have the time check out the book that I mention again I will link it in the show notes or do some light research on your own and maybe share it with a friend who doesn't know much about Ramadan either just a thought all right thank you so much for tuning in this week it's been fun and I'll see you next week bye.