Friday, September 22, 2006
  Ramadan Mubarak!
Once again we have come to that time of the year... Ramadan!

I am probably in a minority of one in that I really wish the beginning of Ramadan was determined by people in each town going out in their back yards, or a local playing field, or other wide open space, looking for the crescent moon.

Most Muslims want national unity or even global unity for the start and end of Ramadan. Some want to start via calculations of when the moon should be visible, as it allows for pre-planning.

To me, calculations reduce the delicious anticipation about the start of Ramadan. Uncertainty about when the fasting is to begin gives an edge of excitement to us all, that was just somewhat lacking this year, as we've known for weeks that American Muslims (at least those following the Fiqh Councils recommendations) are going to start fasting tomorrow.

Having a national moonsighting system (aside from meaning that people on the East Coast may not find out if they are fasting or not until the wee hours of the night) reduces the immediacy of it. Only a handful of people actually go out to see if they can see the moon.

I like the notion that most of us would be out looking for the moon, that we would be aware of the night cycles, the organic flux of the universe, participating in the flow of time, reminded of our place in the circle of life.

Tonight was gloomy with a steady rain. If I implement my ideas, there will be no fasting for us tomorrow. But then we'd be out of synch with the rest of our masjid. And that's not so great either.

Looks like I'll be getting up early tomorrow...
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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