Ramadan Kareem

Why Ramadan is Still Special, Despite Everything

For those who know me I have been going through some rough mental patches when it comes to faith, but I am not one who likes to openly discuss these issues, even though I may voice a concern or two sporadically. This is because (A) for me religion/faith/etc is a pact between heart, mind, soul, and God, and talking about the contents of the pact with other people does not make sense, and (B) because such discussions always end up in a tribal warfare with two opposing camps I would rather not be a member of. They’re issues that are my own and I have to deal with them on my own. No one has the right to influence me, or anyone else, on how they should think of and feel God or religion or whatever they choose to believe in.

If it’s not from within, then I would rather live without.

I don’t need to give a PR press release on what Ramadan is about. Local newspapers online and off are <sarcasm> doing well  with their “Ramadan special Iftars”, other exclusive tents, and depicting the stories of expatriate converts as well as threatening people who eat in public with a jail sentence.</sarcasm>

Ramadan, to me, is a generally happy month, regardless of whether or not I am leading a happy life. I am visibly more quiet, calm, tranquil, and even more passive than normal. It’s not because I am upset. I simply enjoy the “spirit” if you can so call it.


Ramadan, to me, is when problems become trivial. I am saddened when Ramadan passes not only because of obvious religious reasons, but because nothing seems much of a big deal in Ramadan. I haven’t been presented yet with a life changing crisis in any Ramadan, but usual problems that piss me off and have me drive for hours around Dubai just to mentally escape realities I cannot deal with, all seem insignificant.

As long as no issues occur 20 minutes before Iftar that is, LOL :) but that is why I subscribed to food delivery during the month to ensure that noms will always be present regardless of plans.

I enjoy the call of prayers, whether or not I attend them. I am especially attached to the mosque on campus, whose Imam has a most exquisite voice that speaks to me. Ever since I graduated I still go to the mosque on campus in the last few days of Ramadan. Sadly this year, the semester has been pushed to commence after Eid, so I will not be able to enjoy Taraweeh or Qiyam prayers there. For those who want to know more about Taraweeh, you can reach Mich’s fantastic post on her reflections during the month here.

For those not in the know, Qiyam (officially called Tahajjud) is a prayer similar to Taraweeh that takes place in the last third of the night (1-3 AM depending on the mosque and sunrise). Qiyam can be done on any day, regardless of whether or not it is Ramadan. During the month, though, they’re performed in the last ten days of Ramadan in mosques. The religious significance of the prayer is the belief that God grants whatever you ask for if you’re staying up to pray at these odd hours. The Hadith is:

يتنزل ربنا تبارك وتعالى كل ليلة إلى السماء الدنيا حين يبقى ثلث الليل الآخر فيقول : من يدعوني فأستجيب له، من يسألني فأعطيه من يستغفرني فأغفر له

Last year I took a recording of Qiyam from the campus mosque and I often listen to it when I want to zone out, especially this particular segment here.

Wishing everyone to find peace in this month.

  • http://www.bazerbashi.com/ Hasan Bazerbashi

    “to ensure that noms will always be present regardless of plans” LOL :D Man your love to food is awesome! I wounder how do you stay fit with all that love for food :)

    Ramadan Mobarak…and may allah accept your prayers.

  • Jessicalouiseswann

    Lovely read. Thanks

  • http://michcafe.blogspot.com Mich

    Ohhhhh… I am truly flattered to be linked on your post. Wishing you peace and tranquility in this Blessed month :-)

  • Lunzi

    Ramadan used to be special to me , but not this year ! Something is different this year … and it saddens me a lot that I’m not able to perform Taraweh and Qeyam like I used to do before .

    Ramadan Kareem KJ =) yen3ad 3aliek bel sa7a wel salameh

  • http://learningquranonline.com/ Richard_reallskill

    Ramadan is the best moment for all the Muslims in the world so lets pray for peace

  • http://bohemiantranscendence.com/ Claudie

    And same wishes for you in return :)
    Hopefully, I’ll be able to read that Hadith without the help of online translators in a few months (taking lessons :) )

  • http://jansait.wordpress.com/ Jano

    Loved the intro.. and the way you think.. when ppl ask me to “convince” them that God exists and all that I believe in.. i say that i dont have to.. if its not from within, it cant be explained. I knew god by myself after going back and forth with thoughts, etc.. so its totally between the one and oneself..

    only few ppl can feel this peaceful wave if i may call it..

    Enjoy Ramadan and the amazing spirituality that comes with it :)

  • http://thisisbeirut.wordpress.com/ Dani

    I agree, lovely read..but I especially love the photo above! How precious!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Dani! Yes the photo really is adorable!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Thank you Jano. People need to go get laid, that’s all I have to say! Live and let live

  • Anonymous

    My apologies, I should have put a translation but honestly I could not find a proper one nor do I know how to translate it properly!

  • Anonymous

    It’s different for many people. Let’s hope it ends on a very good note :)

  • Anonymous

    LOOOOOL yes man food is the reason I live for

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Lah ya Mich walaw :)

  • http://bohemiantranscendence.com/ Claudie

    No worries :) it’s a good exercise for me to try and read it! hehe

  • http://blog.hichamaged.net/ Hicham Maged

    KJ, Ramadan is such an amazing and speciall month that nobody can feel it unless he/she purify the self and makes it ready to receive the holliness of it. This never happen by forcing because forcing – in anything – is simply contradicting with the core values of Islam as I believe. Ramadan Mubarak/Kareem for you.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Hicham for the comment. You’re absolutely right, you cannot force it onto anyone. It has to come from the inside otherwise we wick just be lying to ourselves.

  • https://twitter.com/BloggerSeif Ali Seif

    A beautiful read! You know… I can’t help but feel the same way.
    I was not raised very “Islamically”, I just was raised that I’m a Muslim kind of thing. But when Ramadan comes, I feel very… relaxed and peaceful. Something about this month encourages me to embrace more of my faith and not be so…:distant”. It makes me happy during this month, just like you said… but being so busy and so on… I wish I could be more religiously active during this month.

    A beautiful post once again!

  • Anonymous

    Ali, we should all
    do our best to make the most out of Ramadan… whether it be at
    work or getting closer to God… but I did notice that many
    people generally find it relaxing. At least the ones who are not
    coffee addicts!