Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ramadan- the politics, spirit and traditions

Welcome to Ramadan, this column is about the politics, traditions and the spirit of Ramadan.

Like a mother who wants her children to live well, like a teacher who wants his students to do well, and like a chef who wants his patrons to enjoy his food…. God wants every one of his creation to live in harmony and do well.

No one is deprived of God’s love; he has reached every human through a peace maker, messenger, prophet, reformer or simply a wise man or a good friend that brings sense to living. The creator offers a variety of guidance to the mankind, no matter where you live, the guidance is there, the guidance that leads to live in peace, and without fear of the other.

Religion is one such instrument that God guides us through, and there are many of them, at least 250 traditions including a dozen major ones. Each tradition does well for the believer in bringing peace to oneself.

Today, the one tradition I am talking about is Islam, and one of its beautiful aspects that helps build cohesive societies.
Ramadan Mubarak

Welcome to Ramadan, it begins on Friday the 20th
 of August, 2012. It is the month of fasting, a month of learning about others, connecting with others, developing empathy with fellow beings and above all reaching new heights in piety and spirituality,  Taqwa as it is called. It is to become closer to God and emulate his qualities of unselfishness, forgiveness and love. It is a month of practicing service to fellow beings and developing self discipline to learn to live they way we want, and being conscious of every moment of the day for 30 days.  

I am working on an article on Ramadan, which I stopped, instead to write about Michelle Bachman and her tantrums which shall appear at Huffington post tomorrow.  Meanwhile here are a few things I have written.

The Politics of Ramadan at Washington Post

Politics plays a crucial role in our Temples, Synagogues or Churches, Mosques are no different. A few scientifically-inclined-Muslims have adopted NASA’s calculations believed to be precise. However, four different traditions are operating concurrently; i) Strictly Calendar, ii) NASA and iii) Sighting with bare eyes and iv) sighting by others in the community.

Muslims around the world will begin fasting from Friday, July 20, 2012 and for a whole month thereafter, however, for some of them it will begin (only) if the moon is sighted. The story is same with the Jewish and other traditions that follow lunar calendar. Rosh Hashanah like Ramadan comes 11 or 12 days earlier each successive year.
 Continued at

The Spirit of Ramadan at Huffington Post

The spiritual masters have captured the human gravity towards rituals and have molded it with the art and science of self-discipline in their respective religions. The noble purpose of each one of them was to bring a balance in our lives and a balance with our environment.
Every faith is composed of a set of unique rituals to bring discipline and peace to human life. Fasting is one of the five key rituals that Muslims around the world observe. Rituals signify the milestones of our daily life. Every significant moment of the day is a ritual. It is an unwritten way of measuring our progression, a memory pattern to bring discipline to our actions. Continued

The Traditions of Ramadan at Ramadan Exclusive

its celebration time when Muslims around the world anxiously wait for the first moon of the ninth Lunar month to appear on the sky. The families gather in their backyards, or get on the nearest hillock or climb on the top of their homes and wait for the pencil thin moon to appear on the horizon, and when it does, jubilation begins.
 Continued at:
Welcome to Ramadan at Ramadan Exclusive

Insha’Allah, the first day of Ramadan will begin on Friday, July 20, 2012 and Eid al-Fitr on Sunday, August 19, 2012 per the announcement from ISNA.
 Continued at:

Quraan says, had God willed, he would have made every one of us alike - then he says, he chose to make us into different tribes and nations from the same couple (or the same source). Then he goes on to challenge us to know each other - he knows that our conflicts stem from not knowing each other, and living with misinformation about others,  when we know each other,  conflicts fade and solutions will emerge.
Every religion means peace and Justice and that is acceptable to God. He says, you need not worry who you are, as long as you take care of your neighbor, I will recompense you. Each one of us is responsible for our Karma.
He concludes ( Quraan 49:13) that the best among us is the one who knows each other, learns about each other and respects each other. If we take the time, to learn, every religion is out there to bring goodness to humanity.  

Be good to yourselves and every one around you. Happy Ramadan.

 Mike Ghouse is committed to nurturing the pluralistic values of Islam and welcomes everyone to explore and several related sites listed at: . The site  lists everything about Mike.

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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.