Things to know about Ramadan. Ramadan is the name for the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar -- and the whole month is a holy time. Because it's on a lunar calendar, it slowly moves through the year. This year it started in March. It starts 10-12 days earlier each year, so by 2026 it'll be starting in mid-February; in 2029 in mid-January; and so on through the year and back around to March again in 2055.
Ramadan is celebrated as the month Muhammad received from the initial revelations of what became the Quran.
All Muslims who have reached puberty and are in good health are required to fast during daylight. The sick and elderly, along with travelers, pregnant women and those who are nursing are exempt, although they are supposed to make up for the missed fast days sometime in the future or help feed the poor.
There's a pre-dawn meal, then the fast period begins at sunrise. Each day’s fast is broken with an after-sundown meal known as “iftar.” Iftars are often elaborate feasts celebrated with family and friends. The family and community bonding and merriment is as important a part of Ramadan as the fasting, prayer, and reflection.
Observing Ramadan is one of the "Five Pillars of Islam." The other four are:
- making a profession of faith
- prayer, five times a day, facing Mecca
- charitable donation
- a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in one's life
As the saying goes: If you don't know, now you know!
Yours in the faith we share,
Join a Journey Group: http://cucwp.org/journey-groups
I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It)
The Mar 26 service, "The Importance of Vow":
It’s time again for our Ecospiritual practice for this month – adapted from Rebecca James Hecking and brought to you by Community UU’s Environmental Practices Social Justice Team. Meeting the Soul’s Needs.
Sustaining the planet requires sustaining our spirits. Healthy living doesn’t come naturally for us, who were built to crave salt, sugar, and fat. We’re also built for spirituality – to connect to a larger meaning, to have genuine friendships and community, to be generous and of service. But just as we can get lured into unhealthy eating, we get lured into unhealthy, lonely TV watching and consumerism – the junk foods of the spirit.
The “Primal Matrix” we seek is “a healthy, wholly functioning psyche in full-bodied participation with a healthy, wholly functioning Earth." It’s the interconnected relationships with our inner selves, each other, and the ecology. For most of us, alas, rediscovering and reintegrating this Primal Matrix requires significant effort.
Looking deeply at your own life, and honestly considering your soul’s needs requires regular, ongoing introspection. Each day spend some being still and quiet, some time journaling, and some time with spiritual texts. Bonding with the ecology around us heals and transforms us and the Earth. The work of sustaining our souls and the work of sustaining our planet each is necessary for the other.
Ecospiritual practices for this month include: Cloud Watching – spend a half hour just gazing at clouds. Small change --adopt one new simple Earth-friendly habit. And Touchstone Connection. For details on these, as well as group activities for your Ecospiritual group, see the post: Meeting the Soul's Needs
Here it is, your...
MOMENT OF ZEN
#153: The Word
Stag Sensei invited Raven to speak to his students, and Porcupine went along as her attendant.
In their absence, Owl led the discussion but said very little.
Wolverine asked, "If truth is essentially wordless, why do we usually talk so much at these meetings?"
Woodpecker said, "Maybe we should listen to the silence between the words."
Hearing of this later, Porcupine said, "The word! The word!"
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