Poetry and personal blog – Spilling my guts to strangers

Posts tagged ‘Muslim’

Lock and Key

Today is the first day of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims. Among other restrictions, they take in nothing by mouth from sunrise to sunset.

The time of year for the fast changes each cycle because Muslims use the lunar calendar, so next year Ramadan will start in late June. I remember when I used to participate in this fast that it was much easier to do during the winter months, and how much more difficult it was to fast during the summer months–not drinking water during the hot humid days with as many as four more hours of daylight before the fast ended at sundown, compared with the winter months.

Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims because supposedly it was the month that the Quran, the Muslim holy book, was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It is believed that during the month of Ramadan, Satan and his minions are locked up behind the gates of hell and they can’t get out to perpetrate evil in the world until the month is over.

The implication, if you believe such things, is that because Satan is out of the picture for the month, any evil that occurs during this time comes strictly from the hearts of humankind. There is nothing else to blame. Also, it’s a window of opportunity where every good deed takes on that much more significance.

This whole idea has always intrigued me. I used to imagine, and even now, though I don’t practice the faith anymore, that the world feels a little less oppressive during Ramadan, and at the end of the month, which this year will be around August 7, I’ll sense  the world settling back to business as usual.

Not for nothing. Really. Just wanted to share that.

© Sweepy Jean and Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World, 2013

Religion, Part Three: Poetry as Religion

It’s been a little while since I last posted but I needed the sabbatical to clear my head, think.

I don’t like my posts to be too long, but I think this one will be longer than usual, as there is a lot involved and this is very important to me. Whoever reads this can glean what they want from it. I hardly know where to start and I know I haven’t covered it all. These are just my personal thoughts if you care to know them and not meant to be imposed on anyone.

From hell to nonconformity.
When I was taught Islam, I was told that if you believed any of the teachings, then they all must be true, and if you don’t believe in part of it, then you’re a nonbeliever. (more…)

Religion: Part Two

At this point, I think that my take on religion may require three parts. This post will focus on my experience as a Muslim. My intention is not to knock this or any religion; I think in their purest forms, all religions have truths to impart in their tenets. It’s the people, though, that ruin everything. This is hard for me to write because my entire life has been devoted to the pursuit and contemplation of religion in some form or another–more accurately, to religion secondarily and primarily, to love, which I also threatened to talk about in an earlier post, and I will, but this first.

I didn’t become a Muslim simply because my future husband was (he was new convert himself) but because I really bought into it. The Quran, which is written in poetic verse, is beautifully melodious in its original Arabic language and translates quite well. (more…)

Religion: Part One

I was more or less raised in the Southern Baptist tradition that I don’t believe in any more, if I was ever truly vested in it. My grandmother, the matriarch of our family–long gone but someone whom I idolize to this day–was a second mother to me. She took us in after my parents split and was my emotional go-to at a time when my mother, scrambling to recover, had no energy for me.

My grandmother talked in Bible-speak, constantly spouting verses and was relentlessly judgmental. She was a constant source of amusement to me and my cousins. When there was a thunderstorm, she would make us kids sit down quietly (more…)

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