Random Thought #1
Ok, this isn't really random, but since I didn't have the chance to answer some questions that Thom asked me a couple of days ago, I figured that I would tackle them today in this post.
Why is it only during certain times? Why isn't this done every day? The "sawm" means that, and I'm only going to use drinking here, can't be done between sunup and sundown so between then you can drink? Ramadan Kareem Means? and on the photo Mubarak is for?
Actually, Thom, we can fast at anytime, but fasting during Ramadan is mandatory for everyone who is physically able. Ramadan is the month in which the Qur'an, the Muslims' holy book, was first revealed, so it's a really special and important time.
In spite of the lunacy that we see on the news from some Muslims, our religion actually cautions us to maintain a middle of the road stand and to avoid extremism of all kinds. For example, a story relates that when a man visited his brother's household, he noticed that his brother's wife appeared neglected. When Salman asked his sister-in-law what was wrong, she replied that her husband, Abu Darda, had taken up fasting every day and praying all night. As a result of his well-meaning religious zealotry, Abu Darda was neglecting his wife and family. No Muslim is allowed to go such lengths as to neglect his worldly responsibilities for religious "extra credit," so to speak. Salman convinced his brother to stop fasting every day and praying all night by reminding him that this family had rights on him that he had an obligation to fulfill. When Salman related the story to Prophet Muhammad, he approved of the way the situation had been handled by the brother and cautioned all Muslims to avoid such extremism.
To understand the no eating, drinking, etc. rule a bit better, here's a nifty link to a PDF file showing the actual fasting times for the month. The fast begins about 30 minutes before the Fajr prayer (the first prayer of the day) which, for today, was at 4:52 AM; the fast ends with the fourth prayer of the day, Maghrib, which today comes at 7:26 PM. Total fasting time for the day? Rounding up or down as needed for convenience, it looks like this: start at 4:30 AM and end at 7:30 PM for a total of 15 hours. During these 15 hours, the no food, drink, etc. rule applies. In the hours after the Maghrib prayer until 30 minutes before the next Fajr (dawn) prayer comes, we can eat, drink, and generally be merry -- oh, and sleep a little bit so that we can function the next day when we can't eat or drink again, LOL.
Random Thought #2
The pro-op visit with Dr. Oz went well, and now I am just waiting for the hospital to call and let me know what time I need to show up at the hospital on Thursday morning. I've already done my Mostly Wordless Wednesday post with most of the details, so you'll have to sit on pins and needles (lookie there -- an idiom for Jentjie!) until it launches automatically at 12:01 AM on 8-26. Ooooh, I like being mean!
Random Thought #3
Why is it that just when you express gratitude for an easy summer, the weather changes and it turns hot? This is what the Amazing Egyptian Dude calls giving myself the "evil eye." I swear, just a couple of days ago I was saying how glad I was that we had had such a pleasant summer, how the weather had been much cooler than normal, and how we had saved a considerable amount of money because I hadn't needed to run the a/c very often. And then . . .
I start hearing the lyrics to an old Elvis song:
I feel my temperature rising
Its burning through to my soul
[. . .]
Ooh, ooh, ooh,
I feel my temperature rising
Help me, Im flaming
I must be a hundred and nine
Burning, burning, burning
And nothing can cool me
I just might turn into smoke
But I feel fine
Except that I don't feel fine -- I feel hot! And I feel sorry for the Amazing Egyptian Dude who is fasting and hanging out in our warehouses, where it is always at least 10 degrees hotter inside than out.
Lesson learned on this one? Keep my big mouth shut and avoid those evil eyes!