Like myself, I’m sure many of you are studying for exams during this blessed month of Ramadan. Due to the nature of the lunar calendar, my exam seasons for the past two years were in Ramadan and this brought unique challenges, and continues to do so, but unique rewards as well.
I’m sure we can all agree the most challenging aspect of exams in Ramadan is hunger. When your suhoor is out of your system, it’s really difficult to concentrate and motivation goes out of the window! Trying to refocus your mind and not think about food is hard.
Another difficulty, for me personally, was guilt. I felt that I was not doing enough ibadah or making the most of Ramadan and in a way choosing dunya over deen. However, I came to realise that is not the case. The act of studying, with the right intentions, can become ibadah. Upon learning this, I no longer saw studying as an obstacle in the way of me fully observing Ramadan but a means to worship Allah by working hard for exams and getting the hasanat at the same time. Two birds, one stone.Read More »
It’s hard to get into the spirit of Ramadan during these uncertain and stressful times, especially since going to the masjid and praying in congregation is one of the major events that makes me feel like it’s Ramadan. I know a lot of people are feeling the difference this year because we aren’t able to celebrate the way we are used to.
Five years ago, I went to study abroad and didn’t get the chance to celebrate Ramadan with my family for years. And let me tell you, it’s HARD. I was in the dorms having to eat dorm food and take out for sehri, and I couldn’t go to the masjid and meet with my family friends or have my mom’s food (that was honestly the hardest part, not gonna lie here).
Of course, I had made friends and that made the whole experience so much easier. In order to get into the spirit of Ramadan without our families, my friends and I would do sehri together (with wake up calls to make sure we didn’t miss it!) and have iftar parties every once in a while. They became my family and now I miss that.Read More »
Salaam, friends! I’m back with another author interview for #RamadanReadathon 2020.
As you know, the readathon is themed around the anthology Once Upon An Eid, so I wanted to spotlight as many of its contributors as possible during the month. The fifth story in the anthology is written by Candice Montgomery and I’m so pleased to welcome them on the blog today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Candice “Cam” Montgomery is an LA transplant now living in the woods of Seattle, where they write Young Adult novels. Their debut novel, Home and Away can be found online and in stores now, and their sophomore novel, By Any Means Necessary was released October of 2019. By day, Cam writes about Black teens across all their intersections. By night, they bartend at a tiny place nestled inside one of Washington’s greenest trees. They’re an avid Studio Ghibli fan and will make you watch at least one episode of Sailor Moon and listen to one Beyoncé record before they’ll call you “friend.” You can follow them on Twitter: @candiceamanda.
This Ramadan will be very different for us because of everything going on in the world and us having to stay home because of the masjids being closed. It means we won’t be able to go to the masjid for taraweeh prayers or even open our fast and go to pray at the masjid. And there won’t be anyone doing iteqaf or attending weekly reminders.
Ramadan normally has this wonderful community feel as we get to meet lots of people during family iftars and more, but this year we won’t be able to do any of that. This year, the only people we will be able to spend Ramadan with is the people who are living in the same household, and many people may even have to spend it on their own. This can mean that people will feel even more isolated or struggle through Ramadan which can affect our emaan.
So, as it will be very different and new to us, I thought I would share some ways that you can still make the best of this blessed month.
Also, as #RamadanReadathon 2020 is inspired by the themes in Once Upon An Eid, I will be sharing tips for each of these individual themes.
It’s the first day of #RamadanReadathon 2020 and we’re exploring the theme of culture. I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be collaborating with the South Asian Reading Challenge (co-hosted by Samia & Rumaanah) this month to celebrate and explore the South Asian aspect of my identity and how it intersects with my identity as a Muslim.
Culture means something different to every single one of us as it’s multi-faceted and layered with our identity, religion, ethnicity, and family experiences. The three of us represent different parts of the South Asian-Muslim diaspora so we sat down to ask each other some questions about our initiatives and the way that books have infused more meaning to our identities.
Salaam, everyone! It’s the first day of #RamadanReadathon 2020 and we’re kicking off in style with the first author interview of this year.
As you know, the readathon is themed around the anthology Once Upon An Eid, so I wanted to spotlight as many of its contributors as possible during the month. The first story in the anthology is written by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and I’m so pleased to welcome her on the blog today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, M.S.Ed, is an educator and children’s book author. She began writing children’s books when she couldn’t find enough stories about kids like the ones she birthed and the ones she was teaching. Her books include Mommy’s Khimar (Simon & Schuster, 2018), Once Upon An Eid (Abrams Books, 2020, contributor), Your Name Is A Song (The Innovation Press, 2021) and Abdul’s Story (Simon & Schuster, 2021). Her works, which feature young Black Muslim protagonists, have been recognized and critically-praised by many trusted voices in literature, including American Library Association, School Library Journal, and NPR. She’s taught youth in traditional and alternative learning settings for 15 years and currently directs and develops writing programs for Philadelphia and New Jersey youth at Mighty Writers. You can follow her on Twitter @jtbigelow.Read More »
Salaam, friends! I’m so pleased to announce that #RamadanReadathon is back for another year. This readathon has a special place in my heart, and organising it has become an important part of my get-ready-for-Ramadan routine over the last four years.
This year, to coincide with the release of Once Upon An Eidon May 5, the readathon will be themed around the individual stories within the anthology. With so many of us looking to spend Ramadan and Eid in lockdown or apart from our loved ones, it’s a way for us to come together and highlight the joy that this time of year brings for Muslims.
Salaam everyone! It’s been a while, and I think I’ve forgotten how to blog, but I’m finally back with a somewhat comprehensive list of books by Muslim authors to add to your TBR in 2020.
Last year, I compiled a list of over 40+ books by Muslim authors so I’m hoping to surpass that figure this year, and it’s already off to a promising start! As always, this list is not exhaustive but it’s a good place to begin if you’re looking to expand your #MuslimShelfSpace! Which of these following books are already on your radar? Read More »