I won’t wish you a Ramadan Karim

Every year I decide to write a post about Ramadan: either to wish my friends a Ramadan Karim, or just to criticize Ramadan. But each year I find no words to justify my thoughts and I keep postponing the task. It’s the middle of Ramadan now and here is what I have to say:

There are few things you should know about me. One, I’m not a racist (Or as I like to believe I am not). Two, I hate religions. Three, I hate the religion of Islam in particular. And four, I always try to justify my opinion. And I mostly know that I might lose a lot of followers after posting this.

When it comes to religions, I need to say that growing up in the Middle East in a Jewish country, among a majority of Muslims people who keep more traditions as time passes by, all that made me believe that religious traditions should be avoided, for one main reason: they make our lives a living hell.

I grew up as a Christian,  but I always wanted to learn and know about other religions. I grew up tolerant and understanding. Hell, I even used to try to fast during Ramadan. Sometimes, among everyone around  me, I used to feel Christian and Muslim at the same time. But after the age of 18, after reading too much, learning more about the real reality, the one that is not banned, the one that is meant to be visible for the eyes of the adults, I knew that I cannot live a fake life, and be ridiculous.

Like myself, I think every atheist started questioning the existence of God or the supreme being from an early age. I have to confess, while learning that there’s such a thing as atheism, I started realizing that I can no longer believe. I cannot force myself to believe in entities and matters that do no exist to me. I decided to be an Atheist, because I can’t tolerate any more bullshit, and I can’t see the word from a religious perspective.

I will dedicate another post about Atheism, now I’d like to focus on why I don’t think Ramadan is a good idea. During Ramadan, Muslims have (and must, with no excuses) fast from dawn till sunset. And now during the summer it makes it about 15 hours a day. 15 hours without water, without any kind of food. Without food that can be okay, the human body can fast for more than that, but 15 hours without water? isn’t it too much? And it’s an obligation for everyone to fast. For everyone. Unless you’re sick, travelling, pregnant or on your period. But still, it’s summer time, and it’s obligatory to drink water all the time, 5 glasses in the morning and keep drinking more than two liters during the entire day. Even when you’re not thirsty, you must drink lots of water. But no, during Ramadan, you’re not allowed to drink any drop of water until it’s time to eat.

from www.barenakedislam.com
photo from http://www.barenakedislam.com

So, okay, it’s a tradition, and Muslims are all happy during this month, they get to fast, they get used to it after two days, and then the “Ftour” – breakfast (that’s from where the word break fast came from) time comes up at 8 and they all gather around one table and have a glorious amazing feast. Not even realizing that it’s bad for their health to eat too much at once after 15 hours of an empty stomach. I think that’s insane, it loses the whole meaning of fasting. Wasn’t Ramadan an occasion to feel  solidarity with the poor, hence the fasting? But no, on Ramadan people are obliged to give charity, not because they want to, but because if they do they will go to heaven. And from all my understanding of Islam: they’re only mission is to go to heaven. And it’s all done by fasting, giving charity, praying, wearing the Hijab, avoiding any drinks and entertainment, and even killing others for that. Killing others doesn’t only refer to what ISIS are doing, but also for what other Islamic countries are doing: execution for adultery, fornication, prostitution, robbery, being homosexual, etc. And that’s all because punishing the sinner on earth while he or she is still alive will ease God’s punishment when they die. I’m sorry, but I must say that’s a complete horseshit.

Anyway, back to Ramadan. During this month in Islamic or just Muslim cities or countries it’s illegal to eat in public. The penalty differentiate from one place to another: in some places you only get to pay a fine, in other places you get God-knows how many lashes and spending time in prison. Is that fucking fair?

Now lots of Muslims will be offended by my post, they will call me ignorant for giving small and little facts about what’s going on in the world of extreme Islam. But paying a fine for eating in public during Ramadan is in almost every Muslim town. People have to admit that the Islamic religion is not a moderate religion, the rules are strict and most of the time they don’t make any sense. I know lots of secular Muslims, but by a lot I mean just a few, and maybe some of them grew up in secular families, others had to suffer a lot to become secular. And it mostly depends on the place. Maybe in places like Haifa, Yafa, Acre and some other mixed cities people can easily be secular, but in most Muslim towns and villages the notion of being secular does not exist. That’s why young people who want to actually live move to much more convenient place.

I don’t know how that works in other Arab countries, but I know that’s how it goes for the Palestinian people, especially the ones living inside Israel.

To cut a long post short, you can call me racist, or ignorant, but that won’t change my view on religions, and especially the Islamic one, and I think that Ramadan is just a month to keep the ridiculous, difficult and pointless tradition alive. Ramadan is an example of why the Muslim world will keep going backwards. Because keeping traditions comes with a good price, and everyone is stubborn to keep all stupid traditions to prove their existence and persistence.

 

While this post is getting out of hand I want to add one last thing: I want a free Palestine, but not only the freedom from occupation, but also from its own people. If Palestine will be another copy of an Islamic country, then I want none of it. If the people of Palestine will keep their mind traditional just the way it is, then please keep dreaming about a fake freedom. Freedom only comes when your mind is free, and independent.

30 thoughts on “I won’t wish you a Ramadan Karim

  1. Medical benefits of Ramadan

    Muslims do not fast because of medical benefits which are of a secondary nature. Fasting has been used by patients for weight management, to rest the digestive tract and for lowering lipids. There are many adverse effects of total fasting as well as of crash diets. Islamic fasting is different from such diet plans because in Ramadan fasting, there is no malnutrition or inadequate calorie intake. The calorie intake of Muslims during Ramadan is at or slightly below the nutritional requirement guidelines. In1 addition, the fasting in Ramadan is voluntarily taken and is not a prescribed imposition from the physician.

    Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and self training, with the hope that this training will last beyond the end of Ramadan. If the lessons learned during Ramadan, whether in terms of dietary intake or righteousness, are carried on after Ramadan, there effects will be long lasting. Moreover, the type of food taken during Ramadan does not have any selective criteria of crash diets such as those which are protein only or fruit only type diets. Everything that is permissible is taken in moderate quantities.

    The difference between Ramadan and total fasting is the timing of the food; during Ramadan, we basically miss lunch and take an early breakfast and do not eat until dusk. Abstinence from water for 8 to 10 hours is not necessarily bad for health and in fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, at least in plant life, improve their longevity.

    The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity, and essential hypertension. In 1994 the first International Congress on “Health and Ramadan”, held in Casablanca, entered 50 extensive studies on the medical ethics of fasting. While improvement in many medical conditions was noted; however, in no way did fasting worsen any patients’ health or their baseline medical condition. On the other hand, patients who are suffering from sever diseases, whether type I diabetes or coronary artery disease, kidney stones, etc., are exempt from fasting and should not be allowed to fast.

    There are psychological effects of fasting as well. There is a peace and tranquility for those who fast during the month of Ramadan. Personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases. Muslims take advice from the Prophet who said, “If one slanders you or aggresses against you, say I am fasting.”

    This psychological improvement could be related to better stabilization of blood glucose during fasting as hypoglycemia after eating, aggravates behavior changes. There is a beneficial effect of extra prayer at night. This not only helps with better utilization of food but also helps in energy output. There are 10 extra calories output for each unit of the prayer. Again, we do not do prayers for exercise, but a mild movement of the joints with extra calorie utilization is a better form of exercise. Similarly, recitation of the Quran not only produces a tranquility of heart and mind, but improves the memory.

    One of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan is called the night of power when angels descend down, and take the prayer of worship to God for acceptance.

    Fasting is a special act of worship which is only between humans and God since no one else knows for sure if this person is actually fasting. Thus God says in a hadith qudsi that “Fasting is for Me and I only will reward it”. In another hadith, the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) has said “If one does not give up falsehoods in words and actions, God has no need of him giving up food and drink”.

    Happy Ramadan1 to all Muslims.

    Shahid Athar M.D. is Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, Indiana, and a writer on Islam.

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    1. you’re talking about diets. People in general who fast during Ramadan, eat nothing during the day, and then at the time of S’hour they eat like maniacs. And speaking of which, nothing in the food they eat is healthy, it’s all filled with fat and it’s too much. This is bullshit my dear friend.
      There are no medical reasons for that, as I believe, because otherwise why haven’t doctors around the world recommended fasting to everyone? why only Muslims do it?
      Now, the lent is different. There’s healthy food and you can drink water.

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  2. Hi Arwa, good thinking… but i may say.. We need to know deeper about islam if we want to know about Ramadan. Ramadan is not tradition.. its a rules from God. It’s different. And Ramadan is not just about eating and drinking. For islam, Ramadan has strong concept for muslim. So, let’s islam believe about their religion and of of course i respect about any religions and any opinions, and respect about Atheism. Sometimes we can not explain so clearly about “beliefs”. I can say the world is colorful.. and need respect each other to get peace in a big picture. Thank you

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    1. I’m very well aware that the tone behind my writing in this post was very disrespectful and a bit aggressive. As I mentioned, I grew up among Muslims and many of my friends and close people to my heart are Muslims, not only I respect them, I love them. And during Ramadan I try my best to make them feel comfortable and at ease. Indeed I also try my best not to provoke their beliefs. But the traditional style Islam has adapted to through out the years has gone more backwards than ever. Respect or no respect I don’t want to live in a place where I’ll be fined for eating in public during Ramadan. I don’t want the Islamic traditions and beliefs have any influence on myself and others who refuse them. And you can say whatever you have to say, but the Islamic lifestyle is occupying the entire Middle East.

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      1. I do fasting also… but I don’t care if people eating in front of me. For me fasting is between me and God, so if we fasting Ramadan and still ask people not to eat in front of us.. it means we don’t understand the meaning of fasting. Look at the poor… did they ask me not to eat in front of us? Never… Btw… love to discuss about this with you Arwa

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        1. Always a pleasure talking to people with an open mind who don’t judge and can create an actual point behind a discussion. I like your way of fasting, I wish others would do the same.
          One more thing regarding fasting that I didn’t mention in my post: so many people judge those who don’t fast. People wake up from 7 and have to work till 7, they can’t fast. While others fast by waking up from a deep sleep one hour before “Ftoor” breakfast and judge those who don’t fast because they have been up and working hard all day long. Now that’s bullshit.

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          1. Hahaha, as i said fasting is between human and God… its not about human relation. We cannot say “we are a good muslim” if we still need people follow what we want… I am ot a good muslim also, but let God say for me I am good or not. I was not fasting either 1 day because I was angry of something.. If I am still have emotion in my fasting.. it means useless.. i was just hungry and thirsty only.. so I better broke my fasting 1 day, then I will change it another day. Fasting is about control emotion also. Judging people is not allow either…If we keep negative of something in our fasting.. then i would say bullshit also.. hehe

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  3. Thanks for this intriguing and information post. As a Christian in America I know very little of Islam except through my Muslim co-workers who are quite moderate in their beliefs. Your posts cause me to think and I respect your words and beliefs.

    I looked up the word Religion because I wanted to know it’s roots.

    http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/68747/the-etymology-of-religion-comes-from-legere-meaning-to-read-re-meaning-a

    Religion and Faith in God is meant to bind us together as humans though throughout history we have seen it used as the opposite. In the Crusades, colonialism, right-wing extremists in any faith use the Bible or other books to enslave fellow human beings. Seeing the hypocrisy and corruption around you could make one lose faith in God. In the United States some ministers of the Gospel take parts and pieces of God’s Holy WCord to justify their narrow viewpoints. I chalk this up as a fault of man not God. Despite the many personal hurts the church has caused me as a Woman I refuse to give up my faith in God. I’m not going to through the baby out with the bath water because I believe there is hope with the Inclusion Movement arising in the Body of Christ. Reading about Pope Francis gives me hope because he focuses on real time issues. The poor, climate change, the greed of the 1%. Also the ministry of Bishop Carlton Pearson who was once a strict Fundamentalist but he changed, he evolved because he could not justify excluding people because of sexual orientation or belief system. In America the church especially the Black Church has been a leader in social justice, i.e. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If it had not been for the church I would not have the right to vote today and Jim Crow would still be the law of the land. Brokenhearted even though I do not attend church services on a regular basis I stand with the families of the believers viciously murdered at Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church. The victims families extended forgiveness to their family members killers reminding us that faith in God is unshakable even in the worst of times.

    I’m given hope with progressive pastors and enlightened Reverends who realize religion whether it is Christianity or any other faith must evolve with the times if it is to survive the 21st Century. Let us hope that Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Native American belief systems will form interfaith collaborations which will bring our world together inside of tearing us apart.

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    1. Thank you for your amazing comment. As usual, I love what you have to say.
      The thing is, honest believers believe in goodness in every single religion. They take religion and faith together and make a great combination of love and harmony.
      But that’s not the case in the real life. In real life, especially in the middle east, people take religion and convert it as a mean to rule, to empower themselves not others.
      I’ve never met an Islamic family that empowers its members. In every Islamic family I saw I noticed that women had no choice/s, they wore the hijab/veil and were forced to get married young and raise their children.
      In some other Islamic families women were educated, had a good job, but they’re worth nothing without the religious traditions: Hijab, marriage and children.
      In the Muslim world, women have nothing to do except obey.

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  4. What a well written and intelligent post. Until our minds are free we will never know freedom. Religion only creates fear – regardless of what the religious ones would have us believe. There are so many religious rules to follow that they conquer the independent thinking mind. I was raised Christian – when you believe in Christianity the fear of hell exists and you live a crippled life. I too have claimed my own mind about these matters, there lies joy in this type of freedom!

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    1. Thank you 🙂
      Yes, religion only creates fear. Especially the Islamic religion. Because I grew up as a christian, fear wasn’t applied. Maybe Christianity differs from one place to another. But the Islamic religion is based on fear alone, that’s why people are great believers, they’re always afraid.
      The Islamic religion focuses on the after life, they believe that they have to suffer in the real life, devote their entire life to God and then when they die, in the after life they will be very happy.
      Men believe they will get 72 virgins/nymphs when they go to heaven.

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  5. Loved this piece, though I would say that love and hate are like brothers. Their intensity can be equal and both most certainly keep us attached to the things we are projecting that emotion, too. Religions, for me, are an archaic method for communing with the energies of the Universe. They are not about God, they are about fear. To be free of disdain for religion or God is an entirely different path. On that road there is no hate or fear. In the end, to walk away without judgment or interest for religion is really to let go of a path of fear, completely.

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    1. Thank you for your comment and I’m glad you liked the post. I was a bit angry and mad, it always happens when I talk about religions. And that is the difference between beliefs, faith and religion. I don’t mind it when people have different beliefs and lifestyles, but when that affects me or the surrounding people, then there is a big problem. Religions should have been a good thing, but as time goes by, they have brought nothing but wars, and dictatorship. Faith on the other hand, that’s personal.

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  6. As I read your post, you have really thought about how to live and I find it is good, that you find and live in a way, as you feel are right for you, no matter religion or other cultural barrieres.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you liked it, and glad that you think my way of living is good. I try to be honest about my feelings and adapt to a lifestyle that is suitable for me, and my beliefs.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks 🙂 If one cannot be honest to others, at least one should be honest to oneself. I used “one” a lot, but honesty and happiness is for one person, so is freedom.

          Liked by 1 person

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