15.07.2015, Wednesday

After Ramadan

Sometimes we want to stop time and live some moments forever, but time, luckily, doesn’t listen. It passes as it always does. Time flows in the same speed for everyone everywhere, but depending on the situation we find ourselves in, one day may seem like an entire century, or like the blinking of an eye.

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The Refugee

Today I would like to briefly share Ms. Feyza Şahin’s reflections on Ramadan. She compares Ramadan to a safe haven in a world full of wars and herself to a refugee that would like to remain in the safe haven: “I waited for these days like a desperate refugee, waiting for the border to open. As I was suffering in the hunger and the thirst of my soul, I threw myself through the door that was opened as a cure for all troubles into the arms of mercy, with the hope that it would envelop me and never let me go.

read more 14.07.2015, Tuesday

The Three States of Ramadan

Ramadan, the beginning of which is mercy, the middle forgiveness, and the end release from Hellfire, is a lot like the prayer with its standing, the bowing down, and the prostration. When Ramadan came we all rolled our sleeves and got ready for worship. Just like standing at the beginning of our prayer. Every believer did this in his/her own way.

read more 13.07.2015, Monday

Ramadan Butterflies

One of our friends who wrote a reflection about Ramadan upon our request is dear Ayşe Şebnem Yeşilkaya. She compares our Ramadan joy to the gaiety of butterflies in spring, our enthusiasm in charity to the flight of butterflies from flower to flower, our slowly refining souls to the elegance of butterflies, and the transitory nature of this season of happiness to the short life of a butterfly:

read more 10.07.2015, Friday

Our Feelings in Ramadan

I saw the crescent in the sky of the dark blue night, in the red of the flag, on the top of the dome, above the Neretva.* I had a difficult time fasting through the long hours. The gates of divine help opened wide. The sun hid its heat, and the clouds wished the fasters well. Little children envied the adults having suhoor and fasted with food breaks in between. Then they took the next step and fasted all day. Grandparents competed with each other to reward these kids in this life, leaving the reward of the afterlife to their Lord.

read more 09.07.2015, Thursday

Narrowing the Ways of Satan

In a hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim our Prophet says: “Satan circulates in the body like blood. Make his passage narrow by means of hunger.”
In the words of al-Ghazali, lusts are grazing grounds for the devils. As long as there is something to be grazed on, Satan will be present. Fasting, through which one establishes a mastery over one’s most fundamental (and unmanageable) drives – i.e. his self, narrows the activity field of the Satan and opens space for our soul to expand.

read more 08.07.2015, Wednesday

Fasting as Told by Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır

Today I would like to cite a few quotations about fasting from Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, a famous Turkish Quran commentator known for including subtle philosophical and psychological analyses in his tafseer. He firstly points out that the struggle against the lower self is possible only through fasting and states that no other means are as effective as fasting in calming the ambition that the human being has towards evil and shamelessness.

read more 07.07.2015, Tuesday

Ramadan Increases and Decreases

With the onset of Ramadan our eating and drinking, and even our sleep decrease. Our vivaciousness and our gallivanting stop; instead a tranquility and a sobriety take over us. We have a month-long experience of eating little, sleeping little, and speaking little, which are the three conditions for becoming a spiritually mature human being.

read more 06.07.2015, Monday

Ramadan Mobilization

During the month of Ramadan we see a dramatic increase in all acts of worship. In these blessed days prayer, charity, and preoccupation with the Quran are at their highest for many of us. This fact is also manifest in the prophetic narrations that deal with the month of Ramadan.

read more 06.07.2015, Monday

Small, Sincere Iftaars

Thank God there are still people who invite close friends to their homes for iftaar. In these small and sincere gatherings we not only eat iftaar, but also meet people, catch up with friends, and have heartfelt conversations. We leave these iftaars having learnt something from the other guests and having seen a new practice or a new style from the household.

read more 04.07.2015, Saturday