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Reads for Ramadan

By Lucy Fisher

The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness.  Celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting from dawn until sunset to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad according to Islamic belief.  This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam.  The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon. Ramadan began Friday, May 26th and continues until Saturday, June 27th with the holiday of Eid al-Fitr (Arabic:عيد الفطر) which marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the next lunar month, Shawwal.  If you’d like to learn more about Ramadan, consider checking out one of the following titles available at Roesch Library or through OhioLINK.

“Kazim Ali’s Fasting for Ramadan is an intimate journey through thirty days of fasting. Like a flower wilting in a dry pot, Ali’s body grows weary without food and water. But as the days go on some other form of sustenance takes over to revive and replenish him, propelling him forward so that he ends the month is a very different place than where he began. This book is more than just a simple account of spiritual hardship. It’s an incisive look at what it really means to be Muslim in today’s world, essential for anyone interested in understanding the multicultural fabric of America and of the Muslim community that exists here.” —Samina Ali, novelist, author of Madras on Rainy Days

Edited by Laleh Bakhtiar, Ramadan : motivating believers to action : an interfaith perspective explains that Ramadan is not just a month of fasting, but a month of spiritual healing. Presented from an interfaith perspective as a means to motivate believers to action, the articles by such famous writers as Muhammad al-Ghazzali, Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, Imam Jawziyya, Ibn Sireen, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Mawlana Mawdudi and Laleh Bakhtiar include essays on both the Law and the Way.

Fordson : faith, fasting, football tells the story of a high school football team team from Dearborn, Michigan, as it prepares for its big cross-town rivalry game during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Set at Fordson High School, a public school, which was
once all white but now has a 98-percent Arab-American population, Fordson examines the intersection of the Islamic faith and the American dream. Available on DVD through OhioLINK.

Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, and Eid al-Fitr, which marks the fast’s end, are sacred times for millions throughout the world. Deborah Heiligman’s Celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr examines the reasons for the monthlong dawn-to-dusk fast and observes some of the wide variety of celebrations at the end of the fast worldwide.

Fazal Sheikh, a photographer, examines the plight of an exiled Somali woman detained with her young son in an asylum seeker’s shelter in the Netherlands.  Ramadan Moon takes on the form of a meditation as she gazes into the night sky during the month of Ramadan while dreaming of her husband and daughters who she has left behind in Somali and seeks comfort from the Koran in her prayers.

Ali Budak’s Fasting in Islam & the month of Ramadan seeks to explore the divine institution of fasting in Islam by providing comprehensive information on its place in Islamic worship, and on the fasting month of Ramadan. It covers: fasting in Islam and other faiths; merits and benefits of fasting; types of fasts; charity in Ramadan; and, fasting and health.

- Lucy Fisher, Course Reserves Specialist
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