Ramadan

Ramadan

Each week I write a weekly column trying to capture and replay a tiny bit of the incredible conversations and efforts taking place behind the scenes at On Being. Sometimes it's a listener's response on our Facebook page or a gorgeous photo on Instagram, but it's often intriguing. If you'd like to receive my column in your email inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletter!

For Muslims, Ramadan is the holy month in which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) began to receive the first series of messages that would eventually become the Quran.

The Prophet was a family man and a business man. And yet he took time away from family and work to go on solitary retreats. He took a break from society, a kind of sabbatical from his routines, to reach for a deeper relationship with God, much like Jesus in the desert.

While searching for a lead photo for this week's show, I chanced upon this awesome scene of the Prince of Wales Hotel, nestled in the Canadian Rockies in Waterton National Park in Alberta. A must-visit someday!

A Pakistani immigrant to the U.S. finds that stereotypes and misconceptions go both ways and is surprised to "see real examples of people living out tolerance, harmony and acceptance" in his new home.

Sixteen Muslims, in their own words, speak about the delights and gravity of Islam's holiest month. Through vivid memories and light-hearted musings, they reveal the richness of Ramadan — as a period of intimacy, and of parties; of getting up when the world is quiet for breakfast and prayers with one's family; of breaking the fast every day after nightfall in celebration and prayers with friends and strangers.

Nine Muslims, in their own words, reveal a creative convergence of Islamic spirituality and American identity that is unfolding, largely unnoticed, in the United States. A lawyer turned playwright, a teacher who's a lesbian, a retired federal prosecutor — all giving shape to the nature and meaning of Muslim identity, and sharing how tricky it can be to unravel Islamic religious tradition from the many cultural traditions.

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Sometimes it takes the simple, kind words of a Somali woman to remind us of all to be treasured during these times.

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