6 Things You Should Stop Asking Your Muslim Friends During Ramadan

6 Things You Should Stop Asking Your Muslim Friends During Ramadan

No, seriously, please stop.
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For the record, I am not annoyed or mad when people ask these questions or make these statements. In fact, I am glad. I am glad because people are interested and care enough to ask. But, hearing these statements every year when Ramadan rolls around gets tiring.

1. Not even water?

This is my favorite question. I find it so funny. During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from drinking, eating and sexual activity for a whole month. So yes, not even water.

2. Why can't you sneak food? It's not like anyone will know, right?

Sneaking food would defeat the whole purpose of fasting. And I'll know and so will God.

3. Aren't you hungry?

UMMM. Imagine not eating for like fifteen hours. How would you feel? There you go, you answered your own question. Even if I am hungry, it does not matter because I cannot eat.

4. Why can't you fast if you have your period? Isn't it sexist?

I have actually heard this multiple times. Muslims are excused from fasting if they are sick, elderly, children, or if they are menstruating.

5. Is it okay if I eat in front of you?

YES! Someone else fasting should not inhibit you from eating whatever you want. Part of fasting is building discipline and controlling the urge to eat.

6. Aren't you doing this to lose weight?

Um, no. Losing weight can be an unintended consequence of fasting. But, so can gaining weight, due to the carb-heavy and oily foods consumed. I'm doing this because as a Muslim, I am obligated to and want to.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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If God Didn’t Intend For Women To Be Equals, Why Did She Make Us So Incredible?

Yeah, I said She.

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An article that absolutely infuriates me has gone viral. As a feminist, as a writer, and simply as a woman, it drives me up a wall to see another woman proclaiming that God's plan for women was to "submit to their husbands."

I don't know where to start with all the issues I found in reading the piece, so I'll start with what a feminist is. It's a subjective term and its connotation varies from person to person.

But to me, feminism is being empowered and expressive individuals with open minds and open hearts. They are activists for change and equality. They have concerns about the environment and global warming. They acknowledge issues within sexism and racism and then try to figure out how to solve them. They see that the world isn't perfect.

Feminists are the reason we can vote. They're the reason birth control is an option for us. They're why we're allowed to wear pants. They're why we have careers. The female pioneers paved the way for anything we're allowed to do, and they are why we celebrate the power of women every March.

But instead, the woman who wrote "I'm A Christian And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals," used our month of pride for clout. And took justification from The Bible to do it.

The Bible is not an instruction manual. It was written over many, many years by hordes of sexist men whose existence we have minimal proof of. And over the last thousand years, it's been translated and reinterpreted more times than anyone could ever keep track of. That's not to say it doesn't have some good lessons, but lessons are all they are.

Thinking your worth and capabilities were planned for you thousands of years in advance is ignorant. Religion and The Bible and God are as subjective as feminism. Everything is open-ended. One person's view of who or what God is not going to be the same as the last.

Commonly, God is seen as a man at the center of the universe who holds all existence in his hands. He is the reason why anyone does anything. He is the rule maker. And He is judging us and waiting for our every mistake.

But as a proud feminist, I've chosen to have my own idea of this holy being. I wasn't brought up in church, but I decided to believe in something much greater than myself or anything I've ever seen just because I wanted to. I want to believe that faith has to come from somewhere, and I didn't want a book making the rules for me.

Just by watching life move through time, I happen to believe God is the good in all of us. Not one being, but he beginning and the end of everything. The push and the pull. The conscious and subconscious. And considering that God is the creator, I've concluded God must be a woman because women are the creators.

And in my experience, women have proved themselves to be much stronger and more capable than any man.

As for what She creates, I think She makes no mistakes. I think She tests our patience and beliefs by giving us what we don't expect. There's intent and love in everything She gives us. I think every woman was made to be relentless, imperfect, fearless, and even a little rebellious.

And if we're saying Adam and Eve were the start of it all, then God proved that right off the bat. God saved the best for last, and then made her a badass. Yes, the first woman came into this world as a rule breaker. She questioned authority. And since the beginning of time, authority has been a snake. The world is our forbidden fruit to bite.

The sole purpose of a woman isn't to submit to anyone. A woman can do whatever she damn well pleases, just as any man. A woman's worth isn't tied to what kind of wife or mother she is and how closely she follows the rules. I was raised by the most incredible mom and wife. She did happen to stay at home with me and be the traditional woman. But while she was home, she taught me how great it is to be a woman. She made sure I knew I could be whoever I wanted and would pay no consequences for that.

My parents didn't raise me in a church. And I never saw that as a flaw or lack of judgment. My southern home was like a church; full of faith and love. But on Sundays, we would sleep in and have a big breakfast at noon because we had too much fun staying up late Saturday night dancing around our living room to music. Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, and Madonna led the choir — singing about independence and the power of being empowered as women.

As a feminist, I will not judge those who haven't accepted all the honors of being female. I can just tell everyone how wonderful it is to stand for something. I can set an example so that more women will go forward.

And despite what anyone thinks of feminism, there's nothing exclusive about it. Feminists don't think they're any better than men, they just want the chance to prove their capabilities. It's so much bigger than thinking men suck. The truth is, we should have men at our side, not in front of or behind us. And not for romantic partnerships, but as allies. The best men are feminists too. We can make this walk alone, but there's power in numbers and in diversity.

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I’m Christian And My Boyfriend’s Muslim. Triggered? Sounds Like A Personal Problem

Why does his religious affiliation mean more than my happiness?

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"But he's a Muslim."

Well, he treats me like a queen.

"But he's a Muslim."

He makes me so happy. Do you not want me to be happy?

"But he's a Muslim."

He is showing me the world.

"He is going to rape you because he is a Muslim."

He loves me.

"He doesn't, especially because he is a Muslim."

Why does someone's religious affiliation deprive me of being allowed to be happy? How does his religion keep him from being a good person? What do you know about Islam other than what you read on Facebook and see on the news?

I have met the most amazing man who treats me the way I deserve to be treated and yes, he is a Muslim. I am open-minded enough to know that not all Muslims are terrorists. They go to school, play sports, laugh, dance and sing. They are HUMAN. But terrorists are more newsworthy, so there is this idea that anyone who claims to be a Muslim is a terrorist. When I was planning my trip to Morocco, I was told I was going into the terrorist country. No, I was going into an Islamic country. Learn the difference.

I don't want to say "Muslims are just like us" like we do with celebrities, but we need to destroy the stereotype. If the only knowledge you have about Islam is what you have heard on the news, then for the love of God keep your mouth shut about my relationship. Christians and Catholics have murdered families and raped children.

It's not a Muslim problem, it's a people problem.

Aside from all of this, my boyfriend is just an amazing man. I have asked at least a million questions about Islam and he is always willing to tell me everything. I will not convert from my faith, but I will continue to learn about Islam and be open-minded and accepting. Just because I am Christian does not mean I have to be closed off and hateful. It was God's plan for us to meet and fall in love.

Why does my happiness suddenly mean nothing because he's Muslim? I am able to see him for who he is, and I can see what a great boyfriend I am blessed with. If you are too close-minded to not see past his religious affiliation, then you are at fault. God has given me the heart to see more in people than what the world sees on the surface. I have also been brave enough to get off my couch and travel the world to formulate my own opinion.

I am not in love with a Muslim. I am in love with a man who is willing to move mountains to be with me and prove to me daily how much he loves me, and he's a Muslim.

It might not be good enough for you, but it is everything I have prayed for.

Cover Image Credit:

Akash Desai

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