Monday, September 18, 2006

Ramadan Readings

Some help, if you can offer it.

I am preaching this weekend on the spiritual discipline of fasting, and on the power of spiritual disciplines in general.

I would love to share some readings about Ramadan written by Muslims. Certainly relevant passages from the Qu'ran would also be appreciated, but I can research those myself.

I plan to weave in my recent "conversion" to vegetarianism and the issue of sustainable eating. I hope to God I can keep this from being one of those boring Meanwhile, can I tell you how delicious the braised lentil stew cooking in the oven smells right now? It's full of fresh rosemary from my garden, red onion, garlic, and (full disclosure here) free-range organic chicken broth. And okay, I added the leftover frozen bacon I had in the freezer, because the recipe calls for it and I wanted to use up the meat I had on hand.
Sorry, vegans. I'm definitely consuming 80% less meat than previously. And that's where I may stay.


Blogger Padre G said...

Blessings to you PeaceBang for discussing a beautifal facet of a faith we all need to understand better...

Oh, and about the bacon, my motto is:

"Everything in moderation, including moderation..."

Blogger powderblue said...


I don’t know any Muslim readings related to Ramadan, but I’ll check with my minister – she might.

padre g,

“Everything in moderation, including moderation” is a good guide in my opinion, at least for most categories of decisions. Harming others is not one of them, though. Assault in moderation?

Blogger Padre G said...


Funny you should mention that. My clerical vows included vows of pacifism. Now seven years into my ministry, I have recently, with my Bishop's blessing, begun studying martial arts with one of my parishoners. This is part of a proactive program I am on to recover from some injuries that had impeded my ability to celebrate the Eucharist.

So in a strange sort of way, training with a professional has sort of been "Assault in Moderation". Granted this is more about a study of the spiritual side of the martial arts and I do agree that there is never an appropriate time to harm others...

Blogger Caroline Divine said...

There was a wonderful program on "Humankind" (one of David Freudberg's public radio spirituality/ethics shows) two or three years ago on fasting, half on Ramadan, half on Yom Kippur, with interviews.

Podcast, as it turns out, at

Blogger PeaceBang said...

C Divine,
I went right over to that site and downloaded the podcast, but frustratingly, I was unable to get the entire 29 minute show. I tried it twice, and only got 3 1/5 minutes on Yom Kippur. I just wondered if you have any insights on this before I get in touch with their technical support.

Thanks for the link, btw!

Blogger Wally Nut said...

I have no real knowledge about Ramadan (You might like to read some comments from the perspective of an American white woman just returning to the U.S. from living in Saudia Arabia.) I have not fasted for many decades, but I have some thoughts about the difference between a hunger strike and a fast. If I say, "I will not eat until you submit to my demands," then I am making a political protest, and I am hoping to force someone else to change their actions based on my actions. This is a hunger strike. I believe that this has been done almost continually at Guantanamo prison. However, if I say, "I cannot continue to eat in the face of such an intolerable situation," then this is a fast. In a sense, it is an acknowledgment that I am complicit because I am connected to the oppressor. I cannot force the oppressor to change so I must make some atonement myself. I believe that fasting when done in its pure form is a kind of prayer, a kind of offering. "I know I can eat. There is food here. But I choose not to eat, in order to awaken, and perhaps invite others to awaken."

Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I'm a little confused. You apologize to the vegans, but I don't understand why?

Blogger PeaceBang said...

Well, because I have the feeling that the vegans would have recommended I just throw away the meat in my freezer rather than use it up.

Blogger powderblue said...

Ending unnecessary suffering is the primary interest of the vegans I know. None of the suffering of animals used for our food, clothing, entertainment and most research meets any moral definition of necessity.

Eating meat already purchased is unlikely to decrease unnecessary suffering. Purchasing meat, or encouraging others to purchase it with one’s food choices, directly contributes to unnecessary suffering.

No vegan I know has given up animal products all at once. It can take awhile to overcome the powers of tradition and group-think that have steered us wrong – even horribly so – although historically Unitarian Universalists have been pretty good at it.


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