In that moment I took a breath in, I felt more spiritually connected to God than I had ever before. The realization of a blessing is as simple as breathing.
They are called Mursheeda, "those who guide." They aren't just security guards; they are scholars of Islam, women with a purpose.
We Muslims will create a new American identity that allows us to live in peace with each other and with other faith communities.
We are blessed to welcome Ramadan again this year. It is a time for fasting, spiritual fulfillment, emotional rebalancing, mental reflection and physical purification. Ramadan is the ideal time for balancing the spirit, the mind and the body.
I believe that there are four levels of fasting; the fasting of appetites, the fasting of the senses, the fasting of the mind and the fasting of the heart. We fast because we want to fasten our souls to our Lord.
For those who missed my last reflection, I had started to discuss the profound impact the 100th chapter of the Quran, Al 'Adiyat, had on me. At a time when I felt quite isolated and confused, I found solace in it like I had never found in the Qur'an before and it helped me to read the Quran in an entirely different way. It helped me to understand the human condition, my own condition, in a deeper way.
Just tweaking what we eat has huge consequences. For the first time ever, the preliminary draft of the new USDA Dietary Guidelines links reduced meat consumption to a more sustainable planet.
This is my Ramadan story, and the one of my grandfather and my family. We are Jews. I grew up listening to stories about my grandfather. He was quite a character my grandpa!
Perhaps the most significant similarity between the Florence of yesterday and present-day Dubai is their surroundings. Just like Florence was home to the Renaissance when darkness dominated Europe, Dubai is a beacon of hope and enlightenment when we look at what is happening in neighboring Arab and Muslim countries.
I had read this verse over and over throughout my life, but when I read it that day, it felt like I was reading it for the first time. I didn't know how to be appreciative, and the impact it was having on me was quite severe.
Ramadan has begun, and with it Muslims seek to unite themselves not just with each other, by abstaining from food and drink during the day, but with all of humanity, trying to minimize class differences and empathize with the poor and needy by being hungry and thirsty in the same way.
As the executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, a national organization that builds power with workers through faith-rooted organizing and advocacy, my faith and values are what ground me and call me to do this work.
It's a true story about a high school football team in Virginia dealing with deep-rooted issues of race as they become the first team in their district to integrate have both black and white players.
Ramadan is a time to recharge our bodies, minds and souls. It's a time for spiritual rejuvenation. It's time to break habits and focus on improvement. And when you are fasting and giving up all physical and worldly temptations, you are in a mental state to take on spiritual challenges more than ever before.
A failure to acknowledge and deal with illness doesn't mean that it's not there. I can pretend like I'm not sick, but my body will let me know otherwise. We can pretend like our society is not in pain and in need of healing, but atrocities like Charleston will let us know otherwise.
As we enter the blessed month of Ramadan, it is important to remember the prophetic tradition of combating systemic injustice wherever we find it. The presence of food deserts makes it very difficult for many people to find or afford healthy food.