Tag Archives: Islam

Break Your Fast with Joy

This Rumi poem celebrates the end of Ramadan, which occurs Wednesday. Drawing on stories that are familiar to Jews and Christians, he talks about the light that has broken in.

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Celebrate! The Month of Fasting Is Come

In this Ramadan poem by Rumi, the month of fasting is compared to a friend, an intoxicant, “a beautiful fortune,” a secret illumination, a plentiful harvest, and a silk outfit than one dons.

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Trump as Yeats’s Rough Beast

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar accuses Donald Trump of being the actual terrorist and compares him to Yeats’s “rough beast” in “The Second Coming.”

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The Unassailable Thankfulness of Life

In this wonderful poem Robert Barasch steps beyond sterile evolution-creationism debates to insist on the wonder of life.

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A New Song Comes out of the Fire

A Rumi poem for Ramadan, which begins next Saturday.

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The Opening of Eyes Long Closed

A Salman Rushdie short story and a David Whyte poem lead to insights into the story of Jesus and the blind man.

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The Sunset Call to Prayer

In this final week of Ramadan, Agha Shahid Ali describes the faith of his grandmother.

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Sacrifice Ram of Pride, Not Isaac

Rumi honors the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha, which centers on the story of Abraham and Isaac.

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The Terrible Beauty of Political Fanatics

In “Easter, 1916,” Yeats gives us a framework for understanding the ambivalence of Muslim moderates towards protesters.

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The Spirit’s Table Has Arrived from Heaven

In this Ramadan poem by Rumi, fasting is seen as a way of escaping the body.

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Like a Reed, Open Yourself to God’s Breath

Rumi says that Ramadan is a time when, by emptying our bellies, we open up a path to spirit.

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Finding a Place Where Hate Won’t Grow

In charged Israeli-Palestinian and Christian-Muslim relations, Naomi Shihab Nye is looking at how to move past the suffering and hate.

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Stretch Your Nets to Harvest the Fog

When one has been fasting for Ramadan, one becomes attuned to spiritual dimensions of the world that elude our full-bellied selves. Kazim Ali captures the experience in a number of his poems.

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The Hunger Inside You, Hold It

American Muslim poet Kazim Ali explores the spiritual dimensions of fasting in his poetry collection “Fasting for Ramadan.”

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Ramadan – The Self Lightens

Poet Nomi Stone, while studying an ancient Jewish community in Tunisia, also attempted to understand the Muslim neighbors. “Many Scientists Convert to Islam” describes her exploration of Ramadan.

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Faith in the Face of Terrorism

Today I recommend Of Gods and Men (2010), an extraordinary French film that I saw last month. It is about a small community of Cistercian monks in rural Algeria who must decide whether to stay or leave in face of rising terrorism. Good Friday is a good day to write about it since it deals with Lenten themes.

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Dance with the Enemy, Then Go Wash

Film Friday The Western, Hollywood’s quintessential genre, can tell us a lot about race relations. I was reminded of this on Wednesday when I taught John Ford’s The Searchers in my American Film class. Rewatching the movie got me thinking about the Congressional hearings on “Muslim American Radicalization,” which began yesterday. I will have more […]

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A Poem about the Stoning of Women

My colleague Jeff Coleman recently wrote the following poem about the stoning of women in places like Somalia, Iran, and Taliban-controlled regions of Afghanistan. He tells me the poem was triggered by an article in the New York Times about Iranian executions, but for me it brought to mind the Somalian stoning two years ago […]

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Hear the Words under the Words

  Spiritual Sunday I’m trying not to overreact to the anti-Muslim sentiment blowing through the United States at the moment. I keep telling myself that there is a core decency to Americans and that most are not stampeded into hysterical hatred by demagogic political and religious leaders. Although the United States has not always welcomed […]

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Moving beyond August Madness

Alexander Pope, taking his cue from the Roman poet Juvenal, knew what a crazy month August could be. In The Dunciad the end of civilization occurs in August, coinciding with the rise of the “dog star” Sirius: Now flam’d the Dog Star’s unpropitious ray, Smote ev’ry brain, and wither’d every bay [poet]; Sick was the […]

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The Holiness of Ramadan Fasting

A Ramadan poem by Rumi.

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