MetroFocus

RAMADAN PRAYERS & FEARS

Transcript

FOR 30 DAYS, MUSLIMS AROUND THE
WORLD WILL GIVE UP PLEASURES AND
FOCUS ON PRAYER AND READ THE
KORAN IN CELEBRATION OF THE HOLY
HOLIDAY OF RAMADAN.
GATHERING IN MAOSQUES.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS MIGHT THE
COMMUNITY BE TAKING THIS
HOLIDAY?
WHAT CAN WE DO TO SUPPORT THEM?
HERE TO TALK WITH US ABOUT THE
HOLY MONTH IS ASSOCIATE CHAPLAIN
AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY OF GLOBAL
CENTER OF SPIRITUAL.
IT'S A DELIGHT TO HAVE YOU HERE
WITH US.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>> I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO
ASSUME YOUR ROLE OF PROFESSOR
HERE.
AND TO TEACH SOME OF US THE
SIGNIFICANCE AND MEANING OF
THESE EVENTS.
LET'S START WITH RAMADAN.
>> IT'S A NIGHT ON THE ISLAMIC
CALENDAR.
IT'S A MONTH OF REAL OBSERVANCE
OF THE ISLAMIC TRADITION BY
MEANS OF ABSTAINING FROM FOOD
AND DRINK, BY MEANS OF DEVOTION
AND SUBMISSION TO GOD, BY
NUMEROUS PRAYERS, READING OF THE
QURAN.
LIFE IS FILLED WITH SO MANY
FRACTIONS AND UPS AND DOWNS.
DURING THE COURSE OF THE 30
DAYS, WE STRIVE TOWARD ALLOWING
FOR OUR HEARTS TOWARD CONNECTING
TOWARD THINGS WHICH ARE FAR MORE
VALUABLE THAN FOOD AND DRINK.
THAT, OF COURSE, IS CONNECTING
WITH OUR MORALITY AND FOCUSSING
ON THEMES LIKE MERCY AND
PATIENCE AND COMPASSION AND
GENEROSITY.
ONCE IN AWHILE, WE NEED CERTAIN
THINGS TO RECENTER US IN LIFE
BECAUSE OF HOW BUSY THINGS GET.
SO THE MONTH OF RAMADAN IS AN
OPPORTUNITY TO DO JUST THAT.
>> FASTING, AS YOU MENTIONED, IS
A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THAT
PERIOD OF REFLECTION AND PRAYER.
WHAT IS THE ROLE THAT FASTING
PLAYS?
>> YEAH.
USUALLY WHEN -- USUALLY THE
FIRST THOUGHT THAT COMES TO
PEOPLE'S MINDS WHEN THEY HEAR
RAMADAN IS FASTING.
RIGHT NOW THE MONTH OF RAMADAN
IS GETTING CLOSE TOWARD THE
SUMMER PERIOD.
WE'RE FASTING IN UPWARDS OF 17
HOURS ABSTAINING FROM FOOD AND
DRINK.
MANY PEOPLE WONDER, LIKE, WHY?
DOES THAT MEAN FASTING FROM
WATER?
YEAH, IT DOES MEAN THAT.
>> IT DOES MEAN THAT.
GIVE ME THE PARAMETERS.
THE TIME.
>> YEAH, SO THE TIME OF FASTING
IS A LITTLE BIT PRIOR TO DAWN
UNTIL SOON AFTER SUNSET.
SO WE'RE TALKING ABOUT
APPROXIMATELY FROM 4:00 A.M. TO
A LITTLE BIT AFTER 8:00 P.M.
AND IT'S INCREDIBLY CHALLENGING
AND INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT, BUT,
AGAIN, WHAT IT ALLOWS US DO AND
THAT'S THE CRUX OF THE FAST IS
FOR US TO MARGINALIZE AND
ISOLATE SO MANY DISTRACTIONS IN
LIFE.
IF YOU THINK ABOUT HOW OUR DAYS
GO, THE FIRST THING WE THINK
ABOUT IN THE MORNING IS WHERE AM
I GOING TO GET THE FIRST CUP OF
COFFEE.
SIMILARLY WHAT AM I HAVING FOR
LUNCH.
WHERE AM I GOING FOR DINNER?
AND YOU'RE WALKING DOWN THE
STREET AND THERE'S A MILLION
COFFEE SHOPS IN NEW YORK CITY
AND YOUR MIND IS DIRECTED FOR
YOU TO JUST WALK IN, GRAB A CUP,
WALK OUT.
BUT OVER HERE YOU KNOW YOU HAVE
TO ABSTAIN FROM ALL OF THAT.
AND THAT REALLY CHANNELS THE ONE
WHO IS OBSERVING THE FAST TO
ALLOW FOR THEMSELVES TO FOCUS ON
THAT, WHICH IS HOPEFULLY A
LITTLE BIT MORE IMPORTANT.
>> YEAH.
>> STRIPPING AWAY THE
DISTRACTIONS.
>> STRIPPING AWAY THE
DISTRACTIONS ALLOW YOU TO BECOME
CENTERED.
>> EXACTLY.
>> BECOME PART OF YOUR BELIEVES
AND CONTEMPLATE YOUR BELIEVES.
>> YEAH.
SO MUCH IS REFLECTION,
CONTEMPLATION, MEDITATION.
IT ALLOWS FOR A MINDFULNESS.
YOU BECOME COGNIZANT WHY IT IS
YOU'RE DOING WHAT IT IS YOU'RE
DOING.
IF I WAS HUNGRY BECAUSE I MISSED
MY LUNCH BREAK, I'LL BE IN A BAD
MOOD.
RIGHT.
I'M GOING TO BE UPSET AND MY
HEAD WILL HURT.
BECAUSE I KNOW I'M DOING IT FOR
GOD'S SAKE, I'M DOING IT TO
OBSERVE MY TRADITION.
I'M DOING IT TO RECENTER MYSELF,
THOSE DISTRACTIONS DON'T POP
INTO MY HEAD.
WE THINK ABOUT THAT WHICH IS
MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOD AND
DRINK.
>> HOW YOU DESCRIBED IT HERE IS
SOME PEOPLE MIGHT MISINTERPRET
TO THINK IT'S A SELF-PUNISHMENT.
YOU'RE DEPRIVING YOURSELF OF
THESE THINGS.
AS YOU SAID, IT'S DIFFERENT.
>> NO, IT'S ABSOLUTELY NOT.
DEFINITELY NOT DEPRIVING US.
AND NOT A SENSE OF
SELF-PUNISHMENT.
IT OFFERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO
REFOCUS, I WOULD SAY, PROBABLY
US LIVING IN THE SOCIETY OF,
LIKE, OVER CONSUMPTION IS
PUNISHING US AND THIS SORT OF
ALLOWS US TO HIT THE RESET
BUTTON AND SORT OF, YOU KNOW,
RETHINK ABOUT HOW WE ENGAGE
LIFE.
>> AND TALK ABOUT BREAKING THE
FAST.
IT'S NOT JUST OF A MATTER I CAN
GRAB SOMETHING TO EAT.
THERE'S MORE OF THE PART OF THE
RELIGIOUS CELEBRATION TO THE
BREAKING OF THE FAST.
>> YEAH.
MANY PEOPLE THINK THAT THE MONTH
OF RAMADAN IS A DEPRESSING TIME
FOR MUSLIMS WHERE WE STARE AT A
WALL ALL DAY.
I USED TO HEAR THESE THINGS
GROWING UP.
AND IT SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF
IGNORANCE BUT THE MONTH OF
RAMADAN IS FESTIVE.
AND THE BREAKING OF THE FAST IS
A MICROCAUSAM OF THAT FESTIVITY.
OFTENTIMES YOU DON'T BREAK YOUR
FAST ON YOUR OWN YOU GO TO A
LOCAL ISLAMIC CENTER AND DO IT
WITH YOUR FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
AB FRIENDS YOU HAVEN'T SEEN FOR
A LONG TIME.
AND PEOPLE GATHER TOGETHER AND
THEY EAT, THEY DRINK, THEY,
LIKE, SHARE CERTAIN EXPERIENCES.
IT BECOMES A -- THERE'S A
COMMUNAL ATMOSPHERE TO THE
BREAKING OF THE FAST EVERY
EVENING.
IT'S A WONDERFUL TIME.
>> AND IT'S IMPORTANT, I THINK,
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR
WITH THE FAITH TO REALIZE IT'S A
PERIOD OF CELEBRATION.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>> WHICH LEADS ME TO THE
DIFFICULT QUESTION WHICH IS ON
THE HEELS OF THE TERRIBLE EVENTS
IN NEW ZEALAND, WHAT SORT OF
IMPACTS DO YOU THINK THOSE --
THOSE EVENTS ARE GOING TO HAVE
OR WOULD HAVE ON THE PERIOD OF
TIME OF RAMADAN?
>> YEAH, I MEAN, THE LAST TWO
AND A HALF YEARS HAVE BEEN
INCREDIBLY TRYING FOR THE MUSLIM
COMMUNITY IN THE UNITED STATES
AND ACROSS THE WORLD DUE TO THE
ATTACKS AND POLITICAL RHETORIC
AND SEMANTICS.
NOT ONLY FOR THE MUSLIM
COMMUNITY BUT THE RELIGIOUS
COMMUNITIES, YOU KNOW, ACROSS
THIS COUNTRY.
AND, YOU KNOW, THE WAKE OF THE
ATTACKS THAT TOOK PLACE IN NEW
ZEALAND IN MARCH, THAT KILLED,
YOU KNOW, MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE,
MANY RELIGIOUS BASES ARE
ACTUALLY SEEING AN INCREASE IN
THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
ATTENDING.
AND I THINK THAT SHOWS --
DEMONSTRATES THE NOTION OF
RESILIENCE THAT AS MUCH AS, YOU
KNOW, WHITE SUPREMACY WANTED TO
ISOLATE MUSLIMS FROM EMBRACING
THEIR FAITH AND EMBRACING THEIR
IDEOLOGY, THEY'RE FINDING PEOPLE
ARE COMING OUT IN SIGNIFICANT
NUMBERS THESE DAYS AND I'M SURE
AS THE MONTH OF RAMADAN
CONTINUES OVER THE NEXT COUPLE
OF WEEKS, WE'LL SEE THE NUMBERS
SIGNIFICANTLY BE ON THE UPTICK
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SORT OF
REALLY RALLYING AROUND THE
NOTION OF EMBRACEMENT OF ONE'S
IDENTITY IRREGARDLESS OF SORT OF
THE RHETORIC AND THE POTENTIAL
FOR VIOLENCE.
THAT'S NOT TO SAY THAT NOT MANY
ISLAMIC CENTERS AND MOSQUES ARE
NOT TAKING THE NECESSARY
PREREQUISITES AND MEASURES.
THERE ARE MANY COMMUNITIES THAT
ARE, YOU KNOW, HIRING CERTAIN
SECURITY TASK FORCES TO REALLY
PATROL THE CENTER.
OTHERWISE MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL
COMMUNITY ARE STANDING OUTSIDE
AND SORT OF CHECKING IN ON
FOLKS.
>> BEING VIGILANT.
>> BEING VIGILANT.
YEAH.
>> WE ALL KNOW THAT THE CORNER
STONE OF TOLERANCE IS
UNDERSTANDING.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>> AND CERTAINLY YOU HELP US TO
UNDERSTAND THE MONTH AND THE
CELEBRATION AND THE
SIGNIFICANCE.
YOU'VE DONE A MARVELOUS JOB IN
YOUR ROLE OF A TEACHER.
WE APPRECIATE YOU SPENDING TIME
WITH US.
>> ABSOLUTELY.


URL: https://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2019/05/ramadan-2019/