Eid 2009

»  mark    21 Sep 2009 @ 00:37    

Well, another Ramadan is in the history books. Although I was aware of what was happening and participated to some extent, I must report that things were quite a bit different this year. The full-day fasting does make a significant impact on the overall observance, probably because it fills so much of your daytime and evening thoughts. Here’s how things went for me.

  • Change in diet
    Grade: A-. This was not as hard as I thought it might be. I did give in for one birthday cake and one ice cream but took half portions. I felt great will power on many occasions because sugar really is quite abundant in the average American lifestyle.
  • Charitable donations
    Grade: B+. While my donations for the month are nothing like the zakat (2.5% of annual salary), I am satisfied with my contributions. I already make charitable donations throughout the year, so I don’t feel I need to do as much during Ramadan.

    This year, instead of donations to large relief organizations, our family picked out a few individuals to help directly through one of my favorite websites, Kiva.org. If anyone is interested in microlending, this is a good way to get involved. While our contributions are not entirely alms (they are loans), they do serve the same purpose, relieving suffering and helping people out of poverty, and it is humbling and gratifying to choose the beneficiaries of your charitable actions.

  • Prayer
    Grade: B-. Improved, but not the soul searching I had hoped for.
  • Scripture Study
    Grade D. My new schedule at work proved very formidable, as my morning routine was devoted to making the train on time. Evening wasn’t much better. This is going to be a struggle for many weeks to come.
  • Refrain from worldly influences
    Grade: A-. I did without TV exclusively. I only listened to score updates from the Utah State/Utah football game, and limited my music listening at work to mostly classical and instrumental. I did watch a few shows with my family, but went without many others.

So, in summary, although things didn’t turn out as I hoped, I don’t feel my observance was a waste of time. It is always beneficial to set goals and review one’s life, and I did find my choices to lift me out of some of my common daily ruts. Eid Mubarak to all.

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