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Jordan: Ramadhan, Prayers and Clean Blogging

With very little to go before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan, which is signalled by the sighting of the new moon with the naked eye, Jordan's blogs are already abuzz with greetings, religious observations and personal promises.

The Black Iris wishes his readers on the advent of the Holy Month, adding he is not looking forward for the ritual over the next decade. He explains:

And can anyone blame me? With Ramadan starting on the first of September this year, I can’t help but think of Ramadans to come. Yes, the mere thought of Ramadans to come sends shivers down my spine. I imagine being unable to eat and more importantly drink (H20) until the red hot summer Sun descends some time around 7-ish. I imagine heat and exhaustion. I imagine the average Jordanian’s intolerance capacity increasing substantially, and that includes me. Skyrocketing actually. I imagine everything that would normally go slow due to the heat, come to a screeching halt with Ramadani summers. And to think, with the Ramadan start-date moving back ten days every year, this is a cycle that will take a few decades before getting back to the cooler, appropriately-timed-sunset, months.

Bakkouz [Ar] asks whether fasting has become a social ritual, instead of the religious spiritual experience it is supposed to be. He raises two points in his post about Ramadhan and prayers, which Muslims must perform five times a day, every day.

نلاحظ إقبال المسلمين الشديد على أداء النوافل في المساجد في شهر رمضان، وأخص بالتحديد صلاة التراويح، فنرى الناس تتوافد جماعات جماعات لأداء صلاة التراويح في المساجد. هذا بحد ذاته أمر لا غرابة فيه، ولكن الغريب هو انه في مقابل هذا الحرص الشديد من الأخ المسلم على أداء صلاة التراويح والتي هي صلاة سنّة (اي ليست بفرض)، فإننا نرى في المقابل عزوفا ولا مبالاة فيما يتعلق بأداء الصلوات الخمس المفروضة في المساجد. أي أن المسلم يحرص أشد الحرص على صلاة التراويح في المسجد بينما لا يكترث لا بل لا يكلف نفسه عناء صلاة الفروض كالفجر والظهر والعصر والمغرب في المسجد. فهل صلاة التراويح والتي هي سنة أضحت اهم من صلاة الفرض؟

I notice a large number of Muslims flock to mosques to observe the rituals during Ramadhan, especially the Taraweeh prayers. Groups of people amass on mosques to perform them. This isn't surprising but what is strange is how keen Muslims are to perform those prayers which are not obligatory. In return, I notice that many shun performing the five obligatory prayers in mosques. This means that Muslims are keen to pray the Taraweeh prayers in mosques but not the five obligatory prayers of dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), afternoon (a'sr), dusk (maghreb) and night (Ishaa) prayers in a mosque. Have the Taraweeh prayers which are a Sunnah [customary practise/tradition] become more important than the obligatory prayers?

Bakkouz also wonders about those who only pray and fast during Ramadhan. He says:

بمناسبة الحديث عن التقليد والعادة الاجتماعية وبمناسبة الحديث عن الصلاة أيضا، فإننا نرى الكثير الكثير من الناس يصومون شهر رمضان وهم لا يصلون. فهل يصح الصيام بدون صلاة؟ أوليست الصلاة عماد الدين؟

And while discussing traditions, social customs and prayer, I notice that a lot of people who fast during Ramadhan but don't pray. Is their fasting accepted without prayer? Isn't performing prayers the pillar of religion?

And Moey announces that his blog will be fasting too and promises his readers a more spiritual approach to blogging. He notes:

Moey’s blog, one of the most famous Jordanian blogs, will mark the Holy Month of Ramadan in quiet contemplation, and post supportive/clean posts for everyone to read. I will refrain from swearing, saying horrible things and using bad language during the holy month of Ramadan. Will rant when I need to, I’ll try to make it less offensive.
I’m taking this Ramadan into consideration, as a diet…
Happy Ramadan I guess.

2 comments

  • With all due respect to true believers, that’s the problem with societies that don’t respect the mandate “there is no compulsion in religion.” Non-religious people feel compelled to participate in the fast, in which they don’t believe, then skip out on religion during the rest of the year.

    In the US, only my truly believing Muslim friends fast – the others don’t feel societal pressure. As it should be.

  • […] out this blog post, for instance, entitled Ramadhan, Prayers and Clean Blogging which, frankly, shows us that our Muslim brothers and sisters are more like us than they are […]

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