Ramadan

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marky
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Ramadan

Post by marky » Sat Oct 14, 2006 11:27 am

You see I think I have figured out that a guy I work with is a Muslim. I have gathered this from the posters in Arabic he has on the wall in his side of our double office, and because he has one of those pictures of that thing where there are all these men going around this big kindof rectangular/square statue I can't remember what it's called, when all the guys are kindof holding a rope or something and they keep going around that big statue. anyway...

Another thing was I started to figure out that he never ate lunch while we were at work in this office. I started to wonder why this was, that he never ate, and one day all of a sudden it clicked - is it Ramadan? And wouldn't you know it? It really is Ramadan right now. So being the curious person I am I started reading about what these Muslims do when it's Ramadan. And I found out that they are not even allowed to vomit. Can you believe that? It's not just that they must avoid food and sexual intercourse during daylight hours and all this, but they don't drink water during the day either and above all what really flipped me out is they can't vomit. It's just something I don't understand. Now, fasting is actually good for you, it has definite health benefits, so hey I think that's great for them. But you see now at work when I get ready to eat my lunch I feel sooooooo uncomfortable around this guy. Not like he's going to kill me or something like that, but wondering if he thinks me disrespectful for eating while he's fasting. Cause in some Muslim countries they outlaw eating by Westerners during this time, shit like that.

Anyway it's not a huge deal, he's actually a pretty nice guy. But when I really read in detail about Ramadan and all the rules of it, I mean...it's just something I will never understand I'm afraid.

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Post by Sloth » Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:07 pm

Why can't muslims be funny and drive Rolls Royce's like in Cannonball Run?

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Post by marky » Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:29 pm

I'm trying to find the webpage where I saw these Ramdan rules before. It was perfectly laid out. I really want to share it here. It's really pretty entertaining to read.

In the meantime, I would like to link back to the Final Fantasy album actually because I read an interview with the guy who's mainly responsible for the album (Owen Pallett, a member of Arcade Fire) and he said that many of the puzzling lyrics were actually to do with atheism and frankly that surprised and delighted me. Anyway one of the lyrics says "if I fast until starvation/will I be born again a Christian?" But other than that I wouldn't have thought any of it was about religion or atheism, even.

If I can just find the links I want to post here, damnit...

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Post by marky » Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:43 pm

Okay here it is...check out any of it, you will see what I mean:

http://www.majalla.org/books/law/fasting.htm

Also note there is this thing about "letting dust reach your throat" - that's something else to avoid during Ramadan. I can't understand what that means, but yeah like I said the link above is pretty damn entertaining and puzzling. I mean what I find weird is that there are all these strict rules but yet in situations where it really would be a serious medical emergency not to follow the rules, then it's okay to break them. See you what you guys think.

Now I just have to find the interview quote with Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy (incidentally he's a Virgo, too, as is John Peel, kindof cool eh?):

http://www.youaintnopicasso.com/2006/04 ... l-fantasy/

Okay here's the quote from that I was talking about. Before you read it though you should understand that the songs on the album are also supposed to do with that game called Dungeons & Dragons, which I don't know a lot about but I have heard much about.
"Most of the characters in the songs are just versions of myself. Some of them are a little more perverted, and some are more converted, but they're all basically kind of versions of myself, and athiest versions of myself. Basically, the whole point of the record is kind of a death record in a way, because it's like when you as an atheiest, or me as an athiest, are confront your own mortality, which athiests don't often tend to do, it's a pretty f*cked up thing. Death is far more scary for athiests than followers of any other religion.

Adhering to and applying certain belief systems to one's life is kind of a natural process for someone who is trying to find meaning. I think that's why so many people cling to…like, any of these things: music snobs, film buffs. It could be anything, I just happened to pick Dungeons and Dragons because it seems to be more fun. It's about taking mundane events and talking about how they relate to this system of beliefs which is entirely fabricated and entirely fictional. It's like reimagining the entire Catholic faith, but without actually beliving it. Looking at Catholicism, but leaving out the whole system of belief, and treating it as if it were a pasttime.

To me, it's kind of what the world of Dungeons and Dragons is like. It can replace religion for people who are having trouble coping with the idea of the meaning of life and death and other big issues that are answered in religion, but are difficult to answer as an athiest."

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Post by marky » Sat Oct 14, 2006 5:56 pm

Anyway, incase anyone cares, I still think of myself as being exactly half and half. I am half an atheist, and half a person who believes in something rather similar to this nebulous idea of a god, without actually attaching to any particular religion, and without me actually being able to control that half of me yet. I have definitely felt that my recent experiences in life have thrown a spotlight on what exactly is my belief system, if I even have one. Maybe the layman would just say I'm agnostic. I'm definitely confused. The atheist in me is arguing with the other half of me, in my subconscious, in the background. In the depths of my brain it is as if the earth is shifting. When the earthquake stops, I know I'll be on firmer ground.

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Post by marky » Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:00 pm

And I just keep thinking how Einstein said that "God doesn't play dice". I almost find that quote frightening right now, though ever intriguing.

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Post by marky » Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:06 pm

Oh my god. Earlier upthread I spoke of John Peel in the present tense! Not surprising, really. That book makes me feel he is still very much alive. When I see the picture of him on the back of the book jacket where he's in the studio in front of the soundboard, definitely taken not more than a few years before he died, I get a really weird feeling I can't describe at all. He was 60 some years of age but he never lost his youth. He never stopped listening to new music. He never gave up. He never said the kids these days were crazy, cause he was bloody checking out their music. He was old enough to remember when rock and roll STARTED and yet he could have told you all about the newest bands of 2006.

God bless the lad, R.I.P.

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Post by marky » Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:09 pm

Oh christ this is horrible. I'm weeping about Peel's death. First time I've done so since he died in Oct. 2004. I owed him so much. It's not funny. We all owed him so much.

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Post by marky » Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:14 pm

Anyway I'm going to stop crying about it and put on the Fall here in a minute, one of his favourite bands, obviously. I really think the reason Mark E. Smith came off as such a clueless, curt drunken bastard on that Newsnight show in the UK in 2004 was because he was bloody stricken with grief over Peel's death. And yet so many hold that against him, the press seemed to hold it against him. But think, just think for a minute how YOU would have felt to be M.E.S. and to know that Peel had died? I mean I would have thought it terribly hard for him. Peel had supported the Fall for so many years, I believe The Fall were Peel's favourite. Surely it was harder for M.E.S. than many of us to deal with his death?

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Post by megapulse » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:17 pm

yeah, ramadan is cool, so are muslims. it's against the muslim religion to take your own life . . . i don't know where the folks who do take their own lives get that idea. it's not a muslim thing. :0

we celebrated ramadan with my brother in law one day recently though. he actually fixed us dinner; his fasting differs from my fasting. he only fasts during certain hours of the day; when i've fasted it's been for days on end. i'm not muslim, but i really enjoy fasting when i do it. it's cleansing.

i love him so much in a sister in law way. his aunt and uncle are from kuwait and send me arabic school books and newspapers that my students are like oh! wow! can you read this. i'm like hell no!

i'm a dumbass american, but my brother in law can and he can also read, write, and speak english.

"Anyway, incase anyone cares, I still think of myself as being exactly half and half. I am half an atheist, and half a person who believes in something rather similar to this nebulous idea of a god, without actually attaching to any particular religion, and without me actually being able to control that half of me yet. I have definitely felt that my recent experiences in life have thrown a spotlight on what exactly is my belief system, if I even have one. Maybe the layman would just say I'm agnostic. I'm definitely confused. The atheist in me is arguing with the other half of me, in my subconscious, in the background. In the depths of my brain it is as if the earth is shifting. When the earthquake stops, I know I'll be on firmer ground."

i believe in the invisible being of some native americans . . . the creator. i do believe that something created us. i think i feel close to it when i'm in nature, when i fast. certain times. i don't talk about it a whole lot just because. . . i don't. but that's how i feel. i think it's really personal and i don't want someone taking a verbal shit on what i believe. i don't want to convert someone to it either, which is i guess why i don't talk about it.

but i just don't think it's logical that something came from nothing, so i'm not an atheist.

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Post by marky » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:56 am

Well the way I feel about it is, I have no problem saying "I don't believe in god" but there are certain things that I DO believe in such as the ability to tell the future (I have seen that it is possible to tell the future, I have seen evidence of that, first hand), and coincidences that seem eerie, things like that. I believe it's possible for our future selves to be kindof having a dialogue of sorts with our present selves. And I don't know if people would call these things "god" or not, but it's kindof too similar to the regular idea of god for me to be comfortable with the idea of being 100% atheist. And there is also this problem I think, that there is a fundamental thing inside most humans that makes them have a tendency to believe in a god. I had a friend once who said "just say 'there is no god' over and over and over and you'll realize you actually believe in one" It's really a slippery slope I think. More slippery than it appears on the surface. I think my problem is I am trying to cast that kind of belief out of me but it's very hard to do because it's ingrained in my subconscious to think that way. So yes, easy as pie to say "I am an atheist" but I don't know if all of the unconscious parts of my brain are really going along with that.

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Post by Sloth » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:19 pm

I disagree that muslims are cool. But then again I don't think any religions are particulary cool. In fact I pretty much think all religious people are the root of world's major problems. People can't be expected to behave rationally when they are mindfucked from childhood.

Sex and Ramadan:

1604. If a fasting person indulges in courtship without the intention of allowing the semen to be discharged, and also, if he is sure that semen will not be discharged, his fast is in order, even if semen may be discharged unexpectedly. However, if he is not sure about the discharge and it takes place, then his fast is void.

I wanna know why Allah cares so much about semen and why do Muslims have to plan their semen spillage so carefully around the holidays?

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Post by marky » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:43 pm

Well...I think what she meant was that some Muslims are cool. Surely you'd agree with that? That's about the only true statement a person could make about Muslims I think.

Surprisingly, I've regained a new appreciation for the new Killers album somehow. This is kindof cool. Swinging both ways with that album. Anyway, sorry...what was I going to say about Muslims or god or whatever? I can't remember. Damnit. Sorry Sloth. I really did have a response to your post all ready to go and now I can't remember it.

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Post by marky » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:50 pm

Oh WAIT - I REMEMBER -

It was that Fundamental Islamic countries/sects whatever you call them, these fundamental Islamic people, they forbid MUSIC ! THE SHAME! To FORBID MUSIC! I've heard people say in the US that maybe we should understand our enemy, understand their grievances - this was a guy I knew who was fairly close to someone who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. And it's kindof weird, I think that's totally the wrong response to have about these people called terrorists. Should we understand them? Yeah, as a defensive tactic on our part we should definitely strive to understand them as best we can, as we would any enemy. But yet there's no point. We can't understand them. They are not making a political statement. It is not the same as people in a free country going out of their homes and demonstrating in the street or chaining themselves to trees that are to be cut down. Terrorism is not a political statement. There is nothing to understand. Terrorists are scum. Their "grievances" change with the weather if we are to believe Bin Laden. They have no firm identity other than being religious and killing people.

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Post by marky » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:51 pm

They are kindof like a virus.

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