It doesn’t feel like Ramadan!

This Ramadan, I have heard many fellow Muslims say “It doesn’t feel like Ramadan,” due to COVID-19 and the strict rules of social distancing. I don’t think my words can do justice to the beauty of this holy month of compassion, so I’ve decided to use words to draw a picture that is often not drawn due to the fear of repercussions associated with anti-Muslim bigotry. While this might be the first “socially distant Ramadan” for many Muslims, social isolation is an ongoing trend for Muslims who believe in the progressive values and the compassionate teachings of Islam.

Let me first say that if you are not getting together with your family, cousins, siblings, children and grandchildren, during this Ramadan, I feel your pain. I have felt this pain for years. Maybe, it’s about time some of you see how many Muslims, especially the ones who stand up for their basic human rights amid conservative households, feel during Ramadan. The brutal, man made “Shari’a based law” took away the basic rights which Islam gave us: education, choice in marriage, freedom, choice of friends, choice in practice or even the level of practice.

If you are feeling this isolation, I want you to know that you are not alone, progressive Muslims are in this struggle with you as this struggle is not new to them. Some of your daughters who were unwillingly married, and oppressed by the cultural norms, have felt this for years. They might be surrounded by their families, often times their oppressors, but they have felt isolated for more than you can ever imagine. All they wanted was a basic human right to get educated, to be independent, to walk, to live, and to love but some of you forced them to be caged and today you are caged yourself.

Children who are gay, lesbian, transgender, or queer have been feeling isolated for all those years you cornered them, just because our Creator, The Most Merciful, made them different from you. Perhaps, during this Ramadan, you are experiencing the same level of isolation that your children have experienced due to your naivete. Your intolerant and conservative mindset has prevented your flesh and blood from sharing the beauty of the month of Ramadan.

Their Ramadans have been “socially distant” for a long time because of your ego, your silence, your oppressive demeanor, but most importantly, your inhumane attitude towards them. Your children have fled in search of freedom, to create their own identities, to seek their own calling, to love who they want to love, and be who they want to be. Your authoritarian attitude, and sense of imposition of what you think is BEST for them has made them miserable. Your children are not always happy in marriages or careers that you have chosen for them. You have failed to realize that a “good Muslim” is not authoritarian, or oppressive, a good Muslim is one who listens, loves, and cares. The latter is the complete opposite of hate, shunning, and pointing at someone else’s “flaws” as you may call them, because according to you, they are not “worthy” or are far from the righteous path of our Creator, Allah! But who are you to judge?

Progressive Muslim’s lives are the biggest example of courage, humanity and compassion which many of you neglected because you were pleasing the “norms” of a cult.

You would only assume that Muslims living in the West will educate themselves on the difference between 7th century government structure now defined as ‘Shari’a (Law)’, and the humanitarian teachings of Islam, progressive values. There are a ton of online resources provided by Muslims for Progressive Values, the oldest organization to raise voices of progressive Muslims who are against shari’a and its man made brutal practices. Muslims for Progressive Values provide safe spaces to many like me who have seen the brutality committed in the name of shari’a by their very own. You can support me and many like us by clicking this donate link and end shari’a based brutality in the West by allowing safe spaces for progressive Muslims who support love for all human beings. My intention to reflect a light of attention of a reality which is silenced by many for years.

Salaam! may Peace and blessing be upon you!!

Author: Kandeel Javid

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