I know that some celebrated the end of Ramadan today and some intend on celebrating it tomorrow. For those who are confused as to why that may be- let's just say, it all boils down to the politics of moon sighting. Regardless, I hope everyone enjoys theirs and really tries to celebrate it. That can be difficult considering things like school and work go on, but whether you decide to take the day off to soak it up or even if you don't, try to at least spend a moment to reflect on your Ramadan and how it went- did you accomplish your goals?
I briefly spoke to a friend today; our discussion veered towards "moon fighting"- why some Muslims choose to follow the lead of others (Pakistan, Saudi, other Muslim countries) in determining Eid, some others choose to follow the calculation method, and still others wait for their community leaders to sight the moon themselves. But she brought up a great point for sighting the moon- it's one of the ways Muslims stay connected to nature. Traditionally, and before such things as globalization and lunar calculations became the norm, we had to rely on nature's signs in order to determine our schedules, our lives. And how as we let go of that tradition, perhaps we're also letting go of our connection to the natural world.
Me? Well, I agree and I disagree. Yes, it (calculations, in this case) *could* mean distancing ourselves from things more organic, but I don't think it has to be that way. I personally believe that human innovation is what makes us, well, human; there's no turning it off and there's no turning back. Adam and Eve chose to- well, they chose. And as you've probably read in countless books and watched in countless movies- we can choose to do good or we can choose to do evil. We also know most things aren't black and white- so let's just say that we can choose to do things that have mostly good in them, or we can choose to do things that have mostly evil in them. And for the record- I think that all the above outlined options for determining Eid can be argued to be valid. Ah, the beauty of Islamic law.
part two of the title- and no, i couldn't think of a clever way to link the two topics. tides, maybe? sure why not. dc green muslims are going kayaking this sunday! now i know many haven't been kayaking or don't have reason to believe it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if you want to rely on me as your sole source of opinion (though i don't recommend it and remove myself from all liability)- it is. kayaking is an activity native to the good old you 's' of eh, and most especially to the east coast. there are of course vast differences in the craft nowadays versus a few hundred years ago- kevlar, carbon fiberglass, personal flotation devices, all come to mind. (versus wood). but it's a great activity nonetheless, an even greater arm workout, and ya just can't get closer to the water without being in it, than from the seat of a kayak. i highly recommend you give it a try and let me know what you think. i recommend even more the thought of joining us this sunday in dc- feel free to e-mail me if you're interested.
-until next time :)