Ramadan 2017: Hell Week Awaits

I completely forgot about posting on Friday. Last week the exam pressure hit me intensely. Thankfully I’ve been revising since and so blogging hasn’t even come to mind.

It’s most likely not enough, I understand that. At the same time I yearn for answers. Ramadan seems to be ‘working’, that is to say as one spoken word artist had put it, she would “disbelieve in despair” pouring “melted gold” into her “cracked heart”. It’s the last ten days of Ramadan and they hold particular religious significance as one of the odd nights was the night in which the Qur’an was first revealed. Muslims all around stay up and pray even more ardently during those nights. And the one thing the guest Ramadan offers during her stay is spiritual comfort and this promise comes to fruition particularly in the last ten nights.

Which is why I’m a bit bummed that my exam season Hell Week is during the last ten days. However, exams are nearly over. And whatever happens I am most likely going to university. This Ramadan taught me just how much emotion goes into having faith. It’s not logical, not for me right now. It’s mostly feeling and trusting my feelings seems a lot more daring and full of faith than trusting logic.

Whenever the panic bubbles up I close my eyes and remind myself that everything I do – my entire life – is in servitude to a higher being. Again, I’m ignoring logic here even though it seems like God is only good for the scared and the helpless.

Following the London attacks there’s been a lot of scare stories of acid attacks, stabbings, random fires spreading in East London. I’m absolutely terrified to walk out of my house. But I guess so is everyone else, and I also think that maybe everyone else also closes their eyes and submits fully to whoever and whatever they’re currently worshipping so that the panic of the helplessness is put aside for a while.

The Grenfell Tower fire was atrocious. I remember sitting watching BBC news coverage of it in the morning for a straight hour. I admired the journalist, Victoria. I understand the story line: the poor are being so abused and this is the disastrous outcome of doing so. And despite BBC News’ claim to objectiveness, she really pushed through with that message. Her anger and sympathy was truly felt. Lots of stories circulating about the under-reported role the Muslims of Grenfell Tower had in saving those peoples’ lives, too.

There’s always a lot of conspiracy and “us and them” rhetoric. I believe it’s the same for other communities too. That doesn’t make it okay. This criticism of mainstream media is well-understood. Muslims are given a bad rap but it’s not even that, it’s how blatantly simplistic news story lines are. How dumb do you think we are?

Quite dumb, actually. It’s hard to fight off fake news but a climate of conspiracy theories will only lead to uncertainty and hesitance when it comes to communicating with each other openly.

Most of all, despite the fear and the confusion, I want to help.

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