An Unofficial Guide To Ramadan Fasting For The Uninitiated Negro » VSB

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An Unofficial Guide To Ramadan Fasting For The Uninitiated Negro

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The holy month of Ramadan has started for much of the Muslim population—which, despite all statements by Donald Trump and his ilk, is not exclusively made up of bomb-toting Arabs in menacing turbans. This demographic includes Asians (fun fact—Indonesia contains the largest Muslim population in the world), Caucasians, the man who sells you your bean pies and the regla-ass diasporic Negroes such as yours truly—who, in addition to other Muslims of African descent, make up one third of the religious sect. Who would’ve thunk that the second-largest religion in the world isn’t limited to one ethnic group? Apparently a large part of the United States voting bloc—make America great again, indeed.

Here’s a quick rundown for those of you all who aren’t in the know: Every year according to the lunar Islamic calendar, the entire Muslim community engages in a month (well, 28-30 days, depending on the moon) of fasting from sunrise to sunset—specifically to commemorate when the Quran is said to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, but generally as a time of self-reflection, self-discipline and increased spiritual reflection. Since the holy month falls in June this year, that means it’s approximately 16 hours a day of no food or drink.

Yes, I said “drink.” You can’t have water, either.

Before you gasp in shock and awe, know that it is a lot more manageable than it seems. After you’ve had a few years in the game, most folks raised in Muslim households have figured out some tried-and-true tips for getting through the month in (mostly) one piece. That said, there are some parts of the month that are worth noting for the uninitiated:

1. This is not a diet

I can’t count the number of times folks have indicated that they would like to fast as some misguided attempt to lose a couple of pounds in a month. Besides the fact that this notion is thoroughly insulting, it is also simply not intuitive to the process. I’ve been on my fair share of “I’m going on vacation in a month and would like to stunt on the ’Gram” diets—but no slim-down process has ever entailed stockpiling carbs and protein late at night and early in the morning for four-plus weeks. You’d have better luck drinking a FitTea.

2. The first week will always be the worst

In an ideal world, you could finesse your fast by sleeping all day and eating all night. But unfortunately, we live in the real world with bills and student loans and whatnot, which means that we have to adjust to new eating and sleeping schedules while still being active contributors to society. Those first few days of waking up at 3:30 a.m. to chug a half-gallon of water and shove food in your mouth and pray only for your bloated self to nap a couple more hours before work will try even Job’s patience.

You’ll even be tempted to skip work because then comes the 12:30 p.m. lunch grumble paired with the co-worker who decided to microwave fish for lunch that day. Then comes the 6 p.m. hunger pangs. Plus, your lips’ seemingly never-ending need for a supply of ChapStick. It’s about a solid week of this before your body fully adjusts, during which time irritability can understandably be at an all-time high. I’ve almost slapped a person over a seat in the subway during this time before. I’m not proud of it, but I feel that we can all understand the extenuating circumstances here.

3. You will never see a woman more excited to be on her period, ever

Aside from that one time in 2012 when I prayed to all three Abrahamic Gods for two weeks straight, there’s never a better time to be on your period than during Ramadan. So if you see me inhaling chicken wings midday with a shit-eating grin on my face, know that the menses fairies have bestowed goodwill upon me and I am leaving no stone unturned during those five days of freedom. There are also a host of other reasons that someone might not be fasting (traveling, illness, pregnancy, being elderly, etc.); so if you see someone you assume to be Muslim eating, do not interrogate that person as to why he or she is not currently fasting. It’s like asking a Black woman if her hair is hers or real—it’s really none of your business unless the information is volunteered to you.

4. We have all accidentally broken a fast

Every person who has grown up in a Muslim household has at least one story of blacking out and waking up with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in his or her mouth. We’re human; it happens, especially since your brain gets a little fuzzy, what with the whole “not eating in extreme heat” thing.

My brother once kept his mouth open in the shower and spent the whole day arguing with himself as to whether or not he swallowed. You haven’t made it through the month until you’ve Googled something asinine such as “Will I break my fast if I wear flavored ChapStick?” (The answer is no, by the way.)

5. We can still engage in day-to-day activities

Muslims can continue to work, exercise and go to a baby shower during this time. We’re not rendered Walking Dead zombies for 30 days—we just won’t accept that brunch invite or coffee date. Also: I won’t help you move. That is something I barely tolerate doing on a regular diet.

6. Everyone turns into an astronomer by the end of the month

The end of the month is marked by the sighting of the moon by the naked eye, so the last days entail everyone waiting with bated breath to see when the month has concluded and we can conclude fasting, in a holiday known as Eid al-Fitr. I’ve seen family members argue over the phone about whether or not they or their family have seen the moon and can conclude the fast with the same furor as I’ve seen folks debate Kobe versus M.J. at the barbershop.

Ramadan Kareem, everyone.

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog, shamspam.tumblr.com

  • MsCee

    Haven’t read the article yet but the title alone has my coworkers and I cracking up. One of my coworkers is Muslim and was telling us a little bit about Ramadan and now all the Black ppl wanna try it…Lol.

    • That title is pretty funny

    • God Shammgod

      Islam has definitely undergone a…Black renaissance of sorts…mostly because it’s recognized as an Abrahamic religion that wasn’t primarily adopted via colonization as much as general intermingling of communities.

      • Arabs conquering Africans is intermingling… I guess.. lol

        • Yeh, there’s been a lot less study on the arab conquering of the Africans. For one it was spread out more over time, and secondly, it was far more thorough in scope.

        • Vanity in Peril

          That’s what I thought, too.

          Ha!

        • God Shammgod

          That definitely happened but it wasn’t the only manner. North Africa definitely went through colonialism but a lot of other regions did not. I’m from a country in which we never had Arabic reign but we did have coexisting trade communities.

          • I got you, sis… My dad’s family comes from Ghana and the Ivory Coast and they were colonized like heII…

            Where are you from?

            • God Shammgod

              From Comoros Islands in the Indian ocean…we were colonize like hayle but by Europe not by Arabs. Served as a comingling trade port for a long time…but there was never a period of Arab rule like in North Africa/the Horn.

              I actually don’t know much about Arab rule in West Africa – most I understood was that there was definitely an extended stretch of trade imperialism (that certainly came with evangelism) but was the a stretch of Arab rule in the gold & ivory coasts?

              • Like with European colonization, Arab colonization was more severe and longer lasting in similar geographic areas in Africa. In Ghana, there’s a small populations of Hausa people who were very similar to the much larger population of the Hausa/Fulani in the Northern part of Nigeria. It is likely that the Arab rule might have stretched much more in Western Africa, but economically, it wasn’t worth battling the Europeans.

                Arab rule’s influence was mostly oriented towards a change in political structuring as well as abolishing traditional religious sects.

                • Spot on.

                • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                  Again, we need to be a bit tighter with the concept of colonization here. Neither the Abbasid nor Umayyad empire colonized into western Africa. A debate can be made into whether even their forays into northern Africa (at least the ummayyad) were centralized enough or achieve through settlements that can be called colonization.

              • Yes sis..since about the 11th century in IC.. It’s almost 40% Muslim there… I think ppl say trade because it’s palatable but I think it was colonizing and trade.

                • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                  NWT….gotta disagree with you there. I’ve done no small amount of research on this back in school and a bit thereafter. You’ve went from saying ‘conquering’ to ‘colonizing’. Not sure how you are defining “colonizing” but the way Islam broke into West African doesn’t fit that definition as I know it (even economincally or trade wise). There was no one way movement of goods or services or expropriation from the horn of Africa. But to Shams point, there was no “Arab rule” there.

                  • I get what you’re saying… it wasn’t kill and slaughter so to speak but West Africans weren’t just like… “Ohhhhh, I want to try that…”

                    There wasn’t an all out war but Islam wasn’t exactly a peaceful conversion either although trade was a caveat.

                    Many Akan still practice worship of Nsamanfo and poly deity worship…

                    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                      Not sure I follow you here NWT. But I got your gist. I’m not sure it’s backed up generally by the course of history though. The flow of Islam through the Malian Empire and predecessor Ghanaian Empire, was generally a ‘top down’ affair with the rulers, wealthy and scholars generally bringing it on rather peacefully (speculation that it was brought by the Berbers who were North Africans). It flowed down through the Akan and Ashanti people regions because of their proximity between these growing empires. The conquest involved here was most certainly between Africans and not Arabs.

            • God Shammgod

              Also should mention that I lived in Accra for several months in the mid aughts and loved my entire time there. Would move back in heartbeat.

              • IwanttobeaRizpah

                What most did you enjoy about Ghana? Most folks that have been there always rave about it. *adjusts glasses looks at Kwame’s short, stocky body*

                • God Shammgod

                  It wasn’t as overwhelming as Lagos, with a great combination of industrialization and traditionalism. The city still has a long way to go but it’s a great place to live and experience for English speakers who are tipping their toe into living in West Africa. And the country itself has a lot to explore, Kumasi, Cape Coast, etc.

                  I also really liked Dakar, but I speak French, so I had that easy transition.

                  That said…there are a lot of men who are 5’9 and below with timbs on, this is very true. lol. the Kofis of the world ain’t known for their height.

                  • My cousins said Lagos was over crowded and dutty.

                  • Lmao, I grew up in Lagos. it’s chaos, unless you’re in the rich parts, especially Lagos Island…

                    That being said, Lagos has to be most overpopulated state in the world.

                    • My cousins compared it to NYC on steroids with LA smog..lol

                    • Very accurate.

                    • Val

                      Moreso than Mexico City?

                    • I don’t know, honestly. I just know Nigeria is much smaller geographically than Mexico. And Lagos isn’t even the biggest state geographically in the country, just has the biggest population.

                    • I’ve been to DF… Lagos is worse from what I understand.

                    • God Shammgod

                      Yeah my ex’s family is from Ibadan, but his immediate family moved to Lekki…whew.

                      You seent this post making fun of Captain America’s portrayal of Lagos? I cried.

                      http://zikoko.com/list/lagos-in-captain-america-civil-war/

                    • Lmao, so true.

                      I won’t lie, seeing the complete lack of an attempt to pronounce the city’s name properly, took me out of the movie for a bit.

                    • Gbadebo

                      …That was ridiculous

                    • God Shammgod

                      like not one person could tell them? I was almost amazed. They could’ve fixed it in post!

                    • Gbadebo

                      That….is hilarious.

                    • NonyaB

                      Haven’t watched but heard about that piece of fxckery. Research, people! Lah-gos is in Portugal and Lae-gos in Nigeria.

                  • HOLLERS.

                  • Brooklyn_Bruin

                    So I would be king in Dakar? Interesting

                  • Jennifer

                    “the Kofis of the world ain’t known for their height”

                    *Thinking of the 3 or 4 Kofis she knows*

                    You’re right.

              • I heard Accra is DOPE!!!!

                It’s on my list to go to

                • MsSula

                  Accra is dope.

                  • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                    #Dualcitizenship2020

              • NonyaB

                Talking about Ghana: Kempinski hotel selling garri for 145 cedis ($40) per plate, how sway?!

              • kingpinenut

                You making me weep woman…that’s my 12 year goal

            • Asiyah

              You’re from Ghana! No wonder I like you so much! xoxo

              happy belated birthday!

              • Thank you sis!!

                My dad’s family were brought here as slaves from Ghana and IC… they were Muslim when they came and most never converted to Christianity… Akan and Ashanti boo!!!

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          Where did Arabs conquer in Africa? Most of the ‘conquest’ was through trade if anything.

          • Arabs also traded Africans during the TAST. They were middle men…Not to mention that Arabs had been using black slave labor since the 10th century… Slavery with Africans was in the very fabric of Arabic life… and just as brutal if not worse than chattel slavery.

            • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

              Noted. And I get the anti-arab tilt because of these facts. One might say it’s warranted. But again, this doesn’t go towards the issue of ‘conquest’ or colonialization. The majority of Africans traded during the TAST by Arabs were not through plunder or colonialization (as with the European TAST). Going back to the 10th century, most of the slavery trade carried on by Arab merchants was such merchants buying slaves from other Africans (with such slaves being conquered peoples). I would debate the ‘if not worse’ proposition, and alot has been written about it, but I’m comfortable saying Slavery is abhorrent in any form.

  • I legit cackled… I grew up in a Muslim household and I could not wait for Eid al-fitr!!!!

    I couldn’t WAIT to eat shawarma and swordfish ghallaba…

    I left Islam at 14 though…but it still goes down.

  • A.G.

    Dope piece. Thanks Shamira.

    In middle school, one of my Muslim classmates prayed in one of the classrooms during our break time and lunch periods during Ramadan. He said that the feast at the end is so worth it.

    Question: are there restrictions on what you can eat once the sun goes down?

    • MsCee

      I asked my Muslim coworker the same thing and she said no. (Other than the usual restriction of not eating pork)

    • You can’t gorge on food but during iftar and suhoor…there are no restrictions.

      Those are the periods that you can eat btw.

  • Lol at number one.

    I’ve never seen anyone lose weight during ramadan. If that was the case, someone would already be pushing ramadan diet books at the Moorish-Egyptian-Israelite-Au-Naturale Antique Shop.

    • God Shammgod

      I’m eating like 9 hundred calories in the middle of the night, my body is just in shock tbh. Lol.

      It is possible to lose – mainly because your appetite gets smaller and adjusts over time, and if you’re still engaging mediocre exercise, you could be running negative on energy expended vs calories – but its actually quite dangerous, and you have to be very careful about your intake when you’re continuing even moderate exercise (as I do).

      • refslady

        I worked with a contractor that passed out: Ramadan and fitness nut didn’t pair up too well.

        • God Shammgod

          It’s doable (i do it) but you have to be very careful and intentional with your dietary and timing choices. And you still have to be moderate about it. Work out for maintenance, not gains.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I’ve always admired the two brothers in the NFL and how they were able to make it through Ramadan while meeting the demands of camp.

          • Medium Meech

            I remember wondering how Hakeem pulled it off in the NBA when I was a kid.

            • God Shammgod

              There’s exemptions for traveling.

            • Sigma_Since 93

              For most teams, their season is over come June.

              • God Shammgod

                The time of Ramadan is on the lunar calendar, so it moves up a couple weeks every year. (Lowkey everyone lives for winter Ramadan, sun sets at 4:30, it’s lit!). But to the NBA point, there are exemptions for people who are constantly traveling – and they can make it up afterwards. Not saying that’s what Olajuwon did but it’s an acknowledged avenue.

                • Sigma_Since 93

                  True. Even with the fluctuation, a team has to make to make a DEEP playoff run for Ramadan to be an issue.

                  • God Shammgod

                    Lol. Ramadan can fall in November or December though, is what I’m saying. It really just depends on the year. That won’t happen for another 10-15 years though.

                    • Betty’s Babygirl

                      Cute story: My cousin Hajah & I have children around the same age. We took them to see “The Prince of Egypt.” My chirrens were hyped that I hadn’t filled my bag w/snacks. To them it meant finally I’d let them get items from the concession stand. When their cousins didn’t get anything they asked them why. My children gave me their treats to hold. Ramadan had fallen in the fall that year and the sun had set by the time the movie had let out. I was so proud of my children for standing in solidarity w/their cousins. It let me know how my parents raised us was working with the next generation. Cheesecake Factory for all that day!

                • Medium Meech

                  Hakeem said he fasted, but the hardest part for him was not having any water. Playing professional basketball without water seems crazy.

      • Asiyah

        I’ve heard a lot of people actually gain weight because when they finally break fast they consume too much and it’s already late in the day so it affects their weight. I lose weight because I don’t OD at iftar. My body will just throw it all up.

    • “Moorish-Egyptian-Israelite-Au-Naturale Antique Shop”

      *Strokes beard and applies for business license*

      • TheCollinB

        Yous’a paper chaser, ya got ya block on fi’

        • brothaskeeper

          Remaining a G until the moment you expire.

          • Jennifer

            You know what it is, you make something out of nothing

            • Epsilonicus

              You handle your biz and don’t be crying and suffering

      • Kas

        I’m in.

    • Medium Meech

      Yeah, this actually seems like it would jack up your resting metabolic rate. I’m guessing people probably gain weight on average.

    • IwanttobeaRizpah

      My vendor looses weight like WOAH! Then gains it all back like, Jesus on the cross!!!

    • miss t-lee

      I would imagine that you wouldn’t lose weight.

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      I lose about 5 to 8 lbs of muscle every year cause I’m not on the bench.

  • TheCollinB

    No agua my G?!
    I fast weekly cause I really need God to know I’m trying. A few times I’ve had no water during the day and my mouth tasted/felt ceremonially unclean. Sorry for the dumb question Sham but does the religion nit pick stuff like gum or mints?

    • Yep. no gum or mints.

      • TheCollinB

        Welp

      • cakes_and_pies

        what about brushing your teeth?

          • cakes_and_pies

            What I say? ! I only know cursory Muslims who would in mid June stab you over a Popeye’s

            • Sweet Potato Kai

              LOL are those the same ones in the papi store buying blunts and cursing someone out on the phone that’s tucked in the hijab?

            • Lmao!!!! SCREAMING….Let me find out somebody didn’t brush their teeth.. maaaaaaaan, listen….

          • Other_guy13

            LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!

        • Asiyah

          Depends on your school of thought within Islam.

        • God Shammgod

          Some folks will say no, but the predominant thought is yes – considering that while fasting you should engage in wudu (ablution/cleaning your body for prayer), brushing your teeth and showering are similar acts of cleanliness and can be allowed. But you know, to my brother’s conundrum, be super careful.

          Obviously it’s best to just do it before the sun rises and after it sets. Its not like youll have to brush mid-day to clean your mouth from lunch or anything. lol.

          • cakes_and_pies

            Thank you! I had no idea.

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          I’m of the brushing school of thought.

    • A.G.

      Do you fast all week or for a few days? And do you do the whole day? I’m trying to incorporate fasting back into my routine so that I can hear from God–like 1-2 days per week.

      • TheCollinB

        Depends. Usually once a week. Sometimes twice. I go until whenever dinner time is. The discipline of fasting and praying alone helps me discipline other aspects of my life. Always an encouraged aspect of faith.

        • A.G.

          Yes definitely. I love this: “If prayer is you speaking to God, then fasting is you listening to hear from God.

          • Sweet Potato Kai

            Interesting

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I used to designate Wednesdays as my fast but I’ve fallen off.

          • TheCollinB

            Mos def fallen off a few times. I know it’s not a requirement but I feel like I’m letting myself off easy by not doing it and justifying it for that same reason.
            You didn’t feel more in tune while you were fasting Sig?

            • Sigma_Since 93

              I did. It feels / felt good to be truly disciplined to the process. It stretches your mindset and makes you set the bar higher for yourself.

    • brothaskeeper

      Key question, because I love me some Altoids.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        I think the sugar would be a problem

    • HouseOfBonnets

      This was my first question after reading.

    • Asiyah

      No gum or mints. There are hadiths/sayings that one’s breath during fasting, while unpleasant, is sweet to God. I forget which one so my apologies for not being precise.

      • Val

        Hiya! Ramadan Mubarak, Asiyah.

        *waves*

        • Asiyah

          Hiya my love! Thank you for the love. Praying for each and every one of you here! xoxo

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      I have been gargling with mothwash, cause you know, civilized society and all..but no gum or mint either my man.

  • Vanity in Peril

    Love this post. Love Sham’s writing.

    As a registered heathen, I appreciate the dedication.

    • Sweet Potato Kai

      Please direct me to the heathen registry please, as I just inhaled a bacon, egg and potato croissant!

      • Vanity in Peril

        Lol, no sign up required. They’ll find you.

        To signal boost you just do what you want, try to be a good person and things generally work out.

      • brothaskeeper

        *drools the drool of a heathen*

      • Upvote for the double carbs

    • God Shammgod

      Appreciate the compliment! And I won’t pretend I haven’t had lapses. Faith is a complicated thing, and it’s not everlasting for many.

      • Crystalwsteelman

        “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!tl48x

        two days ago grey McLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !tl48x:?:?:.?.?.?.? http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsBitsGetPay$98Hour…. .????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!tl48x….,.

  • Sham,

    I’ve always wondered if Muslims try to out pious each other like my Christian coworkers do during Lent by bragging about their sacrifices?

    • TheCollinB

      Sh*t is the worst right.
      ““When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
      ??Matthew? ?6:16? ?
      What part of that did they miss?

      • I always tell them every year that I’ve never participated in Lent an that blows their minds. Then again these are the same people who humble brag about their charitable acts.

        • Try growing up in a house where your daddy is Muslim and your mama practices Lucumi… maaaan, we’d be looking hungry and my mami KNEW not to feed us cuz my daddy…lmao

          • Is Lucumi the same or similar to Santería? I reading a Spider-Man series involving some heroes who practice Santería.

            • Santeria is the syncronized version..Lucumi is Yoruba and linked to Cuba.. it’s a descendant of Ifá

          • Betty’s Babygirl

            Hollers out loud!

        • Amber

          I don’t do Lent either. Never really knew it was a thing outside of catholics and some Presbyterians until a few years ago. I just do general fasting when moved

        • Nik White

          I tell folks that I practice sacrifice year round – like right now I’m sacrificing my urge to punch you and say bad things about your parentage – this usually gets them offa me and my nonLent observing but Christian self.

      • Asiyah

        People tend to forget that the devil became an enemy of God not because of disbelief but because of arrogance. He took pride in his worship and considered himself better than Adam. We gotta keep our egos in check.

      • Betty’s Babygirl

        Let the church say AMEN

      • Mary Burrell

        Word

    • I gotta be honest… Christians seem to make a bigger deal about it… we didn’t wanna bring up eating because… HONGRY but it’s all good.. lol

      • I understand that completely.

      • Buster Cannon

        I’ve noticed that fasting is treated more as a fad than something done out of personal holiness in evangelical circles. People are so quick to bring it up (or post it on social media) without you even asking lol.

        • PDL – Cape Girl

          Yuuup, I’ve had coworkers to say OUT LOUD, I’m on a fast this week or, my church is doing a water fast, etc etc etc. For me, God is the only other to know.

          • Amber

            When i was younger my home church always stressed the passage in the bible about being more humble during fasting. Not to walk around as if under duress or to make a deal about it.

            • PDL – Cape Girl

              Looking like you haven’t had food fortnight…LOL Dragging around, barely hanging on…

              • Betty’s Babygirl

                Only exception is when my “prayer/fasting warriors” are asking for intercession on someone’s behalf. Like health, a wayward child etc..It’s kept within our circle. Sometimes the subject of our prayers doesn’t even know.

            • Nik White

              Somebody there knew a few scriptures!

          • Mary Burrell

            Exactly that’s the correct thing to do. Do these things in secret that is what the scriptures instruct.

            • PDL – Cape Girl

              Yep, because whatever the basis for doing, it should be to God only.

    • God Shammgod

      oh of course! People claiming sit at home all night reading the Qu’ran, doing extra Du’as, not wearing nail polish, not just avoiding haram behavior but also makruh (which is not forbidden but not approved) either…everyone tries to out -holy each other.

      Me, myself, personally, I just admit I’m a work in progress.

      • Chile… Inshallah!

        • Inshallah is one of my fave expressions to read. (that I never use because not mine to use). My friends on FB throw it around alot. LOL.

          • It’s funny because my daddy still uses Arabic phrasing with us although neither one of us follow Islam anymore….

            It makes me smile.

      • “Me, myself, personally, I just admit I’m a work in progress”

        I get that on so many levels.

      • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

        I’ve no place for this in my circle. Ugh. Just do you and strive akh. That is all.

    • Asiyah

      Some do, but I don’t hang out with those types. I take Ramadan very seriously as a time of self-reflection and I don’t have time to brag about it or look at other people’s piety. I’ve seen a lot of people do that and I’m like come on y’all.

    • Buster Cannon

      As a Christian, I generally try to keep my fasting as secret as possible. Easier said than done when you have to deal with prying coworkers that suddenly want to pass out free food and can’t take no for an answer. :/

      • Other_guy13

        My struggle as well… just wont let is be great

      • Yet another reason not to converse heavily with coworkers. Like right now I want to write “Run through a motherf**ker’s face.” on the white board next to my desk but it would only lead to questions from them that I don’t want to answer.

        • Kas

          I feel like I’m the only person in this comment section who likes a decent amount of my co-workers. Am I reading this correctly?

          • Cleojonz

            That would appear to be the case. I actually get along with mine too and I’m the only black person here but it’s bleeding heart liberal environment so that might be why its tolerable.

            • Kas

              I too work around a bunch of liberal Democrats.

          • Aye Bee

            You are not alone. I travel about 85% of the time for work so my coworkers are extended family. I actually love them. I am blessed to work with an amazing group.

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          Bwahaaa!

      • miss t-lee

        “As a Christian, I generally try to keep my fasting as secret as possible.”

        You’re doing it correctly.

      • PDL – Cape Girl

        “As a Christian, I generally try to keep my fasting as secret as possible.”

        Me too. I don’t tell anyone. Naturally that’s when folks want to stop for KK’s doughnuts for the entire office.

        • Blueberry01

          Or, that’s when they feel generous and want to take you out to lunch. :-/

          • PDL – Cape Girl

            Mmm hmmm, always happens that way

      • RaeNBow

        The inability to take ‘no’ for an answer baffles the EFF out of me. Like, bih I do NOT owe you an explanation about my caloric intake. Smh

      • Val

        I’m just here learning stuff. I didn’t even know fasting was something Christians did as a part of their religious beliefs.

        • miss t-lee

          Yes it is, Miss Val.

        • Epsilonicus

          Imma need you to read an encyclopedia lol

          • Val

            Encyclopedia? Do they still exist?

        • L8Comer

          Now, I’m not expert, but I think during lent you just have to give up something.. u don’t fast. So maybe you give up sugar or meat or you’re a bad little Christian like I was and you give up something you hate like lima beans

          ETA: oh nvm, I kept reading and I clearly don’t know about any of this fasting either

          • Val

            Okay, cool, I’m not the only one. Lol

        • Blueberry01

          Some people fast weekly (e.g. once), during Lent, and/or when there is something they really want to hear from God about/pray for (e.g. sickness, some major life decision).

          There’s also different types of fasts that vary in duration (e.g. sunup to sundown, 40-days, no sweets, one meal a day, etc.)

      • Nik White

        LIke that time I tried to give up fried food and everywhere I went there it was and for free!

    • miss t-lee

      I can’t stand that during Lent.
      In all actuality, you’re not even supposed to talk about what you gave up. UGH.

    • L8Comer

      When I was a kid, I used to be like “I give up… lima beans!!!” lolol and my parents were like okay haha

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      Yes. They do. It’s ugly to see. And much like in the Bible the Qur’an excoriate such false piety. Fasting particularly is noted to be something that’s supposed to be a kinda private thing between a person and God.

  • AnswerMe

    How ignorant or wrong is it that I can’t wait until my roommate prepares a huge feast to celebrate the end of Ramadan, has people over, and she makes me try everything? I love food.

    • IwanttobeaRizpah

      90% of my peoples are Muslim sooooo……can’t wait.

      *inhales fresh samosa, lamb, pilau!!! Woi.

      • Val

        Hiya, AM!

        *waves*

        You going to the African food festival?

        • IwanttobeaRizpah

          Heyyy!!! ?

          Nope, not interested.

          • Val

            Why? It’s not a good festival?

            • IwanttobeaRizpah

              I’m not a foodie….don’t care much for African food like that, or any other for that matter.

              • Val

                Gotcha. I’m not a foodie either but I figured it would be fun to people watch and see all the beautiful attendees and such.

                • IwanttobeaRizpah

                  Nah. There other places to look at beautiful men for me. Lmao.

              • Other_guy13

                “don’t care much for African food like that, or any other for that matter.” https://giant.gfycat.com/NarrowTiredHyrax.gif

                • Lol, this isn’t surprising to most Africans. Africans are mad hesitant to eat African food outside of the house or friends/family events…surprisingly though, the same doesn’t apply to Spanish food.

                  I think it’s because they don’t want to go out and eat terrible food that they already have in the fridge.

                  • God Shammgod

                    Just sucking your teeth wondering how someone could mess up plantains.

                  • Speak for yourself…lol

                    I am skeptical of ERE BODY

                    • Other_guy13

                      This fact has been well documented in the past…move on.

                  • Amber

                    Yeah that may be the cause for many cultures. I rarely go to soul food restaurants for the same reason. I also have many family members that the times we’ve gone to those types of restaurants there’s always constant talk about how such and such could have cooked it better.

                    • Brooklyn_Bruin

                      I have gone to spots on the low because I don’t want to hear it

                • IwanttobeaRizpah

                  Me no comprende

                  • Other_guy13

                    Me either

                    • IwanttobeaRizpah

                      Lmaoo.

                • Bruh…

                  • Other_guy13

                    You summoned me?

                    • That meme!!! lmao

                    • Other_guy13

                      Oh…its the gif that keeps on giving lol

              • I’m judging you..lol

                • Other_guy13

                  Very much so

                • IwanttobeaRizpah

                  Go right ahead!!!! Don’t mind at all.

                  • Other_guy13

                    At least you good with it.

        • Other_guy13

          Where is this festival…I need some festival food in my life…its been two weeks

          • Val

            NYC.

            • Other_guy13

              Too far on such short notice….

              • Val

                Same here. But discussing the goings on in NYC eases my homesickness a bit. Sigh.

                • Other_guy13

                  I see…NYC is on the list for the year right after I spend some time in the Chi…its always so much going on there. Ugh…..I hate the south *kicks trashcan*

                  • Val

                    Hate the South? Just think about all the money you’re saving on housing which undoubtedly is helping you to be able to travel to Chicago and NY. Right?

                    You should go to NYC for Afro Punk. Are you from Chicago? It’s one of my favorite cities. Good memories there.

                    • What part of the South? Cuz Florida is a lie.

                    • Val

                      Yeah, South Florida can be very expensive.

                    • Other_guy13

                      ATL and FLA are not cheap…maybe Alabama Miss. or Kentucky are but not here.

                    • Val

                      That’s what your mouth say. But as long as you can by a house in a nice area for less than $300,000, it’s cheap. People are paying 600,000 for studio apartments here.

                    • Other_guy13

                      Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit…..you win!

                    • Illumina

                      My sis moved back home from San Diego about 20 years ago because even then she could not afford to buy a house there.

                      I’ve been told my house would be a multi-million dollar home if it was plopped down in California, especially Los Angeles or San Francisco.

                    • Deeds

                      Where’s home?

                    • Illumina

                      Houston

                    • Val

                      It’s beyond insane here in the Bay Area. Between apartment rental prices and home prices there’s no way I can have long term plans to be here.

                      There is a mass exodus going on as we speak of people who see no future here because of housing prices. The tech industry is at the root of it. Tech folks work in Silicon Valley but want to live up here and they can afford to pay crazy rents and home prices.

                    • Deeds

                      If there’s gonna be a mass exodus, then housing prices will come down eventually, although probably not enough for the average person. This sounds like DC, rents in the city are crazy.

                    • Buster Cannon

                      Cost of living in the DMV:

                      http://i.imgur.com/PdLcspc.gif

                    • Amber

                      I’m in NoVA and every month i pay rent and that’s how i feel. My family in the Midwest and south don’t understand. They always talking about how i should buy to save money but buying is out of each at this point.

                    • Buster Cannon

                      I went to school in NC. I swear my roommates thought I was a bum because I told them that I was living with my parents after graduation lol. Folks don’t understand how expensive it is up here…

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Move closer to Baltimore

                    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                      Still thinking about that house down there.

                    • Blueberry01

                      Unless you move into MoCo or PG.

                    • Jennifer

                      You don’t know my life! But, you do. You live in the DMV.

                    • Val

                      The problem with that is that San Francisco is a tiny city. So while people are leaving it doesn’t really have the impact you’d expect.

                    • Illumina

                      I always knew housing in the San Francisco area was crazy, but then I read about this guy.

                      http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Box-man-living-San-Francisco-400-rent-Berkowitz-7215269.php

                      I could find an apartment, granted it would be in a sketchy neighborhood, for $400/mo.

                    • Val

                      The really sad part is when I just looked at that link I wasn’t surprised or the tiniest bit outraged. In fact, if anything, I think he’s lucky to have found that box. Lol

                    • NonyaB

                      LOL, true. But he’s more than lucky because he’s living with friends and actually shares the entire apt and its amenities with them, unlike renting a tent on a strangers lawn, which I also read of in SFBA.

                    • brothaskeeper

                      My brother works for the Googles, and (not to put too much of his business out there) his apartment in Palo Alto is $3500/month for a 2br. 2ba., 1400 Sq. Ft. and one roommate.

                    • NonyaB

                      1750 or 3500 per person?

                    • brothaskeeper

                      $1750 per.

                    • NonyaB

                      Actually not as bad as expected (I’ve heard worse).

                    • brothaskeeper

                      He lives in East Palo Alto, which is considered “lower middle class”.

                    • Blueberry01

                      That’s not that bad considering the location and space.

                    • NonyaB

                      Ooh, you’re in the Bay? I’m thinking of California but would never consider SF/SV regardless of how popping the tech scene is due to the asinine housing prices. LA is at least so big that you can find affordable pockets and it’s tech scene’s grown too.

                    • Val

                      Yeah, LA is huge so there’s always a new area people are flocking to for cheap rent.

                      If you are considering California then one of my favorite off the beaten path cities is Santa Cruz. Nice little college town right on the ocean.

                    • NonyaB

                      Lived in LA years ago but never been to Santa Cruz.

                    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

                      Come home.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Which is the reason why so many California folks are here in the Lone Star. Especially here in Austin.

                    • Val

                      True, Austin is a hotspot for California hipsters.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Also, a lot of companies from out that way are moving here, and therefore bring their folks. They’re quickly finding out that they can buy twice the house for half the money they’d spend out there.

                    • NonyaB

                      True. Same reason for so many Californians in Nevada.

                    • miss t-lee

                      I heard about that too. Is the housing market recovered out that way?

                    • NonyaB

                      Not really. The only crazy spike that happened was apartments downtown due to the startup project. So, still good news for incoming house buyers/renters.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Ah! I remember seeing a news report with tons of empty houses due to foreclosures and such.

                    • Val

                      I think your State has been trying to poach California business. In fact I seem to remember some stories in the media here about your Governor making trips to California for just that reason recently.

                    • miss t-lee

                      Yeah…they were at one point. I’m not sure if that’s still going on.

                    • Gibbous

                      NC is VERY affordable, but not for much longer. I moved here in ’07 from the Boston burbs and paid $500 less for 500 more square feet! Took a $5,000 pay cut and we still did better.

                    • Val

                      Yeah, NC is pretty reasonable especially if you stay out of the Research Triangle area and cities like Carey.

                    • Gibbous

                      Interesting that you should say Cary, because that’s where I live. Some claim it’s an acronym for containment area of relocated Yankees.Anyway, the cost of living is still significantly less than that of Boston or the San Francisco area.

                      I’ve been here for nearly nine years, and my rent has only gone up about $200. There are lots of new builds in Durham and Raleigh, due to the intense migration, and they are much more expensive, but mostly because of all the granite and stainless steel. Neither of which I will pay for, unless I can take it with me when I move. I went for more square feet anyway.

                    • brothaskeeper

                      The A can be very economical. It’s just that our cousins like moving there just so they can stunt and tell people they live in Atlanta, so they try to live in Midtown or Buckhead or Atlantic Station, get evicted because they got Bugatti tastes with a Mrs. Winner’s budget, then they gotta live in Austell.

                    • Other_guy13

                      “they got Bugatti tastes with a Mrs. Winner’s budget, then they gotta live in Austell.”… Boy you ain’t lied today. EVERYONE here got a foreign car but can’t afford the tires when they go bald. It’s comical. Stay in your lane is all I can say.

                    • Blueberry01

                      It’s cheaper than NYC. Rent in NY, especially Brooklyn and Manhattan, can easily be a mortgage payment on a house in ATL.

                      It can run anywhere from $1200 – $1800 for a 1BR apartment.

                    • Other_guy13

                      It’s the same here in Atl. Rent may start off at $1,100-$1,800

                    • Blueberry01

                      But, you get more space for $1,100 – $1800 so you’re getting more space (and possibly amenties, central heating/AC, washer/dryer inside the apartment and a guaranteed parking spot).

                      So technically, you’re getting more for your money.

                    • Other_guy13

                      You have a point there

                    • Central too!!!

                    • Other_guy13

                      Im from the ATL which is why im a bit over it. Once I move I will love it again like the last time I did. I’m just honestly mad there is a Trump rally next week here so I and taking it out on the entire south…plus big trucks with confederate flags only seem to happen down here. Housing isn’t cheap if your renting like I am. But compared to up north I see your point but wages are also higher.
                      I’m going to Chicago for a wedding and general foolery. He wont walk down the isle if he leaves me in charge of the night before. IJS

                    • Val

                      Living is the South definitely has its challenges. When I lived there I experienced culture shock on a daily basis.

                    • Other_guy13

                      I experience it on a hourly basis. The closed-mindedness reaches mythical proportions most days. Headphones, a book, and running shoes are the best defense. All these “bible toting” folks living a lie yet tryna be in my business…don’t get me started Val…I was in a good place.

                    • IlikeHotCheetos

                      Precisely. I keep my “new fangled ideas” to myself. And earbuds are my bestest friend.

                    • IlikeHotCheetos

                      What kinda stuff did you see/hear? Tennesseean here! ??

                    • Val

                      It was just a culture shift for me. The vernacular, food, pace, etc.

                    • IlikeHotCheetos

                      Did you like it, or were you ready to hightail it back home? People say we do everything reeeeeeeeal slow. *says in best drawn out southern accent* I used to work customer service, and the folks I would talk to would get really giddy once they knew where I was.

                    • Val

                      I liked certain things. The low cost of living was nice. The slower pace was nice after I got used to it. But, the conservative pov that most hold was very frustrating at times.

                    • IlikeHotCheetos

                      Got it. You tell no lies.

                    • Other_guy13

                      I’ll be doing Afro Punk down here for my B-day foolery.

                    • Val

                      Oh yeah, I forgot Afro Punk is in Atlanta now too. Cool.

                    • Other_guy13

                      Yea but the lineup isn’t as dope as it is in NYC or DC…I feel some type of way.

                    • Other_guy13

                      The fact that NYC get’s The Internet and I don’t makes me wanna break some ish.

                    • Val

                      Ouch. I love the Internet. They would be reason enough to check out Afro Punk NY.

                    • Other_guy13

                      Right….thank sweet baby Jesus I’m going to see Emily King next month…things were bout to get violent lol

                    • Jennifer

                      Please tell me how the Emily King show is. I’m going to miss her July show in DC. I really love her last 2 albums.

                    • Other_guy13

                      I will….I’m excited

                    • Other_guy13

                      You should check out Alice Smith Concerts as well…

                    • Val

                      Yeah, Alice Smith was on my radar big time about 5 years ago. I sort of forgot about her. She’s one of those ‘next big thing’ artists like Janelle Monae.

                    • Other_guy13

                      Aren’t you in DC…she there on Saturday.

                    • Val

                      Nope. California.

                    • Other_guy13

                      Dang….I tried

                    • brothaskeeper

                      *yells from sideline* follow your shot!!!!!

                    • Other_guy13

                      That shot ain’t going nowhere bruh. She can be a great wing girl though

                    • L8Comer

                      omg i love her but I canttttt this weekend!! Oh well, she’s from here I guess I’ll catch her next time.. :*(

                    • I saw them here in 2014 and didn’t know who they were yet. I can’t wait to go again

                    • Val

                      At this point they are one of the few groups/ artists I will take the trouble to see.

      • AnswerMe

        It’s just all so good. And she’s so generous. And I’m so greedy.

        • Other_guy13

          All great reasons to not feel bad.

      • NonyaB

        What I miss the most about being in 9ja: celebrating all Christian and Muslim holidays with all dat food! I’m agnostic/atheist but have both religions in extended family.

    • Other_guy13

      That’s not wrong…its called being supportive.

    • Betty’s Babygirl

      Eid al-Fitr celebrations are epic. Gluttony at it’s best. Love it!

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      Nothing wrong at all. That’s you and me both….

  • Val

    Number 4 cracked me up because that would be me. As a heathen I always enjoy new insight into religion. So, thanks, Shamira. Ramadan Mubarak.

    • Sweet Potato Kai

      Ditto, the imagery of #4 took me out!

  • IwanttobeaRizpah

    Happy Ramadhan, Shamira!!!!!

    Dead @your brother’s antics.

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