Ramdan Survival Guide: I Am Not A Cow

I was asked by Elan Magazine to do a three-part piece for Ramadan.  My first piece went up today online and is excerpted below.  You can check out the entire piece by clicking here

elan’s Ramadan Survival Guide: I Am Not a Cow

By Imam Khalid Latif
August 24, 2009

In honor of Ramadan 2009, elan presents a three-part series reflecting on how young Muslims can approach the holy month from Imam Khalid Latif. Imam Khalid is the Executive Director of The Islamic Center at New York University (NYU), and one of the most notable and influential young Muslims in the United States.

I think that the month of Ramadan is about honesty.

In this judgmental world of ours, it’s unfortunately easy for one to find a Muslim who is critical of another Muslim’s lifestyle.  Even more unfortunate, it’s easy for us to respond to those criticisms quite mechanically by saying “You don’t know what my intentions are,” and then walking away, more annoyed than advised, but not ever really productively asking ourselves what our intentions were.

During Ramadan, we get to see who we in fact really are.  It becomes ingrained in the psyche of every Muslim that from the first day of Ramadan through the last, it’s just you taking on yourself.  But for whatever reason, it’s not ingrained within us that the opportunity to understand ourselves a little bit better is there for the taking.

What sets human beings apart from other creatures in this world is our intellect – those animals whose lives revolve solely around eating, drinking, and having sex.  But do we really use our conscious mind as best as we can?  Or do habits run our lives?

This Ramadan, we should try to understand a little bit better our own respective habits and then take on those that we deem are not good for us.  When dissecting a habit, it’s important to make note of a few things.

Primarily, one would want to identify the habit itself.  Anything from nail-biting to backbiting, eating unhealthy foods to not eating at all, sleep deprivation to sleeping through Fajr, the list could go on and on.  But breaking a habit entails acknowledging that it exists.

Secondly….to continue reading click here


1 Response to “Ramdan Survival Guide: I Am Not A Cow”

  1. 1 omar zahir
    August 26, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    very nice…..honesty with self is walking around with a mirror facing you…..this Ramadan is taking me down different path this year, i am very much caught up in thought of my behavior and attitudes towards pretty much everything……your article gives me more solid ground to stand on and new level of respect for you akhi. Jazzak Allah Khair

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Who is doing the thinking

My name is Khalid Latif. I work as the Executive Director and Chaplain for the Islamic Center at New York University as well as a Chaplain for the NYPD, New York City Police Department.

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