I am starting Ramadan 2022 two days late. It is possible, one merely adds to days at the end. Allah is most merciful. This concept missed by many Muslim men who order everyone, particularly women around. When Muslim men hear of my recent conversion they most frequently boss me around and tell me what to do. But it is not just Muslim men, this conversation took place yesterday at my hotel with an employee (a nice man).
He: Are you fasting this Ramadan?
Me: I am not sure. A wonderful man volunteered to fast for me.
He: Well you should experience the fasting of Ramadan.
Me: Who are you to tell me what to do? I did fast last year during Ramadan with my doctor’s permission. It is not good for my health. Are you fasting? (Conversation began with slamming my hand on the counter).
He: No I am a Christian.
Me: (laughing by this time). Bad enough you give me advice when I did not ask for it but you are not even of the faith. Do not do that again.
He: Believe me I will not. You are powerful when you are angry.
Me: Yes. DNEFWMMCB
Although Rashid volunteered to fast for me I am am fasting today – seeing how it goes which was the advice of the Internist here. Rashid will step in if it gets too difficult for me. It is great to have the back up. Everyone is happy with my decision. I am surrounded by people who are observing Ramadan. The contrast between 2021 and 2022 is stark – like black versus white.
I was totally alone in Marin County, knew no Muslims, no one nearby or even far away were fasting. I had not found friends on Instagram that were of the faith. I was utterly bereft The definition of bereft: (of a person) sad and lonely, especially through someone’s death or departure: Used in a sentence: His death in 1990 left her bereft. The synonyms are heart breaking:deprived of, robbed of, stripped of, denuded of, parted from, devoid of, destitute of, bankrupt of; wanting, in need of, lacking, without, free from; low on, short of, deficient in; minus, sans, clean out of, fresh out of..That was me, devoid of contact, food and meaningful support. Cleaned out of, fresh out of other Muslims. However,(his is most important) I did have Allah. It seemed I proved myself to him by successfully fasting – I felt like a Muslim at the conclusion of Ramadan 2021. I suddenly recall that those that new me well – the professionals that cared for me – where very happy that I had become a Muslim. That was most comforting, at the time and in retrospect.
Yesterday Rashid took a day off Ramadan’s prohibitions, we spent the day peacefully together. It is rather amazing how much we have in common, we view the world in the same way. Two totally different people from totally different backgrounds, educational levels, countries, families of origin etc. etc etc. We do have some things in common. We both can cook and actually have the same sort of quirky senses of humor. We laugh a lot and he is a good influence, calms me down and feeds me mashed potatoes. Who could ask for anything more? S.A.D. and I call him Sheikh Rashid – if I am Sheika Fatimah then he would have to be a Sheikh. I am beginning to prefer my Muslim name – more than Alexis, a name I have always loved. I cannot imagine the immense hassle that formally changing my name would cause but we shall see.
This is a repeat performance. Words from a woman whose nickname became G.A.L.. She speaks of the Impossible Dream, that song is now echoing in my mind.
She: Enjoy the Middle East to the fullest – which is clearly hitting its stride for you. Take Care Alexis. More men writing your name in the sand – next up – how about a beautiful cursive rendition? I loved the photos so much. It really was spectacular and fitting. Alexis boldly written for Alexis who is boldly living the impossible dream.
Me: Loved your message!!! Incredible unforgettable unique and heavenly experience at the Grand Mosque. All praise to Allah. I wish I would have met you in Vancouver but now too much water under the bridge, or is it over the bridge???
The Lyrics to The Impossible Dream;
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
And to run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
And to love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march, march into Hell
For that Heavenly cause
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable
The unreachable star
And I’ll always dream the impossible dream
Yes, and I’ll reach the unreachable star
The song is described by Google. It talks about following your dreams that seem like they would never be achievable, to do what’s right and to be willing to go through hell itself in order to reach your ultimate goal which is referred to as the unreachable star.
Wikipedia has more. is a popular song composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion. The song is the most popular song from the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha and is also featured in the 1972 film of the same name starring Peter O’Toole.
The complete song is first sung by Don Quixote as he stands vigil over his armor, in response to Aldonza (Dulcinea)’s question about what he means by “following the quest”. It is reprised partially three more times – the last by prisoners in a dungeon as Miguel de Cervantes and his manservant mount the drawbridge-like prison staircase to face trial by the Spanish Inquisition.
There are many versions on YouTube. My two favorites are sung by Andy Williams and Shirley Bassey. I do admit to listening with tears falling down my cheeks but with no eye make up it was not a molten disaster. I guess that is what I am doing – I guess my dear friends had me figured out. It is the Islamic faith that has allowed this quest in me – not sure where it will end but am formulating ambitious plans. Upon reflection this is a perfect song to begin the Ramadan blog.
The photographs attached to this blog are ones from G.A.L. I find this use of glass awesome, hence the nickname.
I am not sure of the topic of tomorrow’s blog but do know the song. It is most inspirational as well.