Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ramadan 2012 – Day 3

Today was the first day of work during Ramadan. The biggest surprise was the traffic, it was way lighter than usual. My average commute when the schools are in session is about 25 minutes, during the summer about 15 minutes, today it was 10.

Because it is Ramadan most offices work reduced hours because a lot of the staff are fasting. It looks like most people have shifted their start times to later in the morning. Usually it can be difficult to get parking near the office but today there was also a lot more parking available when I arrived. However I looked out the window around 9:00am and the parking was as bad as usual.

Like I mentioned before for me it is important to stay distracted to get through fasting. Last thing you need is just to be sitting around bored thinking about food and how hungry you are. So surprisingly working is actually a good thing when you're fasting -- keeps you busy and helps the day pass. After work I came home, did a couple of chores, read some hadiths, and then had a nap. Well, the plan was to have a nap, instead I slept 2 1/2 hours! Woke up in time to start my iftar preparations. I think I will set an alarm from now on.

Long naps are probably a good thing though because I'm starting to book my social calendar and everything will take place late in the evening. Meeting friends at a café? Probably starting around 10pm. Going to play squash? We will probably get a court at 11pm. Inviting people over for a meal? Most people will come by no earlier than 10:30-11:00pm. That's just how it is with Muslim friends during Ramadan. I can expect to be getting maybe 5-6 hours sleep a night.

Tonight I changed my Iftar meal, I fried up a bit of green pepper and onion with an egg. Nothing big. Seems to have worked, I don't feel overly full.

Last night I was at Souq Waqif but the crowds were definitely a lot thinner than usual. Not surprising I suppose -- it's freaking hot outside! By the time I got home I was sweating up a storm.

Tonight I'm going to meet up with some friends at a café. Hopefully indoors.


Hadith of the Day

Apparently you shouldn’t rent farmland

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "whoever has land, should cultivate it himself or give it to his [Muslim] brother to cultivate. He should not rent it." (Sahih Muslim, Book of Farming)

But wait, don't Muslims rent land?? Well, . . . .

‘Amr reported: I said to Tawus, "I wish that you give up Mukhabarah (sharecropping) , for the people say that the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade it." Tawus replied, "O ‘Amr! The most knowledgeable of them told me that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not forbid but said: "it is more beneficial for one to give his land free to one's brother then to charge him a fixed rental.”

Seems contradictory, right? Well, this is where scholars have to wade in. According to another hadith the common way to rent land was that the renter had to give the landlord the produce from the plants closer to the water, so in many cases the renter might be left with very little as the plants farther away from the water produced less. The Prophet (peace be upon him) may have been referring to this kind of rental arrangement when noting it shouldn’t be done.

Sometimes hadiths are not as straightforward as they appear. . .

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