Muslim Peace Fellowship
Ramadan 2001/1422


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Mas'ood Cajee <>
is a member of the
Muslim Peace Fellowship.

A Ramadan Thanksgiving
There are many, many things for which American Muslims need to be grateful at this time.
By Mas’ood Cajee
November 21, 2001

I It’s not easy waking up Muslim in America anymore. After Sahoor (the morning pre-dawn meal) and Fajr (morning prayers), my Ramadan morning ritual concludes with a quick read of the New York Times.

It’s not easy reading the Times anymore. It’s not easy having your faith alternately debated, dissected, patronized, praised, condemned, analyzed, and questioned EVERY single morning.

It’s not easy wading through the now-daily Times special section - “A Nation Challenged” - devoted more or less to you and your world: the aftermath of 9/11, Islam, Muslims, America, Arabs, Afghanistan, fraticide, tyranny, terrorism, war, bigotry, security, insecurity, theology, heroes, and victims.

It’s not easy reading about the whole new cabinet-level department devoted to you and your ilk: the Department of Homeland Security, with its Orwellian inference and Teutonic suggestion of Heimat.

It’s not easy to insist that God must bless both America and Afghanistan, indeed all Aryan and non-Aryan peoples alike.

And, it won’t be easy having to wait until Iftar (the fast-breaking meal) for Bird on Thanksgiving Thursday.

As I wait for my Bird on Thursday, I will try to give thanks this Ramadan Thanksgiving for all that is good. There are many, many things for which American Muslims need to be grateful.

I will be thankful that – unlike many of my fellow Americans and countless millions of my fellow planet-dwellers, I will have a meal and the ability to satiate my hunger and thirst.

I will be thankful for drinking water, thankful that dead goats and weapons-grade bacteria don’t exist in my water supply.

I will be thankful for shelter; I am neither homeless nor am I an Afghan refugee in the cold.

I will be thankful for telephone service; most of the world has never even used a telephone.

I will be thankful for public libraries, and the ability to choose the books I want to read.

I will be thankful for my ability to travel, despite the prospect that my fellow travellers may object to my presence and physical appearance.

I will be thankful that I can dream about the future.

I will be thankful that I can talk about, share, and even act on my dreams for the future.

I will be thankful that secret agents won’t whisk me away – never to be seen or heard from again - when I do dream about the future.

I will be thankful for Thomas Jefferson, a genius of liberty and a founding parent, who once held the same offices as President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, and Secretary of State Powell. Jefferson wanted to be known upon his death for none of those offices he once held. He wanted history to remember him for his authorship of the Declaration of Independence and its message of freedom from tyranny, his founding of the University of Virginia and its tradition of freedom of conscience, and his sponsorship of the Virginia Statutes establishing religious freedom. He knew then, as we know now, that the promise of freedom is the true strength and might of the American republic.

Finally, I will be thankful for Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, a genius of Islam and a theologian-poet, for being the best-selling poet in America today and for being a native son of Balkh, an ancient town near the now-famous city of Mazar Sharif in Afghanistan. Mawlana Rumi, whose message of love of God, of humanity, and of all creation transcends eight centuries of cultural barriers, continues to touch the hearts and minds of Americans and Afghans alike in ways that the terrorists of 9/11 never could.

Allahu ‘alam. And God knows best.

A Happy Ramadan Thanksgiving to all!

Mas’ood Cajee is a dentist and writer living in Stockton, Calif.


Copyright ©2001 Muslim Peace Fellowship. All rights reserved.
Muslim Peace Fellowship
Rabia Harris, Coordinator,
The Muslim Peace Fellowship is part of the Fellowship of Reconciliation network