By: Mobeen Vaid
More than any previous year, this past White House Iftar triggered considerable debate within the American Muslim community. Specifically, a growing segment of the Muslim community urged those invited to forego attending upon principle, particularly given the increasing list of domestic and foreign policy concerns that have not only gone unaddressed but appear to be getting systemically worse. This debate was further inflamed during the iftar itself as President Obama incorporated into his address an endorsement of the Israeli State and its “right to defend itself”, a talking point that has been repeated by Israel’s defenders ad nauseam with remarkable resistance to any facts posited to the contrary. Obama’s support for Israel was unsurprising given his previous track record on the topic, but his reaffirming of America’s commitment to it that night was no doubt misplaced in front of a Muslim audience attending an iftar in the midst of one of the deadliest sieges of Gaza in recent history.
By: Omar Suleiman
The most obvious deed to continue is fasting because despite how long the days have been, fasting has become your second nature by now. So it’s no coincidence that we were encouraged by the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) to follow up a month of fasting in Ramadan with 6 days of fasting in Shawwal.
Now is the time to start fasting Mondays and Thursdays and the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every Islamic month. Your body is used to it and your soul craves it. But here’s something else I would add. Although we really can’t have Ramadan outside of Ramadan, which is why the fasts will feel different, we can try to duplicate the experience as much as possible. What makes Ramadan special ASIDE from fasting is the Taraweeh prayer, Quran recitation, community/family iftars, etc. Obviously the month of Ramadan also has virtues that are completely out of our control like Laylatul Qadr, the gates of paradise opened, the gates of hell shut, etc. But for the first set of things, we should try to create a similar experience. So here are my tips:
As Ramadan comes to an end, so do the increased opportunities for prayer. We may or may not get another Ramadan in our lives. This may be our last Iftar. Just before Iftar is a special time to ask Allah for everything you want. Allah loves hearing from us. The last night and day of fasting is a special day of Dua as well, considering that the Prophet has said that Allah makes decisions about our forgiveness that day. So here are some suggested Dua:
Duas before the last Iftar
If everyone in your family can break fast together, it will be great to make Dua together.
- Oh Allah, please accept all of my prayers, fasting, and remembrance of You during this blessed month.
- Please forgive me for the shortcomings in my worship and help me improve by next Ramadan.
- Ya Allah, help me continue the good habits I have acquired during Ramadan.
- Oh Allah, please make me of the righteous, the guided, and those You love.
- Ya Allah, please guide me and my family to the Straight Path and help us become excellent Muslims for Your sake.
- I worship only You and only from You do I seek help. Please increase Your bounty for me and my family
- Ya Allah, Guide our loved ones, friends, coworkers, neighbors, classmates to the straight path for success in this life and hereafter.