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Friday, August 28, 2009

More Books!

We went to the Portland Central Library downtown today. Its a nice library in a really cool old building. Layla and I had fun browsing around as she knocked books off the shelves.
I let her play in the kids books for awhile and do a puzzle, then we went to mommy's favorite sections, Languages and religion.
They didn't have a lot of Somali books at the downtown branch, but I guess there are more at some of the other neighborhood libraries. They have an awesome religion section though. That is, they actually have scholarly books about Islam and Biblical studies and not just negative propaganda type books. The Islam section was pretty heavy on Sufism books. Makes sense for Portland though. There is a big Sufi organization here, and Buddhism is also pretty big in the area.

Here's what we got:

The book about Ramadan fasting looks really good. It is more scholarly that a lot of the Islamic books I've seen. It has information on the history of fasting, fasts in Christianity, Judaism, and other religions. Effects of fasting on health and its benefits, as well as a lot of information on what things are considered to invalidate one's fast.
I plan on starting it right away even though I still have a lot of reading to keep up on. I'm actually still ahead on the Bible reading, and have already finished my Juz of the Quran for today. I'll probably be making another post tonight on one of the ayat that really stuck out to me.

The other book, "The God of Old," focuses on the narrative accounts in the Bible where people had encounters with God. From what I can tell, he focuses on studying how the ancient Israelites perceived God as we can best discern from the texts and archaeology. The author, James Kugel, has another book called "How to Read The Bible, A Guide to Scripture Then and Now" that I also highly recommend. All of his books focus more upon the ancient period of Biblical history that we know the least about from the texts. This time period extends roughly from the Patriarchs to the time of Solomon.

This is the kind of stuff I do for fun :)


Mama Kalila said...

That actually sounds like fun to me lol. Not much time for reading here lately though... I'm so behind on reading the Juz its not even funny. I really wanted too, but...

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Mama Kalila, Maybe you could listen to the first 7 days worth to catch up and then read from there. Its hard once you get behind.

Susanne said...

Nice to see what you are reading and recommend. Thanks for sharing!

Ahavah-Shim'eon said...

Morning sweetie.. I was wondering if you'd share with us your views on fasting - do you find it difficult - do you fast at times other than your holy days (aka for personal reasons) - what does Layla make of it all?

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

@Ahavah, I briefly touched on it in my most recent post. As far as difficulty, I think that fasting just during daylight like Ramadan is much less difficult that Yom Kippur, where you go without water for 24 full hours.. I also do juice fasts or water-only fasts periodically, but haven't done one in awhile.
I find that fasting makes it easier to focus on study and prayer, especially early in the day where you can spend less time preparing, thinking about, and eating food.
I don't think Layla has a clue. She just eats her snacks and goes on like normal. Nice to be a little kid I guess :)

Ahavah-Shim'eon said...

I've just read your recent post - which I have to say I found fascinating: I'll leave you a comment there.

Sometimes Yom Kippur is longer than 24-hours... depends on when darkness falls. In the UK the going without water is not so bad - but then I haven't tried observing Yom Kippur in a hot climate before now.

I agree totally - fasting does make it easier to study and focus on more prayer... and that has to be a good thing doesn't it?

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

A couple of books you might enjoy are Metaphors of Islamic Humanism by Omar Imady (Sufi stories) and a wonderful memoir by his mother, an American who married a Syrian, who is now one of the prominent leaders in Damascus. Titled Road to Damascus, this book by Elaine Imady shows a very positive, loving, and enduring American-Arab marriage. (Elaine, by the way, converted to Islam.)