Khalid Hussain (khalid_hussain) wrote,
Khalid Hussain

Ponedjeljak 29 Ramazan 1437

Planet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Moon

Prophet of the day (according to Ibn 'Arabi): Adam

The Sun is in 12 Cancer (in my 10th house): A hand with a prominent thumb is held out for study. (Symbol for 13 Cancer from Dane Rudhyar, An Astrological Mandala)

The Moon is at 7Can18 (in my 10th house). Lunar mansion (according to Ibn 'Arabi): 8, The Pedestal with The Two Feet, letter Kā, The Grateful (Ash-Shakūr)

Lunar phase: Balsamic - Release (Phase names and keywords from Dane Rudhyar, The Lunation Cycle)

In the morning, the Moon will enter its New Moon phase. (The Moon and Sun will be at 12Can53 in my 10th house.) At about 5 minutes after ikindija ('asr), the Moon will enter my 11th house.

I have been making use of the possibility of choosing a future time for posting on LJ so that I can prepare the astrological data between ikindija ('asr) and akšam (magrib), leaving me more free time to focus on iftar and kitchen cleanup between akšam and jacija ('iša). Because of the challenges of timing things properly during Ramazan, I have not always found it practical to give freer rein to writing out some of my thoughts.

Now that Ramazan is nearly at an end, I have some perspective from which to look back over what the journey has been like for me this time. I have attended džamija (masjid) more this Ramazan than I have for any previous one, at least since the time I was in Atlanta and had queer Muslim friends there. After Orlando, I made an effort to reach out to my closest friend from that circle, and we had a heartfelt talk that I found worthwhile. My attempts to reach out to queer Muslims locally have been less successful. There is a young man that I have been in contact with on FB and there are some queer Muslims in a Progressive Muslims group in Massachusetts that occsionally posts on FB. There were some noises about the possibility of a queer iftar from both of those sources, but it either did not take place, or my requests to be notified were not heeded.

One of the things that I have been contemplating during this Ramazan is that, since I have left urban environments for my current location, it seems that some crucial aspects of my quality of life have been missing and have proved to be irreplaceable. I tend to feel muted and diminished in a suburband setting, and those feelings have not gone away over time. I am able to witness developments in queer Muslim life and in cultural events (like new music performances or film festivals) mainly from afar, online, because I simply don't have comparable resources available in my own environment. My ability to travel to sufficiently large cities to participate in events--including zikr--is limited by finances and time. The best I seem to be able to do is to treat my situation as an opportunity for increased amounts of reading and writing.

I have also observed the behavior of several Muslim friends and aquaintances online this Ramazan and have noted their apparently casual observance of fasting. The amount of selfies and photos of food, etc., indicates to me that their focus is different from that which I have chosen for myself. From previous experience, I find it easier, and preferable, to fast during Ramazan itself rather than to reschedule some of the days or to ignore them altogether. If I don't articulate a space in which to be on retreat and to maintain that, then I simply forfeit that space, and I'm not particularly interested in doing that at this point.

I have also observed what appears to me increasingly to be the white, privileged, post-colonial, elitist-liberal vanity trip of much of what passes for Sufism in my experience--of people who like to prattle on about "loving intentions" and "the nafs" while refusing to arrange their lives so as to accommodate basic practices of normative Islam, or to confront systemic sexism or homophobia within Islam (including within popularly available Sufism), or simply to provisionally coexist with social factors that may challenge their usual habits of thought and behavior. Personally, I find it more interesting to enter into situations of "actually existing Islam"--to borrow from the well-known phrase "actually existing socialism"--and, from that position, to try to imagine what the other people there are experiencing. How do they experience sexism or homophobia in those environments? Where are the places from which they emigrated (if they did so)? How might they have been affected by identifying as Muslim in their prior culture (if they came from a prior culture)? I have read that the imam of the Bosnian mosque and several of the people who have resettled locally came from the area around Srebrenica. How might they have been affected by the events in that area? What and/or whom may they have lost? What setbacks may some of them have experienced in professional status as a result of emigration? How might this play out among the generation born here? How do members of the younger generation experience their opportunities in relation to those of their parents' generation? Somehow, these questions are more interesting to me than the strain of trying to maintain a sense of Sufi exceptionalism while yet insisting on living in a culturally specific, self-protective, nominally liberal bubble and hoping thereby to preserve a convincing sense of inner credibility.



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