Dear my beloved community, Assalamu Alaikum and Ramadan Mubarak!

Upon meeting someone, in Arabic, we say “كيف حالك؟” This literally translates to, “how is your condition?” With Ramadan upon us, we may be asking ourselves this very question and the answer may be a heavy one for this past year has presented the Muslim community with many challenges. Indeed, these challenges have been emotionally and spiritually tasking and have been weighing us down without us even knowing it. As Muslims, it may seem, we have recently been looked upon as nothing more than a political statement, an orientalist question, and, if we’re lucky, a PR opportunities to showcase diversity. We have in many ways become mere reflections of the media's perceptions. We are, to others, the enigma. Our holy text is being picked apart by people with preconceived arguments to prove and our actions are always either exceptions or suggestive of a wider stereotype. In addition to our personal crises, we face arguments flying at us from all directions and are forced to grapple with them, often forgetting the state of our own souls, families, and communities in the process. It seems in many ways that we are not living life, but merely defending our right to live in a world that doesn't belong to us. These things have so wearily preoccupied both our minds and hearts, that we have discovered, even after all the facebook posts and retweets and protests, that our souls are starving.

Ramadan is timely, subhanAllah- always arriving when our ailing hearts need it most. Just as remarkable support and love flooded our community in the trying times of this past year, this Ramadan comes as a relief to our worldly worries.

This month, in which the holy book that guides us was received, is our chance at renewal, repentance, and gratitude. It is in these 30 days and nights that we can finally let go of the tangible and instead, look inward- where the magic truly happens. This is our chance to reflect on the past and renew for the future.

Take this time to connect with family and friends for the sake of Allah, to do small acts of goodness with big intentions of good faith, to practice patience and discipline, to revive your relationship with your mosque, and to strengthen your friendship with the Holy Quran.

My dear brother and sister, despite what seem to be heavy burdens in this dunya, we have been given countless blessings- ones we are aware of and one’s we are not. For there is a beauty to turbulent times: is it not in brokenness that light finds an opening to filter through? Today, we have a prime opportunity to reclaim our narrative and create ripples of positive change. But every great impact begins with a single drop- with you.

So when Ramadan comes knocking at your door and asks you “كيف حالك؟. Connect with your Lord this month, engage in the civic activities around you, be a true model of your deen, build that positive relation with your neighbors and excavate who you are beneath all the dust that has collected over this past year.

From the Mosque Foundation’s board of directors and administration to you: we wish you a transformative Ramadan this year, filled with compassion, positive change and blessings to last forever. Wassalamu Alaikum.