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City of Brass

City of Brass

Ramadan 1434: inflection point, reflection point

Full "Sturgeon" Moon, July 21 2013 (by Xudonax on Flickr)

Full “Sturgeon” Moon, July 21 2013 (by Xudonax on Flickr)

In mathematics, an inflection point is a point on a curve at which the curvature or concavity changes sign from plus to minus or from minus to plus. What better description of the midpoint of Ramadan? Regardless of your reckoning, we are roughly halfway through Ramadan 1434. This means that we are now leaving, not entering Ramadan – that the divine window is closing, not opening wider.

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The believer must ask themselves, how have they spent Ramadan thus far? Every hour ahead is a reflection of an hour that went before. In that sense, this is also a reflection point, an opportunity for introspection and self-evaluation. How have we done so far, and how can we push ourselves a little further?

A couple years ago I gave myself an A in fasting, a B in overall ibadat but a D in Qur’an. This year I’d say my grade average is up to solid B. As I wrote earlier, Ramadan is the month of jihad – perfectly symbolized by the curve 1/x, with an asymptotic ideal that no muslim can attain, but which we are obligated to measure ourselves against and strive towards. There is always room for improvement. Otherwise, we are simply running to stand still.

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