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Muslim Sacrifices Netflix For Lent. Madness Ensues.

Muslim Sacrifices Netflix For Lent. Madness Ensues.

Friends, today is a good day. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and everywhere I look I see families gathering in their pastel-colored suits and dresses to crowd the seats at their churches and celebrate Resurrection Sunday.

But none of these sights is as beautiful as the one I most recently beheld: the Netflix homepage.

That’s right folks, #Muslims4Lent has come to a close and I finally reunited with my beloved streaming service after 41 days of absence. Now to be clear, Lent only lasts 40 days — I didn’t do the extra day to overachieve. The extra day happened because I didn’t know Lent ended on Holy Thursday. Clearly, lack of Netlfix was a detriment to my research skills.

So, what golden gems of knowledge did I take away from Lent? I think the first thing that I learned was that Catholics are dedicated. It’s not just the giving-up-of-something-you-love, it’s also the Meatless Fridays that wore me down. Catholics are not allowed to eat meat on Fridays during Lent, which is why so many fast food chains brought back their own various fish filet sandwiches. Do you know what it is to hype yourself up about going home to make a cheeseburger only to remember that it’s Friday? I’ve had so much seafood in the last 41 days that I actually lost weight.

Now I would imagine that Catholics spend their time during Lent reading the Bible and prepping for Easter and explaining the Easter bunny to their children. Since I wasn’t going to do any of that, I filled my no-Netflix time with a new hobby: learning to play the ukulele. Thanks to these 41 days, I now know how to strum and sing a Meghan Trainor song and am in the beginning stages of nailing down an Ed Sheeran song. So, thanks Lent for making me just a little bit cooler.

The question that I got asked most frequently was, would I rather do Lent or Ramadan if I had to choose just one? As much as I enjoyed my Lent experience, I have to say I’d rather suffer through Ramadan. Don’t get me wrong, Lent is great but because you only have to give up a single thing, the temptation to cheat or find a loophole is a thousand times stronger — especially because I didn’t know anyone personally that was abstaining with me. It also didn’t help that soon after Lent began, the new season of House of Cards was released and I couldn’t see my bae, Claire Underwood (I’m on episode 5 now.)

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And while I began this endeavor with the mindset of solidarity and interfaith unity, I end it feeling like that’s not what was achieved. In fact, striving for solidarity has shown me how unbalanced things really are between the faiths. I mean, for Lent and Easter EVERYONE is in on it. Fast food chains change their menus, card companies make special cards, clothing stores pump out poofy dresses and baskets, candy shops have special egg and rabbit-shaped treats, businesses close and we all have Lent and Easter shining in our faces like a cop’s flashlight.

But, where’s the fanfare for Eid? Or for Ramadan? “Christians celebrating Ramadan” isn’t a fun hashtag, it’s a think piece. It’s an examination of the Christian experience with starvation. Where’s the respect? Where’s the Hallmark card? When Eid rolls around, is Old Navy going to have a sale on long patterned maxi-dresses with sleeves and an accompanying headscarf? No, but they certainly sold a lot of floral Easter outfits. If we’re going to spread the love then let’s spread it everywhere, evenly.

Unbalance aside, I’m proud of all the people that successfully completed Lent, especially my new friend, Mary Who Gave Up Chocolate. Go on girl. I’m even more proud of those of you who gave something up for the sake of interfaith unity. Maybe we didn’t get there this time but we’re all on our way.

View Comments (10)
  • This gave me gives an idea ! For this x-max I am going to convert to Christianity for just one special day to get all the presents!

  • You could have read the Quran, read some hadith, spent time with family, learned a new language, learned a new skill or any number of productive things. Instead, you decided…what you did.

    What a joke. NetFlix? Seriously? Why not tell us how important facebook is to spend 12 hours a day on instead?

  • Salaam. I love what you girls are doing here on the site. But I do have to say that a Muslim observing aspects of lent is worse according to the tenants of the faith of Islam than sharing in the observance of Christmas. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus mixed with some traditions that are not of Christianity itself. While Lent is about the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, which Muslims do not believe that actually happened to Jesus himself, but someone put on the cross in his stead. See Quran 4:157. There is nothing wrong with inclusion, and sharing but it should not be at the expense of enjoining in things which contradict our faith.

  • THE BIBLE IS the word of God so it is a good idea for an outsider NOT to read the Bible. Remember, when you are reading the Bible, the Bible is reading you, or rather the Spirit of God is reading you.

    The Quran and Omar Shakir discourage you from reading the Bible. Islam often needs the sword to effect conversions, but Catholicism does not. It is the religion of God, so it uses love and persuasion.

    As God says, “Come, let us reason, together.”

    And later, when Jesus as the revealed Messiah, was inaugurating the New (and final) Covenant with humanity;

    “Once, I called you servants…now, I call you friends.”

    Jesus made many claims about himself. He claimed to be the long awaited Messiah, and the Son of Man. He also claimed to be God in the flesh. He backed up these claims with fulfilled prophesy and miracles.

    Even your own book, the Quran, Jesus has a clear superiority over Muhammed.

    Jesus received his call from God directly, Muhammed got his call from the angel, Gabriel. Jesus was born of a virgin. Mohammed was born like everyone else. Jesus never married, Mohammed had 20 wives. Jesus died, and later rose from the dead. Mohammed died and stayed dead.

    Jesus is called the Word of God.

    Scripture notes the very mystery of God, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    Lots to ponder — yes, the Bible is dangerous.

    • I hate to say it but it’s pretty clear you don’t know what you’re talking about. I am not an “outsider”. I have read the Bible in its entirety and followed it’s laws for 20 years. Also wouldn’t you as a Bible believer want so called outsiders to read it? It’s important to spread the gospel right? The Bible is not an exclusive work, it’s for all people who seek knowledge.

      Also, the Qur’an does not give dominance to any of the prophets. They were each one of them great and righteous men that we should follow. Not because of their practices or denominations but because they obeyed the commands of the Lord no matter what formed that command was transmitted.

      • I don’t know what I’m talking about?

        The entire Old Testament is a lead up to Jesus Christ.

        The entire New Testament elaborates about Jesus Christ.

        You have read the Bible, and followed its laws for 20 years?

        Then why aren’t you a Catholic?

        Oh, you were talking about the moral code.

        That is what you owe to your fellow humanity, but what about what one owes God? Look at the 10 Commandments. The first three deal exclusively with man’s response to God. Only after that is one instructed on how to deal with one’s community.

        The Gospel calls humanity to the knowledge of Jesus Christ and conversion. Yes, you have been reading the Bible, you just never understood it ~

        I’ve had liberal folk say to me that Jesus was a nice teacher because of what he said on the Sermon on the Mount, etc.

        They somehow ignore what Jesus said about himself as being the Messiah, the “Lord of the Sabbath”, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He didn’t just have some truths he was sharing with mankind, no he stated he was the actual embodiment of Truth. Whatever is physically alive in the material universe gets that life from him (!) because he IS the Life.

        When Jesus spoke about Abraham, the Jews confronted him. They pointed out to Jesus that he was not even fifty years old, so how could he have seen Abraham (from thousands of years ago)?

        You know what Jesus said?

        Long before Abraham was, “I am.”

        Remember, Moses asked God for his name at the burning bush encounter, and God responded, “I am that I am.

        Jesus had thus identified himself as God. The Jews were outraged! They immediately picked up stones to stone him.

        You see the Jews understood the claims Jesus was making about himself.

        So you read the Bible? Sadly, you just don’t understand it. I think now that’s pretty clear.

  • Woah, a whole lotta haters, eh? You. go. girl! I wish there were more people like you trying to walk the proverbial mile. I think there’d be a whole lot more love instead. Too bad everyone’s stuck on the little things to see past the nose they keep looking down.

    Hey, at least your brain cells thank you for the binge-watching break, right? I was just thinking it would be a good idea to give up something else for Ramadan, similar to Lent. Netflix may be it!

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