seamick a-z

faith, hope, & love — joy, harmony, & peace

fasting, solidarity, & giving

on July 8, 2015


Yesterday was July 7th (7-7) and I participated in Se7en Fast.

Ramadan is the Islamic holy month in which Muslims fast (no food, drink, smoking, or sex) from sunrise to sunset each day.  It is a time of commitment, self-control, reflection, focus, and reliance on God.  It is a reminder to live simply and compassionately, and to remember those around the world who have to go without food every day.  Muslims continue their regular prayers during this time, while making additional efforts to read the Qur’an daily and donate to charity.  This year, Ramadan began around June 18 and will last until July 17.  Because it follows a lunar calendar, Ramadan moves back about 10 days each year.  So in a few years, it will no longer be taking place in the long, hot days of summer, which may make fasting slightly easier.

Ramadan is now an important time of the year for me personally because my new husband is Muslim.  ❤

This holy month of fasting, like many special occasions, is best practiced and enjoyed in community and with family.  I am not a morning person, and very much need my sleep, but having someone I love to share this experience with really helps.  It was nice to wake up with him yesterday around 4:00 am before dawn for suhoor (the meal early in the morning before fasting begins) and then prayers.  Then at the end of the day when the sun set around 8:30 pm, we enjoyed a delicious iftar together (the evening fast breaking meal).  I was definitely ready to go to sleep soon after that, but then woke up early today too to start the day the same way!

July 7th was just one day in which to show solidarity in an open way, but I hope that every day we will all continue to be mindful and respectful of those around us– those in need and those who may be different from us (in appearance, culture, religion, or otherwise).  We are all in this together.  🙂

I encourage you to visit,, and to read about how this movement got started and why, see some of those who participated, and learn more.  This event was also featured on one of my favorite blogs, Interfaith Ramadan, and

I became aware of this because I had been following Jessey’s blog and her #40daysofhijab.  Shortly after that, her husband, Jeff, posted the following in introducing #SE7ENFAST.  I’d like to share some portions of that with you here, but I also encourage you to read more on his blog.

“A month ago, my wife and I were in Houston.  We met with new friends Bassel and Salmaa, the two behind #Muslims4Lent, a solidarity movement of Muslims in which individual Muslims chose to fast from something during Lent this year.  Bassel befriended my wife while she was doing something equally opposite this year for Lent, namely wearing hijab (#40daysofhijab) in order to get a feel for what Muslim women experience in America and to encourage all people to love their neighbors, strangers, and enemies.

This year, on 7.7.15, we are inviting people to give up food and drink for one day (sunrise to sunset), like Muslims will be doing for the entire month of Ramadan.  This is fully a solidarity fast.

But it’s also more than that.

Those who participate in SE7EN FAST will be challenged to give the money that they would have spent that day on food to the World Food Programme, with the donations going toward providing food to refugees from the over four-year crisis in Syria.  There are more than 6,500,000 displaced Syrians due to the ongoing conflicts, as well as an estimated 3,000,000 refugees living in camps in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan.

But SE7EN FAST is more than a fundraising campaign or a solidarity movement.

The best possible outcome for SE7EN FAST will be for Muslims and non-Muslims to share a meal together.

Fear stems from a lack of knowledge and leads to hatred.  The only way to overcome fear is love, and the only way for love to manifest itself between Muslims and non-Muslims is knowledge of the other.  When we put humanity on the other, they no longer remain anonymous, but they take on human shape and dignity.  They are no longer other, but us.  One way to accomplish this is to break bread together.

Fear is a two-way street.  The goal of SE7EN FAST is to encourage all people to walk the straight path of peace with one another in the world and in our own communities.”

Shoulder to Shoulder Interview

Our Campaign Director, Catherine Orsborn, had a conversation with Jeff Eagan, who with his wife Jessey started the Se7en Fast initiative this Ramadan season. By asking people of multiple faiths to fast in solidarity with Muslims on July 7 this year, this movement hopes to “encourage people of all faiths to walk the straight path of peace locally and globally.”

C: I’d like to just hear about you and your wife’s background and how you first started with this type of engagement in the first place; it sounds like you grew up where there weren’t many Muslims that you knew. So how as a Christian did you start to care about this?

J: In 2008 we sold our house and moved to Amman, Jordan for a year and a half. We ended up getting jobs working for a Princess at an Islamic school and during that time I didn’t know anything about Islam so I was learning from the inside out. I came back from that and wanted to learn more about the conversations we were having with Muslims and all of the things we shared and had in common. I wanted teach as many people as I could the things I was learning so they could stop being afraid of Muslims and start loving them, because on top of everything else the fact is that fear leads to hatred and hatred doesn’t solve any of the world’s problems; it just increases them. We are called as people, both Muslims and Christians, to love our neighbors as ourselves and when Muslims are our neighbors we need to take that seriously. Loving strangers as you love yourself and even loving enemies is something that we are supposed to be doing, but the Church is terrible at doing that. So what I wanted to do through education is change that. I just wanted to invite as many people as I could on the journey I experienced.

Thank you, Jessey and Jeff! 🙂


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