Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 07/04/2014

Ramadhan and Uposatha

Tomorrow is the uposatha and I find myself struggling once more with how to navigate these practices and despite the fact that this has become an annual ritual I have no more clarity now than the first year I tried to balance the two. For me, the uposatha observance has always had more significance because of my reverence and love for the Dhamma but, once I have made the determination to fast for the hike month of Ramadhan I never feel right breaking the fast even for the uposatha. In the past I have suspended the fast of Ramadhan on uposatha days but this year I believe I will take the approach of keeping the fast while observing the seven precepts of the atthasila that do not have to do with eating.

Obviously there is going to be some dissonance here which is why I think it’s important for me to clarify for myself why I am doing ths in the first place. The truth is that my experience with Islam is one that has been primarily motivated by my marriage and the desire of my wife to make a place for Islam in our children’s lives not only to continue tradition but to preserve the family ties that would surely be severed were I not to have converted and played the role of observant Muslim. To a certain extent I feel I have participated in a deception but at the same time my earnest struggle to make meaning out of the situation leaves me, at times, in confusion and despair.

My apologies to all of my Buddhist and Muslim friends if I have offended anyone with my confession but this blog has always been to serve a s a place for contemplation and reflection in the interests of further my spiritual growth. It is my sincere hope that through honesty and ardent practice I will see ever more clearly with each passing day. As salaam alaikum.


  1. You seem no more confused than I can be sometimes. I think I wold try observing both — not eating at all for a day. Of course, I don’t knozlw what kind of issues that would present for others than myself…

    If it any consolation, it has been my decision to practice all Friday, Saturday, And Sunday uposatha days on the proceeding Thursday or following Monday in order to not inconvenience the family. It just makes sense for us.

    May your practice be fruitful, regardless!

  2. Dear fellow Dhammafarer,

    Be free 🙂 be truthful to yourself. If you have made a determination, then do it without remorse. A man of Dhamma is a man of his words – remember Sacca parami & Adhitana Parami.

    It must be clear to you why you observe the uposatha, and why do you observe the ramadhan fast. The Uposatha is a clear cut practice : to weaken the defilements.

    The ramadhan fast? for fear of a creator god, an entity that the Buddha never acknowledged? So here’s the spiritual path challenge to you : which is worth observing – something for a worthwhile spiritual path – another : to put on a show without much spiritual worth.

    you decide, happy threading on the path of Dhamma.

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