Each year for Ramadhan, my family and friends text and email a slew of graphics that center on Islamic architecture, moon and stars, and other traditional aspects of the month, such as dates or reading the Qur’an. These graphics are generally decorated with elegant fonts in both English and Arabic wishing a “Ramadhan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem.”
There is an interesting balance of light in dark in these images, with the symbols of light, such as the moon, or Qur’anic text, exuding holiness. The inclusion of darkness alludes to night, as Ramadhan is, after all, the month of staying up all night, eating, drinking, and celebrating with loved ones.
While we often take for granted the importance of these images in the celebration of this month, they become a large part of connecting with family members not spoken to in months, and finding something to say that captures Ramadhan’s essence.
Some of these graphics are considered hilarious evolutions of Islamic art, while others consider them lighthearted replacements of a hardcopy card. For a religion that tends to be more involved with customs such as Ramadhan, these greetings are a kind of tongue-in-cheek manifestation of a traditional event, a kind of new-age, technological attempt at maintaining the old. The inclusion of customary symbols of Islam and Ramadhan such as mosques, Qur’ans, the moons and stars also contributes to this perpetuation of the historical idea of Ramadhan, so that this form of Islamic art can be shared and distributed through the aid of technology. One image can be sent to you many times, highlighting the interconnectedness of the English-speaking Muslim world.
All in all, these graphics are beautiful representations of celebrating Ramadhan with family and friends that are near you, as well as being able to share that affection through a text or email to a loved one who is a long distance away.