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"...He is with you wherever you may be..." - [Surat Al-Hadid 57: Verse 4]

RAMADHĀN FOR CONVERTS: How to Make this Ramadhān Less Lonely

Ramadan reverts

Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

The blessed month of Ramadhān is almost here! Ramadhān is such a unique gift from Allāh and one of the most beautiful experiences for the believer. It is during this blessed month, we see the ummah united, the poor and rich standing together in worship, and the love between the Muslims increase. However, this month can also be very lonely especially for converts, who may face some difficulty when trying to get the true feeling of Ramadhān.

Living in a non-Muslim family only adds to the trials that converts may face during this month. Waking up, preparing and partaking in suhūr (meal before the break of dawn to commence fast) and iftār (meal taken at the time of breaking the fast) can all be very lonely occasions. This is why we’ve compiled a list of 10 action points that converts can take to make this Ramadhān less lonely, In Shaa Allāh:

1. Total attitude change
Now is the time to turn to Allāh Azza wa Jall and rely on Him. Know well that you will face many tests and trials throughout this month, but it is how you deal with them that count most. Your non-Muslim family members, friends and co-workers may all have condemning remarks at one point in time or another. There will also be moments of weakness, especially if this is your first time fasting. Do not give up and do not give in! This is a test from Allāh Azza wa Jall as He says in the Qur’an, “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?” {Surat Al-`Ankabūt 29: Verse 2}
Increase in your tawakkul (reliance on Allāh Azza wa Jall). Make constant du’a to Him for sabr (patience) and strength, and also to make this month the best Ramadhān you’ll ever experience. A positive attitude is a great way to start this month.

2. Dealing with non-Muslims
Living with non-Muslims can become awkward at times. Your family and friends tend to treat you differently even though it is not intentional. This month will be no different. In fact, the questions and comments will probably multiply as your Islam becomes even more apparent during Ramadhān. There will also be times when they make crude remarks or would want to debate with you. However, you should try as much as possible to avoid becoming angry and responding harshly. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said “If a man fights or abuses him, he should say: I am fasting, I am fasting,” [Al-Albani]. Instead, use this opportunity to tell them about this blessed month, why you are fasting and about this beautiful way. You can even tell them about the health benefits of fasting and encourage them to try it too. Keep the lines of communication open. If you choose to distance yourself from them unnecessarily, it can make things even more awkward.

3. Learn about Ramadhān
Learn about Ramadhān and the do’s and don’ts. Take time out to learn about what nullifies the fast, and various foods and drinks you can consume for healthy and safe fasting. Visit blogs and websites to get an idea of how Muslims usually spend the days of Ramadhān. These are all great ways to educate yourself about the fast itself, and build online relations with other fasting Muslims in your area and around the world. Learning about Ramadhān increases your understanding and puts you in a better position to answer questions that your family and friends may have about Ramadhān. In shaa Allāh Azza wa Jall, this too is an opportunity for da’wah and will make this month of fasting a bit more comfortable at home.

4. Attend gatherings of knowledge
This is ideally the best place to obtain accurate and valuable information about Islam and Ramadhān. Listen to the inspirational stories about how the sahaba, pious predecessors, and scholars spent their days of Ramadhān. Attend gatherings and events for sisters at your local masjid as it is also a great opportunity to meet new sisters. Don’t be shy! Introduce yourself and exchange contact information. Associating with these sisters will provide you with the support you need to make this Ramadhān fun and spiritually uplifting.

5. Maintain close relations with other Muslims
When a sister asks you for your number, do not be shy to ask for hers as well. This way you can call each other, and the mutual love for one another will grow. Who wouldn’t want to be among those who will be addressed by Allāh on the Last Day, “Where are those who have mutual love for My Glory’s sake? Today I shall shelter them in My shadow when there is no other shadow but the shadow of Mine,” [Muslim]. When you are feeling lonely or need some motivation, call upon your sisters in Islam.

6. Attend Iftaars
What better way to maintain the relationships you developed with the sisters than to attend the Iftaars? No one would think that you are a charity case or free loader. As a matter of fact, providing Iftaar is a means of earning great rewards. “Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for his is the same reward as his (the fasting person’s), without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person,” [Tirmidhi]. He ﷺ also said “Eat together and do not eat separately, for the blessing is in being together,” [Ibn Majah]. Feel free to take a dish, and you too can earn your share of blessings.

7. Attend Tarawih Salaah
Listening to the words of Allāh Azza wa Jall soothes the soul, eases the mind, and fills the heart with a deep yearning for Him. This is a great way to get that boost in Imaan to prepare you for a night of worship and another day of fasting. It is also a good way to meet new sisters. Because of the auspiciousness of the nights and the Qur’an being read in its entirety over the span of 29-30 days, many women choose to come out to masaajid and perform the Tarawih salaah with the congregation. But most importantly, you are connecting to Allāh, whose company is the best company you’re in.

8. Ponder and reflect on the ayaat of Qur’an
The month of Ramadhān is the month of the Qur’an, and what could be a better way to come closer to Allāh Azza wa Jall than to read His Book? Find an easy-to-understand translation and ponder deeply on the meanings of the words of Allāh Azza wa Jall. During ‘that time of the month’, you may feel frustrated because you cannot pray, enter the masjid or fast. Do not despair! You are never truly alone in the sense that Allāh Azza wa Jall is always with us, “We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein, {Surat Qāf 50: Verse 16}. Now is not the time to slack up! Engage in other forms of ibadah, such as du’a and dhikr.

9. Attend the Eid celebrations
Eid is a time of celebration and enjoyment. It is Allāh Azza wa Jall’s way of rewarding us for observing fasts for the month. After the Eid salaah, there will be families and organizations celebrating Eid. Some masaajid also provide meals and entertainment for the Muslims. So attend the Eid celebrations! And if nothing is available in your area, you can have an Eid celebration at your home. Invite some of your Muslim friends and even your non-Muslim family members and friends!

10. Get married!
Yes, this crazy idea just might work! When you are married, you will have your own home where you will no longer have to worry about having suhūr and iftār alone, or even waking up for Fajr salaah alone. And In Shaa Allāh both you and your spouse will encourage each other to reap the most rewards from this month.

Know well that this month is a wonderful gift from Allāh, The Most Merciful, to all of His servants! It is not only the month to fast and pray Tarawih salaah, but it is also an opportunity for the believer to earn tremendous rewards, attain the forgiveness of Allāh Azza wa Jall, and also build and strengthen the relationship with the Lord of the Worlds.

Do remember to thank Allāh Azza wa Jall each and every day. Make du’a to Allāh Subhanahu wa Ta’ala to show your appreciation for this great favor of Imaan and Islam, and In shaa Allāh you will have a blessed and not-so-lonely Ramadhān.

Authored By Umm Daania
Edited and Drafted By Sana Abdul Samad

Prophet Muhammad - "Convey (knowledge) from me even if it is just one ayah" [Bukhari 3461]

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