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Beware of luxury, for the slaves of Allah are not luxurious. - Ibn Masu'd

5 Ways In Which You Can Help Reverts Before And During Ramadan

5 ways revert ramadanBismillah
Rabbi Zidnee Ilman
”My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.”

The Problem
I recently had a conversation with a sister I’d met, and I was a little confused as to whether she viewed herself as Muslim. It was clear talking to her that she believed in Allah (swt) and the last Messenger (salallahu aleyhi wasallam). She had even, once upon a time, taken her shahadah, yet she spoke as if Islam was something she was still unsure of. I decided to ask her, and in speaking to her, it became clear that my confusion stemmed from her own confusion – she wasn’t sure if she was Muslim. Her exact answer: ‘I wouldn’t say I’m not Muslim, but I wouldn’t say I am.’ She then began to tell me her story.

This sister explained that before she took her shahaadah, she was surrounded by women who looked after her and made her feel as if they were truly her sisters. She was taken to study circles and introduced to lots of other Muslim women who were passionate about the deen and who seemed to have a vested interest in assisting her on the path to Islam. When she finally took her shahaadah, however, she felt completely abandoned. She described how it seemed like everybody had forgotten about her, and that when she needed support the most, nobody came to her aide. Eventually, this led to her distancing herself from Islam.

I left this conversation disturbed by the prospect of us failing our fellow sisters in deen. Are we a community that are simply concerned with bringing people to Islam; with encouraging shahaadahs in order to appease and satisfy our own selfish desires for reward and spiritual contentment? Are we guilty of deserting reverts in their time of need, during the most vulnerable time of their lives? I cannot answer these questions on behalf of the ummah, but I can affirm that I have seen such circumstances arise in my own community. I can affirm that I, myself, am guilty of becoming so busy with my own life, that I show much less concern for sisters who have recently come to Islam.

 The scariest thing? Allah (subhanahu wata’aala) will hold everybody involved in such neglect partially accountable. It is concerning to think that a sister may point to me on the Day of Accounts, and blame me for the struggles she’s endured on the basis that I was the one who helped bring her to Islam, and that I was the one who then left her to fend for herself.

The Solution
The month of Ramadan is a beautiful opportunity to assist reverts in their journey of discovering Islam. One of the most rewarding aspects of our deen is the sense of belonging one gains as they join the sisterhood or brotherhood that Islam so fervently encourages. We need to ensure the reverts of our community are being cared for and included. We should consider that those who are new to Islam may be in situations that might make them apprehensive about fasting the month of Ramadan. This may be due to a lack of knowledge, since they are so new to the religion, or it may even be due to the practicalities of iftar and suhoor. Perhaps their family and friends don’t know they’re Muslim. It may even be that they don’t know what fasting involves, that they don’t know the rulings and conditions of sawm and they have no idea who to ask for help.

What to do
There are many different ways in which you can help reverts before and after Ramadan. This is a golden opportunity for you to gain some reward insha Allah, but also a great opportunity to do something that benefits your local community. Too often, we’re consumed by our own lives and our own busy schedules, when Islam encourages getting involved with our neighbours and local community.

Allah subhanahu wata’aala says: “The believers are but brothers…” {Surah Al-Hujurat 49: Verse 10}. This applies for sisters as well and I cannot stress the importance of striving to create a welcoming and inclusive environment of sisterhood. We cannot allow sisters to feel forgotten, and so if you do just one of the five tips below to help reverts this Ramadan, I pray that Allah (swt) eases your difficulties as you have eased the difficulty of another. Ameen.

5 STEP ACTION PLAN

1. Sisterhood
Make the effort to meet some revert sisters, and don’t just give them your number, but you take their number. Get to know them by inviting them to your home or to local events. Making a sister feel welcomed when she first enters the deen is something she is likely to never forget.

2. Study Circle
Create an informal sister’s study circle for your friendship group and make a special effort to invite reverts to join you insha Allah. My first piece of advice would be to appoint a confident and passionate speaker from among you who can provide authentic and reliable information. The circle can simply be held in somebody’s living room, and you don’t need a scholar to host it. Use trustworthy websites from which you can print off articles to read to the group. This is a great opportunity to discuss the month of Ramadan and the rulings of sawm. Go right back to the basics of why we fast, because whether you’re a revert or not, everybody needs reminding of the basics sometimes.

3. Invite reverts to your home for iftar
Remember that often reverts do not have anybody to share Ramadan with, and may find themselves having iftar alone in a home that doesn’t recognize this blessed month. Why not invite revert sisters for iftar so they can experience the wonders of Ramadan among good company? Another idea is to host a bigger sister’s iftar, allowing them to meet more people.

4. Take them to taraweeh
Invite your sisters to taraweeh insha Allah. The prospect of going into a packed masjid alone may be a little daunting, but with your moral support and kind invitation you’re opening them up to a whole new world of ibaadah.

5. Eid Party!!
I know this point comes after Ramadan, but I feel it’s an important one. Eid can be anticlimactic for Muslims who don’t have Muslim families, especially in Western or non-Muslim societies. Often, they have nowhere to go and nobody to celebrate with. A great idea would be to host an Eid party or an Eid lunch or dinner. This way, sisters will be able to enjoy Eid as they should! If you can, it would also be an idea to buy your sister an Eid present. We underestimate the power of gifts despite the Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam telling us to: “Exchange gifts, as that will lead to increasing your love to one another.” [Bukhari].

Respond to the invite
Going back to the topic of the sister who was unsure about her deen, our mutual friend responded to our conversation by making the point that a person can only do so much inviting, and that eventually they will give up if they feel like a sister, in this case, a revert isn’t responding to their invitations. This brings me to the point that this sisterhood is a two-way street, and I encourage revert sisters to throw themselves whole-heartedly into meeting new sisters and making new friends. After all, the Prophet salallahu aleyhi wasallam has told us in a hadith that one of the six rights a Muslim has over another Muslim is that“…if he invites you, [you must] respond to his invite” [Muslim].

Authored by Iimaan Ismail 
Edited by Noorain Fathima 

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

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One comment

  1. Thank you for this article. I must mention another way to help reverts, is to speak a common language. This does not mean only when you are talking directly to them, but the entire time you are in their presence.

    The Prophet (pbuh) said, “When three people are together, two should not talk secretly, leaving the third alone since this may grieve him.” (Bukhari and Muslim) When someone is left out of the conversation then they become distanced and do not find a feeling of sisterhood/brotherhood.

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