For those who do not know, Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It’s a month where we refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. It’s more than just that. Ramadan is the month the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is also a time to get closer to God, perhaps by praying more or reading the Quran, and bettering one’s self spiritually, morally, etc. It is also a time for families to come together and celebrate.
Sounds pretty nice, right?
Yes, if you were born into a Muslim family.
I am not looking forward to this time of year. Last year, my first year as a convert, I had trouble fasting. How is a fatty such as myself going to refrain from eating/drinking for sunrise to sunset, when normally I have a snack every 15min?! (exaggeration)
This year I’m not really concerned about the whole “not eating or drinking”.
I just notice how the other Muslims I follow on social media are so excited for Ramadan. I was focusing on their happiness and eagerness as it approaches later this month. Why wasn’t I like this? It didn’t take me long to figure out why.
I am alone. I have no Muslim family or friends. I have no one to share this happiness and eagerness with. I have to fast by myself (sometimes even breaking the fast early because I get asked “why aren’t you eating?”), I have to pray by myself, I have to read the Quran by myself, I have to have Eid by myself.
From a young age, Muslim children are exposed to the meaning of Ramadan firsthand. They have all of their family together, make traditional meals, and just enjoy the holiness of this month.
It’s hard for converts such as myself. I wonder if anyone else feels slightly like this..?
How beautiful is the woman who hides her beauty?
Is she oppressed?
No she is not oppressed. A woman who dresses modestly and covers herself for herself and for her Creator is far from oppressed.
Why dress modestly?- Dressing modestly is for the woman, her husband, and God. Imagine if a woman goes out to do shopping and running errands and she is wearing a very tight shirt and short skirt. These tight and revealing clothes shows the figure of her chest and her butt. When she walks by men, naturally the men will look at her, who knows what he could be thinking! He is having impure and lustful thoughts about another man’s wife! Dressing modestly is out of respect that the woman has for herself and her husband. Why should she need to seek the attention of another man when she is married? It is best to stay covered. If a woman is not married, then she does not need to show off her body to any man, her body should be saved for her husband’s eyes only. She is not eye candy for every man! God also commands believing woman to practice modesty. It is stated in the Quran 24:31 that believing women should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. They should not display their beauty to any male except to their husband and their immediate family. Modesty is also talked about in the previous verse, Quran 24:30 that believing men should also lower their gaze and guard their modesty. Men should lower their gaze when in the presence of a women because he could be staring/fantasizing about another man’s wife! How awful.
Are women in the hijab oppressed?– No, our Muslim sisters are not oppressed! Hijab empowers women, and when I wear it I personally feel more self confident. Women choose whether or not they wear the hijab. Yes it is commanded by God in the Quran that women cover themselves, but if the woman chooses not to then that is her decision between her and God. Nowadays with today’s societies and how the media displays Muslims, some women are discouraged to wear the hijab for fear of being targeted by racists. It is very sad that a simple scarf covering one’s hair somehow correlates to being a radical terrorist… Are women forced to wear head coverings and dress modestly? Not in Islam! Some cultures might force women to dress a certain way but that is culture, not Islam.
Islamophobia is something I’d never dreamt would happen. Why are people afraid of a religion that they know nothing about? Donald Trump has made it publicly “OK” to bash anyone of the Islamic faith, or anyone Arab for that matter- religious or not! Why is this happening? Why aren’t people taking the time to research and discover for themselves what this beautiful religion is all about?
Christianity and Islam are both Abrahamic religions. The Quran and Bible share similar stories and some of the same people appear in both. Abraham, Moses, Noah, Adam, Jesus, etc. are all found in both books. Shocking, right? Or did you really think every other word in the Quran is ‘bomb’?
Jesus is mentioned more times in the Quran than Muhammad. Muhammad is not mentioned in the Bible by name. He is being referred to, he was not born yet. Jesus basically says there will be one more Messenger after him to spread the word of God, and that is it. Muslims believe Muhammad is the final messenger, Jesus preceding him.
Mary has a whole chapter named after her in the Quran. Mary, the mother of Jesus. We Muslims believe she is one of the best of women to walk the Earth. Why isn’t there a chapter in the Bible dedicated to her? Hmm.
The Bible has several different “authors” and was written down many years after the events took place. How do we know things weren’t left out, added in, or even exaggerated? The Bible has been changed many times throughout history. If this is the true word of God, what human feels so entitled that they can change the word of God? The Quran has never been altered since it’s revelation 1400+ years ago.
Christians worship Jesus. For what reason? They believe he is God, and also the son of God… crazy concept right? The father, son, and holy spirit are all one person, so 1+1+1=1 . Jesus has never said, “I am God, you must worship me”. Jesus can not be God. Jesus was born, he had to eat, sleep, drink… all of the humanly functions that God does not have to do. All the powers Jesus had, came from God. If God had to eat, it would mean he is a human like us, which he is definitely not. God is something our minds can not comprehend. God doesn’t need to drink to re-hydrate, he doesn’t need to sleep, he doesn’t need to shower, or anything that us humans have to do. God has no partners, he has no one that is comparable at all.
Islam teaches peace, modesty, respect, discipline, charity, sacrifice. It does NOT teach us to bomb each other, like what the media portrays. Please, research credible sources and discover for yourself what this beautiful religion is all about, and my God guide you to the straight path.
This is for the reverts. This is for the ones who aren’t sure if Islam is right for them. This is for the ones who can’t tell their families just yet. This is for the girl who has to put on a hijab after she leaves her house so her parents won’t find out. This is for the ones who have to silently wake up for fajr, as to not wake the rest of the family. And this is for the ones who get asked during Ramadan, “Why aren’t you eating?”. Reverting is not easy. It is a constant fear of your family finding out, and also the fear of them not accepting you. It is also a constant fear that you’ll get hateful slurs thrown in your face. Dressing modest isn’t easy either. Everything nowadays is too short, too tight, too thin, or transparent. The modest clothes that are available are too expensive… and then the parents wonder why it’s the middle of July and you’re wearing a cardigan and something wrapped around your head. Or when you don’t have Muslim friends so you have to basically teach yourself how to pray correctly and how to do wudhu. YouTube videos will become your friend. You will recite surahs from the Quran silently, perfecting them with every recitation. You will screenshot a picture of a step by step wudhu and take it to the bathroom with you. It will be hard to refrain from drinking alcohol (I never drank so I can not share my stories), smoking (again, I have never smoked), eating pork (it wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be…). There’s so many cons to reverting. However, when you think of the pros…it definitely outweighs the negatives. When you take your shahada, you are entering an entire new world. I have a brighter outlook on life; I’m more optimistic than I ever was. I just feel cleansed and have a new perspective on virtually everything. Islam is more than just a religion, it is a lifestyle. No one in Islam is perfect, and that is perfectly okay. You are submitting yourself to the Most High, Allah (Arabic for God; not a name). The only God.. the only one being worshipped in Islam. He has no sons, no partners. He has prophets… but they were the ones who told people about God, and how he should be the only thing that is worshipped. God is something that our human mind can not grasp the concept of. God doesn’t eat, drink, sleep… he doesn’t need to do any of these things that we as humans do. If he did, then he wouldn’t be God. Allah The Creator of every living and nonliving thing in the entire universe. We submit to him, and repent; asking for forgiveness. Repenting is a sign of faith, it means you understand what you did was wrong. It’s okay. You can have sins that reach as high as the stars in the sky but if you ask for forgiveness from Allah, he will surely forgive you. Everything you do here on Earth is accounted for. Every single good deed is accounted for in the hereafter. Every homeless person you feed or every charity you donate to or every good compliment you give. Islam teaches us not to ponder over the trivial temptations that this world has to offer. What good is your fancy clothes, fancy cars, huge house going to do for you in heaven? These things are only temporary. If you try and hold onto these things, you will surely miss out on the wonders that would await you in Jannah. Still looking for proof that God exists? Just look around, basically everything is living proof. The human body is proof. The mountains are proof. The stars in the sky above and the wonders of the ocean below are proof. All of this came from nothing. Yes there was a Big Bang, but who caused it to explode? Who perfectly fashioned a human being, giving every single body part a function to follow? Most of these statements are in the Quran. The Quran is God’s word, unchanged and unaltered since it’s revelation to Muhammad. The Quran lists numerous mathematical and scientific theories that have been proven time after time to be true, some were not even discovered until the last hundred years. If these things in the Quran is true, and the Quran has been unaltered, then that is further proof that God exists, and the Quran is his word. Don’t let the media bias you into thinking Muslims and Islam is something terrible that should be feared. Islam is a religion of peace. There are crazy people in every single religion. The media just chooses to display only the bad Muslims, so that they will be hated. You can not get your information just from the news. If people took their time to actually read and research Islam, they would fall in love. Reverting isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.