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..?
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.