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Assalaamu alaikum! Today is the last day of Eid al-Fitr. Ramadan is over guys. SIGH. But it’s ok because inshallah Ramadan will be back next year. So allow me to tell you how my first Ramadan as a Muslim went.
It was actually good guys! Alhamdulillah! And of course that was a Rahmah of Allah. But I did do some things right – and others not as right – that helped me along by His Mercy. These are things I recommend to you all.
- I planned ahead. Like, way ahead. Two, three weeks before the first day of Ramadan I was planning things out in a little notebook, praying and thinking about my goals, and asking for advice from some wonderful friends. This helped me decide how to accomplish what I wanted to do this year.
- I accepted my limitations. This was so hard. Planning? List making? Yeahhhhh gurlllll I’m down for that. But accepting that I cannot do something? That is so difficult for me. Allah in His Wisdom decided it was best for me to not be able to fast – maybe not ever, thanks to life long health problems. I couldn’t fast. I couldn’t go to the masjid, because of lack of transportation aaaaannnnd because (you guessed it!) health problems. I cried and prayed to Allah about this, and ulimtately making lots of dua about it was what gave me the strength to accept these things.
- I did what I could with the ability and resources I did have. There was a lot I couldn’t do, but there were also things I could do, so I focused on doing the good deeds I could do with all the good intention and faithfulness I could muster. For example, I worked hard to make salaat on time, improve my hijab, make dhikr every day, and surround myself with Islamic media.
One of my goals that was really important to me was memorizing ayatul khursi in Arabic, which for those who don’t know is a long Quran verse that we Muslims like to recite as a prayer, though it isn’t required. We believe that it brings protection and blessing. It was not easy for me AT ALL but alhamdulillah I did it! The moment I first recited the whole thing in Arabic without looking at a paper was legit emotional. The video I used to learn it was this one. I now recite ayatul khursi after each salaat.
Another goal was to avoid secular entertainment unless it was with hubby and instead use my individual time to immerse myself in Islamic media. Khutbahs, nasheeds, Quran recitations, Islamic videos, books on Islam and various important religious figures in our Deen, articles on Islam, and so forth. I unfollowed a bunch of social media pages that were directly in conflict with my faith in order to make this month as sacred as possible. Although I am watching retro tv shows again along with my favorite youtubers, I plan to continue with this general policy of more Islam, less dunya. It raised my iman a great deal and made me feel much more peaceful.
I also tried to make more dua. As I said a few blog posts ago, praying spontaneously in my own words is hard for me. But this year that barrier was broken and I was able to pour my heart out to Allah. A tip: make dua in sujood. The sanctity of that position facilitates dua in a way nothing else can.
Aaaand of course I wanted to read through the Quran in its entirety this Ramadan. Alhamdulillah I did!
I did do one thing wrong. I compared myself to other Muslims way too much, and resultantantly ended up feeling terribly inadequate and discouraged. “They go to the masjid every Jummah and I don’t,” “They fast and I can’t,” etc. Not healthy. So many times I felt like less of a Muslim for it. But then I remembered it’s not the masjid that makes the Muslim. Finally I was making dua one night and I started crying and reciting the shahada in Arabic over and over. I realized that I do indeed believe in those words with my whole being. That makes me a Muslim. I am Muslim enough. I am flawed and sinful, but I am striving to submit to Allah! And that’s what matters. I say the same to all of you: you’re Muslim enough. You’re enough. Allah sees your intentions.
And there you have it! That was my Ramadan alhamdulillah. Let me know in the comments below or on my Facebook page how your Ramadan went!