Ramadan Mubarak to all. I wanted to offer some sincere advice to you as new Muslims celebrating this blessed month of Ramadan. Ramadan can be a spiritually uplifting time or could be a sad and lonely time. Don’t feel bad or guilty that it is not all that spiritually uplifting, I have been there. It is normal and I hope you find these tips helpful in sha Allah, so maybe you don’t have to feel that way.
Stay Positive. If family or friends are making negative comments about fasting, realize that fasting may be new to them. They may be worried for your health or not understand why it is necessary. Use this as a time to give dawah to them. Explain why you are fasting. I think most people find that the why, “compassion for those who have less than you,” and to become closer to God by praying more, admirable. Once you explain, I think arguments cease.
Plan a family iftar. Invite your family and closest friends to fast with you one day and then break the fast together. Use the time to again, give dawah, and share in the accomplishment.
Seek support. Join a local mosque or new Muslim group, or discussion group online. Break your fast with others at the mosque and attend Taraweeh prayer. Being together with others strengthens the bonds of brotherhood.
Make suhoor. The predawn meal may be lonely at first, but use the time to make dua, read Quran, reflection, and become closer to Allah SWT.
Educate yourself. Besides the Quran, read another book, watch videos, or attend lectures. Take your time in learning what Islam and Sunnah say about Ramadan. Don’t follow others blindly, they might be doing something incorrectly because of culture. One example is Laytul Qadr which is the Night of Power. We are taught it is one of the odd nights in the last 10 nights of Ramadan, 21st, 23rd, 25th, and 27th,. Southeast Asians, for example, always pray extra prayers on the 27th night where in reality it could be any of the other nights as well.
Make your own traditions. Besides the Sunnah of dates and water, eat what you want. Do activities that are special to you. Now that I have kids, we decorate with lights for Eid and make Eid cookies, two traditions I took from my Christian background. We attend Eid prayer and go out for breakfast afterward, which we don’t do any other time of the year.
Read Quran. Read in a language you understand. You don’t have to speed read to finish the Quran during Ramadan either. The benefit and understanding that you get from the Quran and can apply to your life is what is most important.
Dua. Make lots of dua. If you’re feeling sad or lonely, ask Allah to help you. It may seem like a hardship now, but Allah SWT is testing you and giving you lots of rewards. There will be uplifting Ramadans and not so great Ramadans. Don’t be saddened that it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would.
Celebrate Eid. Invite close friends and family to celebrate Eid. Invite Muslims and non-Muslims. I have celebrated many Eids with close friends and non-Muslim relatives. It joins the ties of kinship which is very important in maintaining ties with friends and family.
Give gifts. Gift giving is very much a Sunnah and generates or increases love between one another. Give small gifts to your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, etc.
I hope you find this advice helpful and actionable, in sha Allah. Wishing you all the best during Ramadan and may Allah SWT accept all our duas and fasts. Ameen.
About the author
Karrie is a revert Muslimah, mother, wife and muslimah–preneur. She is an organizer and loves working with women entrepreneurs. She is the founder of KarrieMarie.com where she works as a Virtual Assistant and Social Media Manager helping women build their online business presence and conquering their to-do lists so they can focus on their business growth, in shaa Allah.