The Ramadan

The Ramadan

“Ramadan is a gift from God”

Author: Anonym/Tuesday, May 15, 2018/Categories: EML, Gran Bretagna

If you’re one of the thousands of new Muslims in Europe who've recently embraced Islam and haven’t experienced Ramadan yet you’re possibly wondering exactly how you’ll manage, especially if you no longer have the support of family and friends.
It is a sad reality that some reverts are shunned or isolated by those once close to us who simply can not understand our choice of religion and what they don't understand they instinctively fear and sometimes even show anger.
So the arrival of this blessed month can hold trepidation for new Muslims who are facing all sorts of pressures, not least of all how to cope with long summer days without food and water?
My first Ramadan was spent in Qatar and the build up to the month was impressive and exciting. Shopping malls and hotels reflected this very much in the same way as European towns and cities prepare for the arrival of Christmas.
I was surrounded by Muslims who gave me plenty of support and advice and encouragement so when it arrived I felt more than prepared to spiritually embrace the best month in the Muslim calendar.
I can still remember so clearly, as if it was yesterday, partaking in Taraweeh prayers with friends at Discover Islam in neighbouring Bahrain. The imam set an extremely brisk pace and that set in motion a distinctive rustle and swishing sound of abbayas as I prayed alongside my lovely sisters.
My next Ramadan was in London and since I did not live in a Muslim community the atmosphere was quite different and almost muted by comparison to what I had previously seen and experienced in the Middle East.
Most of the time I was left alone and isolated - not deliberately. It's just that Ramadan is a time for family and coming together with networks of friends. I didn't shout out for help and everyone just assumed that I must be OK because of my silence.
That Ramadan was tough and lonely although spiritually uplifting in other ways since I focussed heavily on reading the Holy Qur'an again, making use of the footnotes, references and explanations set out in my precious A. Yusuf Ali english translation.
So to all Muslims across Europe I would make this appeal and suggestion: Adopt of revert for Ramadan! We need a supportive network around us to really make the most of this blessed month.
Some of our friends, family and co-workers may be hostile to the concept of fasting while others will be supportive and some non Muslims may even join in as a show of solidarity. But please pay special attention to the new Muslims in your community.
Make this Ramadan extra special not only for you and your family but our extended family and that includes the new Muslims, especially those who will be facing their first ever fasting. Ramadan is a gift from God; an opportunity for all of us to seek salvation and forgiveness.
It is also a time to reflect on the meaning of life and its purpose while abstaining from bad habits. The physical fast is a way of learning to listen to the demands of the body and not over eat. It also gives us a poignant reminder of what hunger can feel like as we slip into the shoes of those less fortunate - especially those for who hunger is a daily companion because every day they do not have enough to eat.
Of course the prized jewel of this wonderful month is the night of Lailat-ul-Qadr. This night carries more blessings than a thousand months and as Muslims we should try and spend this night in prayer and meditation to seek forgiveness for past wrongdoings.

There is salvation in this night and a real chance to be cleansed of all sins and reborn again. So I will leave you with this wonderful passage while wishing you all the best Ramadan yet - especially to those brothers and sisters who are new to our great Faith.
"Allah has made Laylat al-Qadr in this month, which is better than a thousand months, as Allaah says...The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah's Permission with all Decrees, there is peace until the appearance of dawn". Al-Qadar 97:1-5.

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