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How to Make the Best of Ramadan as a New Muslim?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

May 04, 2018

Question

Dear Scholar. I am experiencing my first Ramadan as a new Muslim: How to make the best of it? Regards

Consultant

Answer


Ramadan as a New Muslim

Short Answer: The focus during fasting in Ramadan is on feeding the soul. Ramadan is a month when Allah expiates believers past sins, and opens the wide doors of Paradise. Remember while reading the Quran, try to reflect on its beautiful deep meanings as reflecting on the Quran is a major act of worship.

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Salam (Peace) Dear Questioner,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

Peace be upon you and all our dear brothers and sisters around the world who are witnessing Ramadan for the first time this year!

First of all, what a beautiful gift you have been given!

All praise is due to Allah for choosing you to honor you and bless you with witnessing the month of Ramadan.

You being alive to witness this month is in itself rizq (sustenance, provision from Allah to you).

That’s because Ramadan is a month when Allah expiates believers past sins, and opens the wide doors of Paradise to them, and elevates their status through every second they spend remembering Him this month.

We can remember here a few important hadiths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to recall the great magnitude of this blessed month:

Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven. (Sahih Al Bukhari)

And the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said about Ramadan:

There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month, which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it the gates of heavens are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and every devil is chained up. In it Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months; whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived.

So, thank Allah that He honored you with being alive and being able to witness this month … this actually takes us to the first tip for this month.

Being Thankful and Grateful

In the verse where Allah mentioned the month of Ramadan, He says:

{The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.} (Quran 2: 185-emphasis added)

We note here how Allah ended the verse with reference on the importance of being grateful.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is a yearly purification of the inward and outward. There is a great impact the person experiences on the physical and inner self.  Upon eating after hours of fasting, the person experiences the unique taste of food.

Through fasting one gets to be thankful for that which he/she has been given unconditionally by the Creator, which sometimes people take for granted.

In essence, being grateful and thankful helps one come closer to Allah, Ash-Shakoor (The Appreciative). He appreciates all the hard work, and even the smallest acts of goodness made by His created beings—even though He is Al-Ghanyy (The Free of Need).

Feeding the Soul

The focus during fasting in Ramadan is essentially on feeding the soul.

It is purification of the physical body in the morning, then cleansing and purification of the inner being through the prayers in the evening (during night prayers).

So, it disciplines the body, and puts emphasis on the soul.

During the month of Ramadan, the Quran is meant to be abundantly recited. While letting the physical body fast, reciting the Quran alternately feeds the soul.

In the taraweeh (night prayers), Muslims pray in congregation in mosques also reciting part (s) of the Quran every night until the Book is recited entirely at least once throughout the month.

Nouman Ali Khan, Founder of Bayyinah Institute that teaches Arabic and Quranic studies, noted in one of his lectures the connection between the Arabic words taraweeh and rooh (i.e. soul in Arabic).

In his reflections, he explained that the rooh (the soul) is not earthly or tangible being.  It comes or is descended from above; from Allah Almighty.

What feeds this rooh, accordingly, also cannot be earthly or tangible.  It is also something descended from above, a revelation from the Creator Allah Almighty.

Taraweeh Prayers & The Quran

This is what the person experiences during the taraweeh prayers in which the Quran (that is revealed from Allah) is being recited.

It feeds and soothes the soul of the human being and connects it with its Creator the Supreme Pure Being.

So, while the body is fasting, the Quran (that was descended in this month) is repeatedly recited to feed the soul.

We freely enjoy foods, drinks, and take care of our physical being throughout the eleven months of the year. This one month of Ramadan is the chance to feed, refresh, and elevate the inner being by connecting it with its Creator through His words.

So, this month, try to read the Quran and reflect on its meanings.

Remember while reading the Quran, try to reflect on its beautiful deep meanings. Reflecting on the Quran is a major act of worship. Allah Almighty says:

{[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.} (Quran 38:29)

Find a good book of exegesis (tafseer) to help you induce the meanings and deep messages.

Find the works of Nouman Ali Khan in explaining the gems of the Quran like here and here. You can find his in-depth reflections of Surat Al Baqarah this Ramadan here, and watch other related works on Bayyinah TV.

I hope this helps answer your question.

Salam and please keep in touch.

(From Ask About Islam archives)

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Ramadan Countdown for New Muslims

10 Things Ramadan Taught Me about New Muslims

Ramadan: Time for Becoming Better Muslims




About Dina Mohamed Basiony

Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She is the Chief Editor of ProductiveMuslim.com. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.

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