Ramadan & `Eid in Lockdown: Converts & Born Muslims Share Experience

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”

This advice is relevant and important to all Muslims, but particularly converts, who often must learn the teachings and practices of Islam on their own.

The wisdom and reality of this hadith hit home this Ramadan and on `Eid Al-Fitr when converts Susan Barrientos and her husband performed taraweeh and `Eid prayers at home, a result of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine.

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“We didn’t know how to pray taraweeh. We didn’t know how to pray the `Eid salat, so we had to learn the rules by looking the process up online,” Barrientos told AboutIslam.

“My husband only knew three surahs, so we really felt that lack of knowledge in Ramadan, but it was good because it pushed me to learn.”

She said she also used the time with her family to make the holy month more of a special presence in her home, including hanging a Ramadan calendar and learning and sharing Ramadan stories with her children. “I wanted to make it a good environment for the kids.”

Despite the challenges, Barrientos, who lives in Houston, Texas, said the experience has been rewarding.

“It has been a very special Ramadan,” she said.

But Barrientos and her husband weren’t the only one learning new skills while in lockdown. Her oldest child, 18-year-old Ibrahim Mehrzai, also picked up a new trick: how to ride a bike.

“He took a month off of his work (during Ramadan) so he would sneak out after Fajr prayer to practice riding. A couple of times he came home because he fell, but he did end up learning,” she said.

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