Practical Ramadan Tips for New Muslims

“ENTERING INTO MY 15th Ramadan, I feel an excitement building. I am looking forward to the fast of Ramadan and all the amazing things that come with it: growing spiritually, strengthening community ties, coming nearer to Allah, and much more.

However, it wasn’t always this way. I converted during the month of Ramadan and jumped straight into fasting even before I knew how to pray correctly. I want to be honest here. Those first fasts were hard. Very hard. Coming from a Catholic and American background, I had never experienced real fasting. The most I knew about fasting was eating less to fit in a smaller size and not eating meat on Fridays during Lent.

So my first Ramadan was a shock to my system. And as my second Ramadan approached, I was very nervous about my ability to endure. I feared the pains of hunger, the thirst that left me dehydrated, and the fatigue that comes along with fasting. I felt like this was something no one ever talked about and for good reason. Complaining about hunger, thirst, and fatigue defeats the purpose of fasting.

I realized a couple things during my struggle to acclimate to fasting.”

The Fitna of Mistreating Women

A test is meant to determine who the tested really is. It is not a comment on the thing by which we are tested. Children are not considered inherently evil. But how well we treat our children and whether we allow our children to distract us from remembrance of Allah determines the good or bad within us, not the nature of children. The same can be said for how men treat women. Women are not inherently evil, less than men, or somehow disliked by Allah. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Men and women are twin halves of each other.” [Bukhâri] But the test, or the fitna of a woman, is a reflection on a man’s own character, and whether he treats women well or not.