As Ramadan slowly approached I sat at a loss contemplating this new journey and experience. Constant thoughts and fears arising in my mind, “How will I make this experience perfect?” “Will I fail ?” and “How will I know if I am doing the right thing?” As fears crept in, a feeling of excitement was also brewing. I anticipated my first Ramadan to be full of challenges but also full of the beauty of our Lords blessings.
Since taking my declaration of faith, God had placed many beautiful people on my path. I identified these people as not only friends but as guides and a blessing from the Almighty. This understanding allowed me to use these people as my anchors, as tools. Through this moment, there began my planning process and my anchors became my starting point. As with many aspects of life, it is vital to have a plan.
I began reaching out and asking questions. I learned about other people’s experiences over Ramadan, from the simplest experience of knowing how others break their fast, to the more complex understanding in the purifying process of the soul and how fasting is a spiritual remedy for cleansing the physical vessel, the spirit and character. Through conversation and reading our Holy Quaran, I learned that Ramadan was a divinely planned process, not only to purify us spiritually but to also cleanse and reset our vessel. Many companions expressed miraculous feelings and experiences throughout the month of Ramadan.
My planning began through interacting with others, understanding that my first fast will uniquely be a personal experience allowing me to become closer to my creator. My first fast will be another beautiful milestone on my journey as a new Muslim and that ultimately there is no right or wrong. As long as the intentions are pure, are clear and are informed through the knowledge and experiences I seek through others and through prayer.
The initial overload of information created confusion, a lack of clarity and anxiety. The knowledge and information slowly began taking an organised place in my heart and in my mind, where I was able to process and mentally file information at my own pace. The process began to lighten as the understanding of this knowledge that I was being blessed with became clearer.
I understood not to put pressure on myself and to allow the journey of my first fast to unfold organically and have faith that I was being guided by the best of planners. The faith and trust I have in the Almighty is what eases any burden and offers the understanding that everything will occur at its right time, be it a test of my patience or the test of loneliness.
I came to an overwhelming understanding that I wanted my first Ramadan to be a positive experience, one that I can look back on in years to come and see growth. I understood that many years of fasts were ahead of me Insha’Allah and I relished in the thought of one day having iftar with my family, a husband and a home built on the foundation of my faith.
As a new Muslim there is much to learn but God will only guide you to what you need to know when he has prepared you for it. As an understanding of this process grew, my patience grew, my trust grew and my journey became easier, because fundamentally it was my path alone, and I knew that along the way there will be beautiful moments with my brothers and sisters of our Ummah.