Enjoy Peace, Serenity of Ramadan Fast
Reda Hammad, U.A.E. Correspondent
first Ramadan fast is exciting, especially for little
kids who yearn to perform the religious duty like their
the experience is much more exciting for men and women
who have just converted to Islam and are beginning their
first fasting experience in their 40s.
do new Muslims say about Islam and Ramadan? How did
they perceive Ramadan before their conversion to Islam?
What are their feelings now that they have become Muslims?
used to make fun of Ramadan and the notion of Islamic fasting.
I used to ridicule those Muslims who torture their bodies
by fasting," said Marcos-now-turned-Ahmed Moamen.
lived in the U.A.E. for nine years as a traditional Christian
who irregularly goes to Church. For me and my colleagues,
Ramadan was a nightmare. It was a month in which we were all
confined to our homes as all bars remain shut," he recalled.
was not the only thing I detested about the Ramadan fast,
but also this tough treatment of both body and soul. I used
to believe the body has desires that should be met. Therefore,
I only perceived of fasting as an unjustifiable and illogical
torture," Moamen, a Filipino, said, recalling what he termed
as the "bad" old days.
months ago, the Almighty Allah guided me to Islam. I had a
long time roommate, who once converted to Islam, tried hard
to lure me into it. He used to discuss Islam and gave me some
translated books about the faith until the Almighty finally
opened up my heart. And here I am having my very first fasting
experience in Ramadan," Moamen said.
Allah guided me to Islam and after having fasted several days
of Ramadan, I found out that all my previous ideas about the
rights of one's body were not true and that straightening
our bodies once a year is of great wisdom. That is why Allah
ordered us to fast one month of the year and not the whole
year," said Moamen of his new spiritual experience with Ramadan.
[fasting] brings the Muslim closer to Allah. I do not exaggerate
if I say that I feel a serenity I have never before felt in
my entire life," Moamen concluded.
Yousef, a Lebanese who was named Tony before embracing Islam,
is also experiencing his first Ramadan.
delighted about the new fasting experience, Yousef said he
was overwhelmed by joy and that fasting helped him feel the
serenity that only fasters enjoy.
since Allah guided me to Islam, I’ve become used to the habit
of fasting every Monday and Thursday [following in the footstep
of Prophet Muhammad, Allah’s peace and prayers be upon him]
to make up for my sins which I committed before Islam," he
fasting in Ramadan is totally different because the holy month
has its own sense of spirituality and serenity that is absent
from other days and months," Yousef asserted.
prayers in Ramadan are different from the usual prayers,"
he said, adding that Allah magnifies the good deeds of Muslims
in Ramadan and spares them from Jahannam (hell).
lamented having wronged Islam and Muslims in the past, especially
during the civil war in Lebanon, and prayed to Allah the Almighty
to forgive his previous bad deeds.
Anoi was brought up in a Protestant Scottish family. She spent
her childhood in the countryside which gave her a chance for
contemplation and meditation.
she finished school in London, she got a job in a U.A.E. hotel
and spent several years there until she got involved with
an Arab Muslim.
loved him so much and he started talking to me about Islam.
I began with him a search journey. We read most of the books
on Islam in English," said Carol-turned-Fatma al-Zahra' Mohammad
(the name of one of Prophet Muhammad’s daughters).
realized that Islam is the right faith that dignified the
human being and catered for the rights of man, woman and child,"
found it a religion in harmony with human nature," Fatma said.
I read the holy Qur’an, I found answers to all questions haunting
my mind and soul. Eventually, I converted to Islam and we
[she and her Arab Muslim friend[ got married," she recalled.
for Ramadan, I cannot describe to you how delighted I am to
fast Ramadan this year.
atmosphere makes us feel closer to Allah. And since it is
a month of worship, we are keen on getting closer to the Almighty
through prayers," Fatma added.
cannot describe my happiness while performing Taraweeh
prayers with many other Muslim women," she said, lamenting
that in ordinary days one would not find so many worshippers
Jordon, once a Caroline Jordon, from South Africa said it
was that unique peace reflected in the body movements during
prayers that attracted her to Islam in the first place.
is a fine way of spiritual and psychological elevation and
these were the things that guided my way into Islam," said
and Ramadan are the most joyful religious rituals and the
closest to my heart," she added.
spent years of my life searching for a way for spiritual satiety.
I adored contemplation sessions and read a lot in oriental
philosophy but never reached satisfaction," she underlined.
completed my study in the U.A.E. and happened to live by some
Muslim neighbors who always performed their prayers by the
used to sit and watch their Rukou’a [kneeling] and
Sujoud [the position when a Muslim worshipper’s head
touches the ground during prayers] and it was very touching
because Rukou’a and Sujoud are magnificent body
and spiritual sport," Amnah said.
recalled performing prayers and practicing Rukou’a
and Sujoud even before converting to Islam.
felt a kind of serenity I have never experienced before, and
since that very moment I began a quest to explore Islam until
Allah guided me into becoming a Muslim and I was overwhelmed
by spiritual peace," Amnah concluded.