A month of loneliness
Its been eight years now since began my journey as a believer. It was actually during Ramadan I felt that Islam was the true religion and my heart was open by Allah to believe in Him. Maybe two or three weeks after Ramadan 2006 I said my shahada alhamdulillah. Truly the gates of Paradise are open and the devils are locked up during this blessed month allowing more people see the beauty of Islam and the Greatness and how Merciful Allah is. If you would have asked me to become a Muslim 6 months before this time I would definitely said no. It was so far away from me, the idea to believe in a God. But alhamdulillah Allah guides whom He wills, never loose open on people becoming Muslims.
During my first Ramadan I was living in my own little apartment by myself. I was 21 years old. I was the only Muslim (what I know of at least) in the suburb where I lived. 99 % Swedes and other percent was me. Since I wore the niqab I didn’t really feel of being out much there, I went out when I had to or if was going away somewhere. Being a convert you are very dependent on your sisters and brothers since you have no Muslim family of your own and many of us loose our old friends when converting. Your social network is very vulnerable, many are in great need of Muslims who can help and be there for you like your own blood family.
I remember every invitation i went to during this Ramadan. Weird hu? But they really really meant everything to me. During Ramadan most of us say salaam to everything and everyone around us, shutting out the world to focus on our deen. What many of us forget is that we also shut out a lot of people. People like me during my first Ramadan. Converts and even some of those “born and raised as a Muslim” might spend their Ramadan in loneliness. Yes some time alone is definitely good for you, specially during Ramadan, to focus on worship. Muslims who are married, have children, other family members, close relatives or even Muslim neighbors usually prepare and / or break fast together. The alternative to break my fast and eat iftar in the mosque was not an option, iftar was late and I didn’t want to go out by myself late at night. In non-Muslim countries the mosque might also be very far away from your home.
I remember those invitations during Ramadan because the gave me so much happiness and comfort. Being alone during Ramadan is hard. The thought of that everybody else is with their family but me is really hard to tackle. I was depending on their desire to invite people (me) over for iftar, I felt embarrassed to invite myself. Because it is just that time around iftar which is the most difficult time being alone. I know this will sound pathetic, but during this time Paltalk was very popular. So what I did every evening before and after iftar was to enter an islamic room and just listen. I didn’t participate in any debate or wrote comments, I just wanted to hear Muslims. Talking about Islam, their day, making dawah or talking about what they had to eat after maghrib.
Why I am telling you this is because there are many Muslims who will, just like I did in 2007, go through this blessed month in total loneliness. I ask you to think about your brothers or your sisters this Ramadan. Not only our own goals of this and that. Ramadan should be a month of activity, this should really be the month when we truly get to experience the feeling of brotherhood and not loneliness. If you know of somebody without family ask them over for iftar. Iftar is late? Let them sleep over. Take care of your Muslim brothers and sisters, everyone of us should love for others what we love for ourselves. Arrange something special for this group of Muslims, maybe an collective iftar at someones home or in the mosque. This is the time during Ramadan but Eid is also one of those times many converts are alone, spending their Eid all alone. Make an Eid breakfast or brunch for converters after the prayer or why not an Eid party where everyone is welcome of course.
Don’t forget us.