The month of Ramadan is undoubtedly one of the most peaceful and blessed months in the year, but it does not come without its challenges. And perhaps the challenges are even more for our new Muslim brothers and sisters. As we immerse ourselves in their stories, it would be worthy to point out that something they all share in common – regardless of where they are from – is their determination and how their devotion to Him triumphs any challenges they might face☺️

Ramadan as a Dutch-Belgian Muslim Revert

Michael Ruppert

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

What I love most about Ramadan is that during this holy month, I feel extremely connected to Allah and my fellow Muslims.

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

During Ramadan, I’ve learnt to appreciate the luxury of having food and drinks around me 24/7, 365 days per year.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

In Belgium, my wife and I fast 18 hours per day – it’s the warmest time of the year and 95% of the people around us are not fasting. It’s challenging, but at the same time it makes us feel very connected to Allah and each other by experiencing this together.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

My biggest wish is that people from the Islamic world and the Western world will put more effort to get to know each other before judging each other relentlessly. Let’s get to know each other! Not from believer to non-believer, not from European to Asian, but very simple: from human to human.

P.S. Find out how Michael embraced Islam in our interview with him.

Ramadan as a Japanese Muslim Revert

Risa Mizuno

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

I love the Ramadan atmosphere which is full of peace and love, which I have seen from my Muslim brothers and sisters since my first Ramadan.

2. What is one thing you learned during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

The importance of appreciation. Ramadan reminds me that I cannot appreciate Allah enough as our life is full of blessings, and it makes me a better person to always appreciate what I am given by Allah.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

My major challenge is to get used to Ramadan timetable. I managed to organize my time and schedules by weekly planners to visualize what I would like to achieve during Ramadan.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

I wish Allah grants me and my husband the path to Jannah.

Arisa Maryam

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

Renewing my intention for the year and working on improving iman.

2. What is one thing you learned during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

The importance of enjoying ibadah. Because Japan isn’t a Muslim country, sometimes it’s easy to feel that you’re alone when fasting. But I think it’s important to feel appreciation towards Allah during Ramadan.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

Being the only one in my family who is fasting. In order to help my non-Muslim family members understand, I try to have iftar with them as much as possible.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

To strengthen my iman even more, to have pride as a Muslim revert and to keep growing.

P.S. Find out how Arisa defied all odds to convert to Islam in her story.

Ramadan as a Chinese Muslim Revert

Jayina Chan

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

I love that everyone tries a little harder during Ramadan. Ramadan gives us a chance to love, give, learn and improve ourselves a little more; so that we emerge as better Muslims at the end of the month, every single year in shaa Allah.

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

I learnt that there is so much more to Ramadan than just fasting. It is the month of the Qur’an, and I love that it encourages us to seek knowledge constantly.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

One of the greatest challenges that I faced as a new nursing mother was having the strength and patience in dealing with thirst, hunger and fatigue while caring for my child and working from home. I am also learning to allocate some time to read the Qur’an all over again in between the tasks aforementioned.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

I pray and hope that my family and I will benefit from Ramadan; to emerge as better Muslims and a stronger family unit for the sake of Allah swt.

Meryem

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

It’s an entire month devoted to the worship of our Rabb, and an entire ummah to celebrate it together with. I love the unity of it all. I’ve got Muslim friends and family all around the world, and knowing that all of us are striving together in Ramadan is just so heartwarming.

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

I learn new things every Ramadan, it’s always such a different experience! I guess Allah has planned it that way ☺️

But for the sake of this question, maybe the one thing that I’ve constantly learnt throughout all the Ramadans I’ve been through is this: Fasting isn’t just a matter of physically abstaining from food and drinks – it’s only just one way to achieve on our path to tauhid. What matters more – and what’s more difficult to achieve – is the betterment of our thoughts, speeches and actions. We should become better people during this process.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

Living in the countryside in Japan, me and my husband are probably the only Muslims in the area, with the nearest mosque about 2 hours car ride away. It’s always during this time that I look back and am appreciative of my first Ramadan in Singapore where the mosque was just a short 5-minute walk away from my house. How do I overcome this? Well, instead of whining over something I cannot change, I learn to be thankful of the little things:

  • I’m finally able to have suhoor and iftar with a family (something I was unable to do when I was the only Muslim in a family of non-Muslims)
  • To be probably the first to recite or broadcast the Quran on this land that we’re living in – I’d imagine the sound waves of the surahs to reverberate forever on and on after it’s been played, to be absorbed by every living creation here, even if it’s no longer audible to the human ear. That itself brings me to feel extremely grateful
  • “Verily with every hardship there is relief.” (94:5) If something’s made difficult, there’s always something else that’s easier to do. Fulfilling my duties and ibadah has been made easier for me, even if there is no Muslim community around us. We focus more, we reflect more, and insha’Allah we become better Muslims

P.S. Read more about Meryem’s inspiring story in our interview with her!

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

Insha’Allah may Ramadan make us all better people, striving in our journey back to Him.

Mikhail Goh

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

It’s the time to deepen our relationship with Allah SWT and also a time for self reflection.

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

Before I got married, I fasted alone. No one ever tells you this, but it can get quite lonely at 4.30am😢 If you know anyone who’s fasting alone, show some support!

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

It can be tough getting through the work day. Especially when there are meetings or presentations. My advice – sleep early, hydrate yourself, take naps!

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

That Muslims will band together to challenge extremism. Islam is a beautiful religion, we should do more to defend it.

P.S. Read more about what Mikhail has learnt as a Muslim revert so far!

Nadirah Tan

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

I love the spiritual atmosphere during Ramadhan!

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

I learnt how to have more self control and patience. Also most importantly to perform my terawih and witir prayers.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

Having to perform my obligatory and terawih prayers at home due to shift work which ends as late as 11pm. With self discipline I am able to strengthen my resolve to worship Allah SWT with sincerity.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

To ask Allah SWT to grant me the ability to change myself for the better during this blessed month.

Amelia Soon

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

So many things! But most importantly Ramadan makes me feel more connected and closer to Allah than ever.

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

That fasting is not just about eating or drinking but self restraint in general, and learning how to be a more tolerant and patient person, building resolve to worship and perform our salah.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

I work from 9 to 6 and I have to speak on the phone a lot so it gets really tough especially after a long conversation! Thankfully my colleagues and bosses help me by lightening my work load and allowing me to leave work earlier.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

That I will get even closer to Allah and that I will grow to become a more patient and better tempered person! InshaAllah I will be able to finish the Qur’an during this month as well.

Ramadan as a French Muslim Revert

Bilal Jeanpierre

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

The possibility to get so close to Allah by going through struggles.

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

To stay away from distractions and try to be at holy places as much as we can to reflect, meditate and do some dua.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

Terawih prayers are tiring after a certain period of time. I try my best to keep a strong mindset and not give up. Also, not being able to go to gatherings or meet with friends for iftar as I try to keep my focus on the prayers instead.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

To perform all my terawih prayers to be able to increase my taqwa inshaAllah.

Ramadan as a Thai-American Muslim Revert

Aliza Kim

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

I love the fact that Shaytan is locked up so its easier to do ibadah. I also love knowing that I am doing something together with my family in faith – my brothers and sisters around the world are all trying to improve themselves and one another. (And, I love Ramadan Market food!)

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

As a new Muslim, one of the most useful things I learned about Ramadan is that it is a training ground for the rest of the year. We control ourselves, do more good, control our tongue and so much more at a very high level during Ramadan so that doing the same outside of Ramadan should be comparatively easier.

 3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

Alhamdullilah I have had a relatively challenge-free Ramadans, except for the occasional loneliness that comes from seeing Muslim families plan and eat iftar together and sometimes that loneliness heightens towards Eid. I overcome this by understanding that part of my journey as a new Muslim is time alone for self reflection and that this is indeed actually a blessing.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

To have a successful Ramadan that is accepted by Allah Azzawajal and for my Islamic family to continue to get along, do good deeds, focus on self improvement and better treatment for others, even outside of Ramadan.

Ramadan as an American convert

Chelsey

1. What do you love most about Ramadan?

The opportunity to get closer to Allah subhana wa ta’ala.

2. What is one thing you learnt during Ramadan as a new Muslim?

I’ve learnt that I have to accept that I am a convert, so Ramadan can be a bit lonely at times with no Muslim family or friends. As my family grows, I have to build my own traditions with my new growing family and focus on the positive.

3. What are some of the challenges you face during Ramadan and how do you overcome them?

Making Ramadan special for my husband is challenging. He grew up in Jordan with lots of family and friends. Ramadan is a very special time, not just for worship and fasting, but for family and tradition. I do my best but definitely fall short. He understands alhamdulillah.

4. What is your one wish for Ramadan?

To achieve my goals. I heard a Sheikh say “prepare to fail with too many goals” etc. Although I understand what he’s saying, I feel like such thinking is precisely what will keep you from achieving your goals.

P.S. Want more inspiring stories? Check out more revert stories in this article.

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