As part of our Ramadan Around The World series, we will be sharing heartwarming stories on how Ramadan is celebrated around the world. Based on the story submitted by Adil Suharto from Barcelona, Spain, this interview has been edited for length and clarity by Have Halal, Will Travel's editorial team.
Barcelona may be home to one of the world's best football teams, but it's also the home of Adil Suharto, a Malaysian who has been residing in this city with his family for almost a year. Celebrating Ramadan in Spain will be a change of scenery for Adil and the first thing that comes in mind is the reunions he'll be having. "For me, that would be reunions with family members, the nucleus family members and the extended ones. It also means reunions with busy people, reunions with our favourite food and drinks and above all, reunion with our creator, Allah."
Credit: Adil Suharto
Similar to the Muslim community around the world, the day starts early during Ramadan, more so for a Business Studies teacher like Adil. "After Suhoor, which ends around 5.20AM, I would usually have enough time to get ready for work. Although I need to arrive at the
school by 8.45AM, I leave home at 7AM since I live far away. On the train is when I try to get extra good deeds in by reading Quran or any books."
While he spent most of his day working and teaching, Ramadan also presents a good opportunity to share more about Islam. "The school has recently started sharing about different religions and I was honoured to share information about Islam with my colleagues and students. I was very happy with the positive engagements we had," he shared.
Besides that, it also gives the chance for Adil to spend more time with his loved ones. "When the school ends at 4PM, there would be 3 hours left before I could break my fast. Since my wife and I are blessed with a 10-month-old, 3 hours go by quickly after playing, taking care and feeding her. May Allah accept all of these as good deeds insyaAllah. After Iftar and Maghrib Salah, it's time for night prayers and preparation for the next day."Credit: Adil Suharto
Since Ramadan is celebrated differently this year due to the pandemic, there are some moments that Adil truly misses. "I'm new to this country, so I'm still learning how
to enjoy Ramadan to its fullest. Due to the outbreaks, the mosques are limited and we are not encouraged to go there yet. So I haven't even had a chance to mingle with the local Muslims to know the tricks to enjoy Ramadan this year." he said. "I miss everything about Ramadan, especially when Islam is practiced at a large scale. I miss doing activities outside my home, visiting the mosques, attending the congregation prayers and gathering with my loved ones."Credit: Adil Suharto
Like many other Muslim brothers and sisters around the world, Ramadan also comes with its set of challenges and this year, it's a unique one for Adil. "Besides being away from my parents and siblings in a foreign country, my biggest challenge is adaptation. I have to adapt to new food and culture altogether, which I'm relatively new to," he shares. "Sometimes, stepping outside of our comfort zone backfires and will take its toll at the unexpected times, but different people adapt differently. I personally adapt by learning the language and speaking to the locals, with the intention of familiarizing myself and keeping my mind open. I love the process of understanding the mentality and diversity of
ideas that people have. Though people are very different and distinct, I can't help but notice similarities as well. And that really helps me to adapt and fit in with the new environment."
Credit: Adil Suharto
If you're planning to visit Barcelona once the international borders reopen, Adil has several recommendations just for you! Perfect for foodies, there's a halal eatery you should check out in Barcelona. "I recommend Tomas Restaurant in Sarria! They do the best Patatas Bravas, which is easily the top rated halal and authentic Spanish food there is to try. Their price is unbeatable for the brand and food they serve. Most importantly, the taste gives you the perfect summary of what Spanish food is!"
Besides that, he also recommends Halal Emporda, a halal-certified supermarket in Barcelona. "This is the number one spot a Muslim traveller would want to go to! Though I can't say that it's a hidden gem because they are starting to get a lot of attention but I think Muslim travellers would definitely be surprised by how many halal Spanish products they can find there."
Share your Ramadan Around The World storiesThe diversity of the ummah truly exemplifies the beauty of Islam, and it's great to read stories from the
community! If you want to share how Ramadan is celebrated in your country, fill in the form below and stand a chance to be featured!
P.S. If you can't view the form above, you can submit your story in this form