When I converted to Islam four and a half years ago, I knew a lot about the religion before going in (maybe more than some other converts do at that point). However, there were some things I overlooked because there is a lot to learn about the religion and it is hard to retain all of that information. There are some common things that can be missed while you are learning about Islam. I wrote this in hopes that any new Muslims who read this will learn some things that I wish I had known. Here are 6 things I wish I knew about Ramadan as a new Muslim:
What Do We Fast From?
Believe it or not, most of the coverts I asked told me that they did not know the basic rules of fasting, and I do not blame them; our fasting is slightly different from other religions. The fasting a Muslim does includes not drinking anything, eating, or having sexual relations (during daylight/fasting hours).
You Might Get Constipated
This is one of the things I never knew about before I started fasting. This may be a uncomfortable thing for people to talk about, but it is very common. It is probably the most common bodily reaction to happen while fasting. This makes sense, because you reduce the amount of liquids you are drinking throughout the day and change the time you usually eat, so indigestion happens.
What doctors would say to prevent constipation is to increase your fiber consumption, drink more water, and exercise more. I know, it is kind of hard to do those things when you’re fasting. So, in the non-fasting hours, make sure you eat something full of fiber, drink 8 glasses of water, and do some light exercise. You can also take magnesium or a stool softener (in the worst case scenario).
It Gets Easier
Fasting gets easier after a few days. The first few days are very hard. You may suffer from coffee deprivation and hunger, but your body will adjust and get used to it.
Fasting Is Harder If You Are Not Working
I learned this the hard way and I am sure many would agree to this. When you fast and are able to keep your mind busy, fasting tends to go by way faster.
What Makes This Month Different?
Ramadan is a holy month. This is the month that Prophet Mohamed PBUH received the first revelation of the Quran from the angel, Gabriel. This is why Ramadan is often called the month of the Quran.
In addition to that, you can get many blessings during this month by doing good deeds. For example, there are specific prayers called taraweeh, which you can only do during Ramadan.
Not Everyone Can Fast, But…
You cannot pray or fast when you have with your period, are sick, are breastfeeding, etc. However, though the daily prayers do not need to be made up, those fasting days will still need to be made up later. But don’t be discouraged! If you are temporarily not fasting and praying, you can still make duaa, read Quran, etc. to gain the blessings of the holy month.
If you are unable to fast at all, you are supposed to donate food to a fasting person for each missed fast, to count as if you were fasting.
In conclusion, there is always something we can learn about our faith, regardless if we are new or born Muslims. I hope some of you who read this will learn something new.
Have a blessed Ramadan!
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