'I am nervous before my first ever Ramadan fast'
I have resolved to read and understand the holy book as much as I can, says the Colombian.
What is the emotion of someone who is experiencing something for the first time?
He is nervous, right? That's exactly how I was feeling since the night before my first Ramadan fast ever.
After the night prayers Taraweeh that I performed in a congregation at the mosque, I decided to go to bed early as I had to get up early for suhoor and wanted to give myself good rest. I aimed at getting up well in advance for suhoor as I wanted to give myself ample of time to eat and drink that early in the morning. But although I went to bed by 9.30pm, I was unable to sleep for the initial hour and a half or so. I was getting anxious. I was getting thoughts such as 'will I be able to fast properly or will I get thirsty; or will I get a headache due to not eating'.
Diary of a convert: 'It is my first Ramadan as a Muslim'
So I had a little hard time sleeping but Alhamdulillah, I slept comfortably after a while. I got good rest and then woke up at 3.30am for suhoor. I then offered some prayers before getting on with suhoor and then made some oatmeal with banana for myself. Most importantly I remembered also to have some Sunnah food as it's healthy. So I had some warm water with honey, some dates and had a good amount of water to keep me hydrated.
I thanked God at every step as I felt good and excited to get on with my day. After eating I immediately performed my wudu (ablution) and heard the call of prayer, azaan. The procedure of the commencement of fast is such a beautiful step by step build up that even before starting the fast it gives you a spiritual high. So although I couldn't pray in a congregation at a mosque as there is none nearby my house, I did my morning prayers in solitude feeling the presence of my Creator watching me and I felt so much peace.
Since this is the month of the Quran (as the Holy Quran was revealed during the holy month of Ramadan), I have resolved to read and understand the holy book as much as I can. So I started my day then at 7.30am when I got up again, took a shower, did my ablution and began reading the Holy Quran, pondering over it and discovering so many things. It's like every time I read, I make a discovery, so it's very exciting for me.
This country will fast more than 20 hours a day during Ramadan.
As the day progressed, I did feel a bit hungry but it was nothing unbearable. I did not get any headache (that I feared I may) and nor did I feel thirsty, thanks to Allah all I felt was happy and motivated. I could feel that Allah made it so easy for me Alhamdulillah.
Luis Carreno is a 36-year-old from Colombia who embraced Islam in January 2018. He embraced Islam at the Islamic information center, Satwa. He is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt coach for the UAE Armed Forces in Dubai.
(AS TOLD TO SAMAN HAZIQ)
Luis Carreno is a 36-year-old from Colombia who embraced Islam in January 2018. He is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt coach for the UAE armed forces in Dubai.