My First Ramadan
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My First Ramadan: ' I kept my first fast as a non-Muslim'

Saman Haziq
Filed on June 10, 2017 | Last updated on June 10, 2017 at 12.50 pm
My First Ramadan:  I kept my first fast as a non-Muslim
Ayesha Siddiqa with her husband Mohammed Umer.

(Supplied photo)

Ayesha says she emerged a much more disciplined person after her first Ramadan.

For Ayesha Siddiqa, 29, Ramadan has its own charm. It is the month that changed her life forever. She embraced Islam three years ago and it was in the month of Ramadan of 2013 that she first started fasting with her friends, just out of love and curiosity.

"Ramadan is very special for me because it was the first thing that attracted me to Islam. I was staying here with my friends and when Ramadan arrived, I saw them eating early in the morning, fasting all day, praying, and then ending fast together in the evening. I liked the practice so much that I decided to fast with them."

Ayesha says Ramadan was the turning point in her life. " Love for Islam took roots in my heart during this holy month four years ago. Although I began fasting with my roomies, I had not yet embraced Islam. This is my third Ramadan as a Muslim, Alhamdulillah."

The first thing that changed in Ayesha was her dressing sense. "Even before embracing Islam, when I observed my first Ramadan fasts with my friends as a non-Muslim, I started dressing modestly and wore more covered clothes in order to respect those fasting.

"On Eid, I went with my friends and performed my first-ever salah with just actions as I did not know what is to be read in it."

Ayesha says she emerged a much more disciplined person after her first Ramadan.

"I learnt values of sharing (meals), caring for others, time discipline during the holy month."

Once Ramadan got over, Ayesha started reading up and learning more about Islam and within two months Ayesha embraced Islam.

Everything has changed since then. "My priorities change during the holy month. All I focus on is supplicating and staying connected to Quran and Allah. I read once that during this holy month, Allah is more merciful and is generous in forgiving people, therefore I make the most of this month."

Ayesha says that her faith went from strength-to-strength as all her prayers gradually were answered by God. "Trust me, the holy month of Ramadan is surely a month of getting your prayers answered. Onetime I asked God to normalise circumstances at home (family) after I broke the news of me becoming a Muslim to my family in India. And God took care of it. Another time, I asked Allah for a devout Muslim husband and alhamdulillah, I got it."

Ayesha and her husband Mohammed Umer planned their marriage before the holy month approached, as they wanted to spend a more meaningful Ramadan together.

Although Ayesha is an Indian and her husband a Pakistani, she says nationality is not a barrier in Islam. "Muslims are Muslims anywhere around the globe."

The duo now does their Suhoor and Iftar together, while also performing their Taraweeh prayers together at the Fatima mosque near Ghubaiba bus stand.

" After ending our fasts together with a lots of dua, we then rush for Taraweeh as I read in a book that he / she who observes Taraweeh prayers throughout Ramadan, out of sincerity of faith will have his past sins pardoned (Al- Bukhari and Muslim).

I feel so light after prayers as if my sins are taken off my shoulders. This is that amazing month where I get to impress my Lord.

saman@khaleejtimes.com





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