She remembered her first Ramadan with awe at the journey she made to get there and how her journey had continued since.
She was a brand new Muslim. Her first Ramadan came just a month after she said her shahada. Her imaan was soaring and she was filled with a deep and immovable strength.
She needed that strength for the bittersweet emotions that she experienced throughout that month. The strength she didn’t know she had, let alone needed, was granted to her mercifully by Allah.
Everyday she was filled with gratitude at how easy the fast was for her, every time maghrib came and she broke her fast, she felt a strong sense of closeness with Allah.
The prospect of fasting for nineteen hours in the summer heat had made her apprehensive. She mentally prepared herself for an uphill struggle. She imagined everyday dragging and stretching before her while she longed for maghrib yet she found herself filled with purpose and strength every minute of the fast.
When she did feel the effects, mostly of thirst from covering in the heat, she made sure to hide it well. A brand new Muslim, with confused and suspicious family waiting to find fault. She made sure she never uttered a complaint or sign of discomfort every moment she fasted lest they should use it against her or her newfound religion. She made sure they saw how easy it was for her and how happy she was to be doing it.
There was nothing like that first Ramadan. The sweetness of it. The confirmation she felt through every fast and every iftaar that she was indeed Muslim. This was who she was now. The comfort she felt every time opened the Qur’an before fajr and devoted time to it. The contrasting emotions. The loneliness of waking for suhoor carefully and quietly, eating alone and in silence. Praying alone. Making iftaar and breaking her fast alone. Yet she knew she had Allah. She felt such a comfort in knowing that; comfort that she couldn’t ever imagine. She used her time learning and discovering more about her beloved religion. The more depth she discovered, the deeper her love went.
She prayed so sincerely and longingly in every salah for things that she now thanks Allah for granting her. That first Ramadan was so special to her, so unique in its beauty for her.
Everyday she struggled to learn a few short surat from the Qur’an. She found herself comparing her accomplishments to those who had been studying and memorising Qur’an for their whole lives. At first she let it get to her, she put herself down but again Allah picked her up so she pushed on and used it to motivate her.
She thanks Allah for another Ramadan and hopes that she will feel as close to Him as she did throughout her first Ramadan.