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Author Topic: Ramadan help  (Read 1351 times)
Christine_1208
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« on: Jul 08, 2010 06:06 PM »

Assalam alaikom everyone,

May Allah send u his blessings and mercy.

I have a question for Ramadan and I am asking for some tips and advice. I want to thank you in advance for dealing with me over the past year and all my growing pains with Islam. You are in my du'a and some of you have come very dear to my heart!!!

So last ramadan, was horrible. I had trouble fasting with my diabetes. I had issues with feeling disconnected and I was alone for 90% of the time. I am actually starting to feel very nervous about ramadan approaching and not looking forward to it at all. I know this year I will not fast due to high-risk pregnancy. I will have my husband to help, but I don't see how that changes anything. If I go to the masjid he will be with his brothers and I really don't fit into the clicks with the sisters. I tried a couple times last year and I ended up sitting outside eating alone, there were no seats and everyone had there groups. When I asked to join they made me feel very uncomfortable, besides they would speak Arabic so I could not join in conversation. I have no idea what to do.. I see my husband getting excited about it and he talks about us going to the masjid.  I am starting to feel lost already like I did last year. Last year I felt so far from Allah.. I just don't wanna feel the way I did last year.. ever again.

I am looking for tips and advice. I just don't "FEEL" Ramadan.. May Allah forgive me but Christmas is still my favorite holiday.  Lips Sealed I guess cause I spend so much time with family and friends. Not so much presents and stuff. I don't decorate or any of that crap. I just visit and stuff. Alot of my family will have dinners during that time, so we meet and talk and have a wonderful time.

Any help is appreciated. Any other reverts have this? How long did it take to enjoy Ramadan or understand it? I know I will read my english Quran. I am looking for a better one. My husband has noticed some things wrong in it.. or meaning. In Surah the Woman it states a man can not marry his wife.Huh? Also I have no symbols for prostration, he showed me the difference between his and mine. I went through and drew the symbols in my qu'ran.

I just rememeber how much I enjoyed lent, I want the same for Ramadan.. over time Inshallah I am sure I will get there.


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Sarah Amena
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« Reply #1 on: Jul 08, 2010 08:21 PM »

Aww Sister Christine,

I am so sorry that you are struggling with finding a strong community/support in your area, Alhamdullah, we have this awesome website that can kind of make up for it  Wink
Regarding Ramadan, I think most people or maybe just the people that I interact tend to struggle a little bit with fasting... Especially when it's a long fast like it has been the last few years  Shocked
I know that I do most of my research and recitation and learning at home, I also don't go to the local mosque, I have my own reasons but they aren't that different than your own. Unfortunately cliques do develop at the mosque and often people are weary of "outsiders".  What I would suggest is to listen to Muslim lectures, I really really like Dr. Zakir Naik and the entire Peace TV organization. It helps me feel closer to our ummah, especially since I sometimes feel so disconnected in the Midwest.  Regarding the Quran, I have about 2 or 3 versions at home and I have one that has the Tefsir. If something doesn't make sense than I do research online.  I know that online can be a poor substitute for the face to face connections but honestly Sister it really helps me.  Alhamdullah that you have your husband and your children and you can make Ramadan fun and special.... Make a special meal during the first day, do little things to make it special and exciting... Like maybe getting them a little treat each Friday during Ramadan...  I tend to feel better about myself and others when I can make others happy. Also, you are more than welcome to email me and we can become pen pals  Grin
I hope Inshallah this helps sister.
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BrKhalid
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 13, 2010 06:35 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro


Quote
I know I will read my english Quran. I am looking for a better one.


The two most popular translations are probably the ones by Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Marmuduke Pickthall.


I tend to alternate between translations after finishing one Quran and then starting on another because sometimes a particular nuance can be picked up in one translation and not in the other.


At other times, you just ‘see’ something differently even though you may have read the same translated verse many times over!!



InshaAllah, Ramadhan this year will be a more spiritual experience for you. bro
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 13, 2010 05:48 PM »

Wsalams,

I hear this a lot from sisters who are reverts during Ramadan. They often have a very hard time during Ramadan especially Sad I think that living in a Christian society (even tho they say the US is secular, not!) when someone is Christian, Christmas comes to us... there are decorations everywhere, we have parties at our workplace, tv programs, radio stations change what they play. Friends and family invite us over for get-togethers and parties. We go shopping, we exchange gifts and cards with friends and so on and so on. We really don't have to do anything except sit back and enjoy all the traditions.

For Ramadan there are no 'traditions' in the US for us, although we're all trying to establish them! Ramadan here is what we make of it. If we sit back (revert or born-Muslim) and do not plan or try to work to make Ramadan good it will suck. Believe me I know this. If we work at Ramadan. Try to make our own traditions, try to be pro-active and do things, Ramadan becomes an amazing time.

I'll give us all some suggestions to do inshaAllah...

1. Make your own family traditions in your home. Like waking everyone up for suhoor, having special foods. Kids love that they got to "get up early" and eat and an fast half days.

2. Make iftars special. Spend some time making some special yummy foods for iftar. Send some to your neighbors. Invite some friends/family even non-Muslims to break iftar with you.

3. Make it fun for the kids. Give them eidi or presents on Eid.

I'll add some more later iA...


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Christine_1208
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 13, 2010 11:51 PM »

Asalaamu Alaikum bro


Quote
I know I will read my english Quran. I am looking for a better one.


The two most popular translations are probably the ones by Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Marmuduke Pickthall.


I tend to alternate between translations after finishing one Quran and then starting on another because sometimes a particular nuance can be picked up in one translation and not in the other.


At other times, you just ‘see’ something differently even though you may have read the same translated verse many times over!!



InshaAllah, Ramadhan this year will be a more spiritual experience for you. bro


Thanks that is an excellent idea. I have one Qu'ran with English/Arabic and the transliteration side by side, it does help with learning Arabic. I will try that suggestion of reading two different translations Smiley
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Christine_1208
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« Reply #5 on: Jul 13, 2010 11:53 PM »

Wsalams,

I hear this a lot from sisters who are reverts during Ramadan. They often have a very hard time during Ramadan especially Sad I think that living in a Christian society (even tho they say the US is secular, not!) when someone is Christian, Christmas comes to us... there are decorations everywhere, we have parties at our workplace, tv programs, radio stations change what they play. Friends and family invite us over for get-togethers and parties. We go shopping, we exchange gifts and cards with friends and so on and so on. We really don't have to do anything except sit back and enjoy all the traditions.

For Ramadan there are no 'traditions' in the US for us, although we're all trying to establish them! Ramadan here is what we make of it. If we sit back (revert or born-Muslim) and do not plan or try to work to make Ramadan good it will suck. Believe me I know this. If we work at Ramadan. Try to make our own traditions, try to be pro-active and do things, Ramadan becomes an amazing time.

I'll give us all some suggestions to do inshaAllah...

1. Make your own family traditions in your home. Like waking everyone up for suhoor, having special foods. Kids love that they got to "get up early" and eat and an fast half days.

2. Make iftars special. Spend some time making some special yummy foods for iftar. Send some to your neighbors. Invite some friends/family even non-Muslims to break iftar with you.

3. Make it fun for the kids. Give them eidi or presents on Eid.

I'll add some more later iA...




THAKS JANNAH
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Anonymous
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« Reply #6 on: Jul 14, 2010 05:00 AM »

Home front:
-Decorate. Make foil crescent moon. get a few nice looking lanterns. throw a couple floor cushions. make a spot for ramadan hanging out. Maybe only for this month you will have suhoor/iftar in that area if it is somewhere other than dining room. Change is good.

-Make a few encouragement charts to help kids fast. You know those pocket hanging shoes holder thingies? hide small gifts or candies for each day they fast after you numbered them, etc. Don't forget to have a treat for yourself if at the end of your week you accomplished your spiritual goals go ahead and use those bath salts or whatever it is that may interest you.

-Plan ahead for eid. What kids will wear. Get some henna/mendi in tubes and keep aside. This kinda of stuff inevitably gets us into a ramadan vibe. once i made a handmade pledge with my bgf and our families had a blast even during ramadan making some of the gifts and it created a nice atmosphere.

Social front:

-Make plans and get a commitment before ramadan starts to have iftar with various families or at the masjid. Don't wait till you are there to meet sisters. Make plans to meet your friends there and then aim to meet others. Fill up at least twice a week.k

-I think sometimes people assume holidays are great coz of the social aspect. But ramadan isn't really a "holiday" LOL it is not meant to be a social time. LOL I think even though many people break their fast together, they run off to taraweeh. Mostly it is about the ajir. So anything that you miss in terms of socializing with others, try to ask the ajir of what has been taken away temporarily. If one truly realizes that in Ramadan there is a night that is worth about 80 years of rewards (which is probably longer than what most of us live to be) i think personally one will want to be alone with Allah as much as possible.
This isn't the time to spend lots of time talking idol talk and hang out with friends and family. It is time to increase ibada (worship) YES you can get rewards through kindness to others but honestly sisters i think most of us exchange dishes and try to be the most giving in ramadan, we share a few iftars but that is the extent of it really. Mostly, even when i lived at home, our interactions were lessened as we all went about our various goals (for self and others).  Yet it was at its best and a heightened awareness and quality during those times

-don't count on others to make you happy or fill your time. Make intention to give others more time and space to do their worship and for you to do yours. I know this might sound harsh. especially if you are a newly wed LOL but we all need time to make Allah our best friend and practice being a good friend. He is The Only One who can make you happy. So don't worry about the social aspect of Ramadan too much. Make it more mom and kids ramadan plan. That's what i do LOL

-make a plan to reach out to one person whom you think is lonely this ramadan once a week and help them feel less lonely. you could give one a quran. another a desert dish for after iftar. another invite over. etc.

-for the week you have your period (if you do) that is when you should have your husband's friends over for iftar. You can taste the food, you're not as tired, less likeliness for "surprise" instances LOL

Spiritual front:
- make dua' now and all the way up to the last minute of ramadan.

-read on the virtues of the month before it starts. Don't find a point form fatwa. READ everything you can find on the topic. Ask others on the forum for suggestions of articles and what not that are motivational in this way.

-set goals but don't beat yourself up if you don't reach them. If you have a shaikh that you particularily like to listen to then make a chart for a personal spiritual plan and listen or read once a day something by him. I think knowledge makes one more connected in that sense. When you realize the importance and value of what you are doing, the doing becomes easier in many ways. Ask others on the forum for suggestions of vid/audio lectures and what not that are exceptional.

-Say a lot of "astaghfiruAllah" with the intention of ease and benefiting in Ramadan.



The possibilities are endless sister.
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Christine_1208
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« Reply #7 on: Jul 21, 2010 11:04 PM »

Thanks for the tips. I can't fast anyway. So I plan on trying to get home from work in time to cook for hubby or help serve the food at the masjid. Inshallah.
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