I have learned a lot. I have learned how to be creative with what I have. It is June 6th, first day of Ramadan, and the creativeness starts.
My name is Blanca, Blanca said with a sigh in the morning Fajir prayer at the masjid, Blanca said unsurely and instantly switched with Noora. Yes, That is how lost a person who is new to Islam in Ramadan can feel. Just how I had to start completely fresh for this year’s Ramadan and adjust my brain to a month-long worship that I have never done before, I had to renovate every part of my soul that has been damaged from my own revert shortcomings. My name, my identity, my exterior ensemble, all has felt distant, cloudy, and disorganized for me.
I’ve been Muslim for 8 months. This journey has definitely taken me to a very far quest to find myself. Since I have pre-cautiously looked ahead for this date as it approached, my reminders of me not being a good enough Muslim ready for Ramadan, would tremble down to my core. In my short time of being Muslim, I have not personally set a stable ground for myself. My family is Mexican and Catholic, and living Ramadan with them, is a solo ride for me. So far I’ve had several experiences of loneliness and feeling suffocated in a box that I want to escape from. Not having my family able to relate with me, makes me feel like my religious expressions are nothing but details to them, not mattering or effecting their daily life in any way, leaving me hopeless. Leaving me more anxious than before, it is painful to know that this is how I am spending my first week of Ramadan because this is a time when Muslims should hold this month to an enormous spiritual standard, not feel a spec of this loneliness.
From lack of emotional support, a cycle of reoccurring discouragements, feeling lost, and to leaving my daily routine behind including an upbeat personality, my lost hole has widened. Although, this is unfortunate, I believe in my soul that through this struggle to follow Allah, I can rebuild myself. I am lucky that the religion I am lost in is the religion of Islam, because all the answers are there to be found.
Ramadan is meant to replenish your soul, start over, and cleanse out unnecessary and unhealthy parts of your holistic self. I have to wonder, do people not know that converts have been struggling to do that ever since they said “I give testimony that there is no more God than Allah, and that Mohammed is his messenger’? How we get to our true selves in Islam is endless. The fact is that a new Muslim’s biggest occupation, that truly shapes them, is adjusting to the beliefs of a true Muslim.
Beliefs. Beliefs can be predominantly an abstract concept, but for a Muslim, it is a concept of the soul. Me, trying to let go of every habit, the deep subconscious customs my past non-Muslim life had held– it is not only an internal calling since we first considered becoming Muslim, but a foundation for who we are, constant imperfections and constant van diagrams. Personally, being a new Muslim in Ramadan feels like a cycle of self-doubt, because there is no one that is guiding you but yourself. I wish that there could be a larger network for converts. The least that I want is not to be left to over think my flaws on my own; it feels redundant, and I hope that I feel better next week. I have strong faith in my Lord.