My Ramadan: Sharing the holy month with a recent American convert
ABU DHABI // Ramadan will be particularly memorable for Hend Al Bakeri this year as she shares it with an American friend who recently converted to Islam.
“This Ramadan is very special to me,” says Ms Al Bakeri, 26, an Emirati career counsellor at a government high school.
“My American friend, whom I helped convert to Islam, is coming to the UAE for the first time in this special month. She wants to know more about fasting in an Islamic country and what it means to us.”
She says she aims to help her friend understand why Ramadan is the best time of year.
“It is the month of fasting, understanding and reading the holy Quran, and special extra prayers,” Ms Al Bakeri says.
“This month is very peaceful, which makes my heart, soul and mind clearly directed towards worshipping Allah without any distractions of life.
“It gives me the chance to experience some of the hunger that poor people feel and it reminds us to give charity and to be thankful for what we have, at the same time.”
Ms Al Bakeri says the abstinence during Ramadan helps her to feel “more intimate with Allah” and it is the perfect time to bring changes to her life.
“I become more patient and have a strong will, mind control, refinement of manners, and am more charitable. It is the best chance to practise these things in Ramadan and keep doing it on a daily basis in my life,” she says.
Ramadan also helps Muslims from around the world connect with each other through the shared experience of fasting.
“Whomever and wherever you are, regardless of your race, language and nationality, more than a billion of us are doing the same thing at same time,” Ms Al Bakeri says. She also enjoys celebrating the holy month with her friends and family to help “make beautiful memories that stay with us for the rest of our lives”.
Updated: July 5, 2015 04:00 AM