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The mere mention of the word Ramadhan makes my eyes sparkle and my stomach fuzzy; I feel so excited. My love for this month started in 2009 when I was in high-school; I would then observe the Muslims closely and marvel at their ability to give up food, drink, music, TV and all the things normal teenagers love to do in high-school away from home. Yes of course!! I loved the dates I can still remember when I ever ate a date oh my, it is a memory to salivate on. Later on when I got more serious in studying Islam I appreciated their efforts and tried what I could to make their fasting easy. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would wake up for suhur or stand for tarawih.

Today is a different day so much has changed from then. I am a totally different teenager; it's amazing how things have changed after the shahada. I sit on this cold afternoon my toes and fingers half frozen simply reminiscing about last Ramadhan which was my First Ramadhan since I reverted to Islam .
It all began the week before   Ramadhan. Fauzia called me one late afternoon just to know how I was doing but the conversation ended up drifting to Ramadhan. It was then that it hit me that actually it was mandatory for me to fast I felt overwhelmed like I couldn't do it. Not that I have a healthy appetite but it was the music, the useless soaps I thought I couldn't refrain from  as for months I had struggled but my efforts were to no avail. I decided to talk to Samina hoping she would tell me I didn't have to fast or something like that .Surprisingly our conversation didn't go as planned instead she started telling me of the tranquil state we would all be in during Ramadhan, she shed more light on laylatul qadr and how I should carry on with the good deeds after Ramadhan was gone. I wasn't going to let the opportunity to do good pass me by I was going to give it my best whether or not I would be successful.

The first week of Ramadhan was a struggle with my nafs, however I kept going deleted all the music from my phone, broke the CDs of useless series I apparently treasured, so that even if I was going to be tempted there would be no access to such material. I took my daily prayers serious and tried to avoid all distractions during swalah. I couldn't believe I was doing it Alhamdulillah my nafs started getting used and things got easier. That doesn't mean it was smooth sailing from then on, I don't know how but suddenly I got a really healthy appetite. I would get so hungry, there was this one afternoon I was home alone I forgot I was fasting I just felt super hungry and decided to make a sandwich before making my main meal immediately after making the sandwich it hit me, I was actually fasting. On realizing that I actually felt  energy leave my feet, then my knees slowly  I lay on the cold floor with tears in my eyes my right hand on my stomach consoling myself I couldn't feel my feet ;I thought I would die so I said the shahada with my right index finger shaking like a leaf on a windy day. I reached for my phone only to realize it would be a while before I could actually break my fast. I made a supplication and asked that Allah make it easy for me if I was going to live before dozing off on the floor. I found it really funny afterwards. Moreover, I learned how it really felt to be hungry I regretted ever dropping a morsel of food. I also felt that death was near me, that at any moment I could lose my life. I didn't want to die without my Quran in order or while listening to music or watching soaps. So I made a resolution to change my ways.

To be continued...

photo credit: CJ Isherwood via photopin cc

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