Ramadan Around The World #2: Unveiling The Beauty of Islam

by Maryam Souza

This Ramadan we share with you a bird’s eye view of personal Muslim stories from across the globe.

A Brazilian convert shares a heartwarming experience of her introduction to Islam, and her struggles and victory over temptations during her first Ramadan.


Muslimah, muslim woman, red baju, hijab

An interest in multiple religions since childhood led to my interest in studying different beliefs. I was always looking for answers to the many questions I had.

At 17, I met a veiled Brazilian woman, an acquaintance. I was immensely intrigued. Wearing a veil was something so uncommon. Thus, began my initial association with Islam. I had numerous doubts about what it was like to be a Muslim woman in Brazil. She responded that it was not very easy, yet not impossible.

She gave me a book, Woman in Islam. I read it the same day and underlined several parts of the book and had more questions the next day. I continued reading more about Islam until I was sure I wanted to convert.

Islamic Art, visual art, painting, colors, ilm, knowledge, beauty

I knew that my life as a Muslim in Brazil would not be easy. People knew little about the religion and many were prejudiced. Always associating Muslims with extremism.

However, I converted within a few days with another Muslim friend. My first Ramadan was two months away, yet I felt ready as I was extremely eager to put into practice everything I had learned about Ramadan during my studies.

The days came closer, Ramadan was fast approaching. I became more distressed and apprehensive. I was afraid I would not survive. Ramadan started, and surprisingly, I calmed down and I could see that it was much more peaceful than I had imagined.

On the first day, everything went well. I was happy to know that I was not alone as millions of Muslims around the world were on the same journey.

The second and third days were just as exciting, but I was anxious to break my fast, as it was very hot in Brazil and I was not used to fasting for so many days in a row.

The second week was difficult and I worried I would not be able to fast successfully. I was working outdoors and the heat was punishing. Despite the difficulties, never did I stop feeling the peace that Ramadan gave me. It kept me going and at the end of the day, I felt proud for not giving up.

My struggles made me look more closely at people in need. I could break my fast at the end of the day, but there were thousands of people who were trapped in continual fasts with no end in sight. These thoughts helped me realise the blessings that Allah had bestowed on me. I developed a deeper sense of compassion for the needy and prayed for them in my supplications.

To help me renew my energies and intentions, I downloaded the Quran in Arabic and Portuguese on my cell phone and listened to it on my way to work. When I left work I would break my fast at the nearest mosque where I would receive a lot of advice from Muslim friends:

Don’t eat very salty foods during suhur;
instead, eat fruits, salads, and anything lighter; and
drink lots of water and avoid very sweet things.

So, I started eating strategically at suhur, choosing foods that would provide more sustenance.

The trying part was explaining to non-Muslim people that I was fasting. Many thought I was exaggerating by depriving myself of food and drink until sunset. It was extremely difficult to explain that, that was not the case. I stopped trying to explain, and started to reject anything that was offered to me. Gradually, they stopped offering and even started reminding me that the time of iftar was near!

During the last week of Ramadan when I was offered delicious food and for a moment it was compelling. However, I would remember the reward of Allah and the temptation would pass quickly. Each time I held on, I felt proud of myself and ready for the next fast.

The last ten days of Ramadan dawned upon me, I was extremely anxious to seek the night of the decree. I had studied a lot about the blessings of this particular period and I did not want to miss it for anything. I searched for this night assiduously over the period of ten days, always asking Allah to make me witness the next month of Ramadan. I felt that I was completing a very important phase in my life. A phase of many discoveries and especially, of connection with Allah. Never in my life had I felt so close to Allah. I really wanted that closeness to continue throughout my life.

beauty of Islam, visual art, islamic art, geometry, colors, painting

My first Ramadan taught me that it was possible to reconcile our daily lives with the worship of God, and that every effort is worth it when it is made to please Him.

Eid arrived. A moment of celebration that I was able to share with my new Muslim friends. It was a day of much reflection. No one could make me give up, even more so when the purpose is to please Allah. In the days following Ramadan, I felt a great sense of accomplishment, but a certain sadness also enveloped me. I missed everything I had experienced during my first ever Ramadan!

Nonetheless, the feeling that my heart was purified and my soul cleansed was a blessing. I had been endowed with the opportunity to start from scratch and all I wanted was to live long enough until the next Ramadan.

Curated by: Muslim Pro

About the Writer:
Maryam Souza, 28, is a resident of São Bernardo do Campo, which currently houses one of the largest Islamic communities in Brazil. A mum to two children, Maryam is a visual artist of Islamic Arts. Observing the pages of her Quran, led her to study more about the artistic style. She recently held an art exhibition, showcasing her work Al kursi, where people were able to hear the Quran for the first time.

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28 Comments

  1. Sakina

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece on the peace and serenity felt through the course of Ramadan. It is a month that is very dearly missed once it passes as there is a connection to the month that is beautiful and intriguing.

    Reply
    • Rita

      I enjoyed reading her store thank you for sharing this beautiful experience that you had

      Reply
    • Shamin

      Maasha Allah. It is so true. It seems difficult to explain the peace and love I feel when I fast and I share the same sentiments.

      Reply
    • Kadijatu Salim mansaray

      I enjoyed reading your article, as a born Muslim woman it brought tears to my eyes and a feeling of joy , welcome to Islam.

      Reply
  2. Amira

    Mashallah the beautiful convert autobiography touched my heart 💓

    Reply
  3. Hajia Bola Zainab

    Salam aleykun my dearest sister in Islam am so proud of u. Jazakullahu

    Reply
  4. Abu bakr

    Ma sha Allah

    Reply
  5. AKINRINADW AFEEZ

    Haliamdulilahi
    May ALLAH (SWT) continue to make it easy for Her

    Reply
    • Linda Evans

      Mashallah May Allah SWT be pleased with you…

      Reply
  6. EBRIMA

    May Allah subihanna watalah forgive all of our sins, both those who passed away and we that have witnessed this Ramadan Kareem.Amieen

    Reply
  7. Mariam Bamba

    MashaAllah I really enjoyed the reading this piece.May Allah continue to increase us in knowledge

    Reply
  8. Rahmatu

    Mashallah I really enjoy reading and love your courage as well 💕

    Reply
  9. Issah

    May thé Almighty Allah increase our sister’s faith

    Reply
  10. K

    SubhanAllah 💐🤗🥰

    Reply
  11. Badr

    Mashalah

    Reply
  12. Alex

    Alhamdulillah:) encouraging. Especially the part of our fasts end during ramadhan but others fasts are ongoing without a choice.. may Allah make it easy for the ummah. Amin.

    Reply
  13. MoAkbar H Khan.

    MASHAALLAH.
    Al Humdolila.
    It’s very nice & clear. May Allah give to us more eman.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  14. Saleh Omar

    Salam aleykun my dearest sister in Islam am so proud of You may Allah guidance you inshallah

    Reply
  15. Mussarat

    MashaAllah Alhumdulillah I really enjoyed reading you story. May Allah swt protect and bless you and your family abundantly always. Ameen yaa Rabbulalameen 🤲🏻

    Reply
    • Muhammed zubair

      Alhamdulillah maasha allah its sounds very nice to know this about Islam really it’s very good I hope this will keep continues

      Reply
  16. Malick

    Masha Allah. May Allah protect and continue to guide her and all of us in the right path.

    Reply
  17. Fatima Azam

    Mashallah,I am so pleased to open my mobile to such an uplifting,inspired and dedicated piece.Allah Talla grant all Muslim’s around the world a softer and easier Ramadan Kareem this year insha Allah

    Reply
    • Fatimah

      Ditto sister Fatima. I feel the same. Thank You you sister for sharing. Peace and Blessing LOVE 💗

      Reply
      • Zaituni Juma

        Maa shaa Allah thank you for sharing your story it is really touching May Allah (SWT) accept our fast, forgive us and increase our faith… Ameen

        Reply
    • Muhammed zubair

      Alhamdulillah maasha allah its sounds very nice to know this about Islam really it’s very good I hope this will keep continues

      Reply
  18. Ayta

    Hi my name is Ayta nice meeting you guys

    Reply
    • Idris

      May Allah increase all our rewards and guide u on the good work

      Reply
  19. Munawar Ochieng

    Assalam walykum Am Munawar from Kenya it was nice meeting you guys

    Reply

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