5 Tips for a Convert’s First Ramadan

by 21 March 20231 comment

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

If you’re a convert to Islam, experiencing your first Ramadan can be both exciting and daunting. To help converts navigate this special time, Suryani Omar spoke to Rebecca Siddiqi, a convert for 12.5 years.  

Rebecca, who will be ushering her 13th Ramadan, started fasting the Ramadan before she made her shahadah as she wanted to experience it, and be prepared when she made her declaration of faith as a Muslim. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three children. 

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Rebecca Siddiqi lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three children.  A convert of over a decade, she shares some useful tips for converts as well as those supporting converts.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Siddiqi.

Here are five tips for convert’s and two tips for Muslims supporting converts during this special month, from Rebecca.

Tips for Converts

1.Don’t eat a lot

Many who fast for the first time think they need to eat more than normal- but that is not the case! It’s better to just eat a normal amount of food, and try to get some protein in the morning during suhoor (the pre-dawn meal). Oats, chia seeds, dates, eggs and fruits are great suhoor choices.

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Muslim Pro/Qalbox tip:Get meal ideas from Simple Sahur, an original Qalbox production that will be released this Ramadan.

2.Don’t get upset if you can’t do it all

You don’t have to finish reading the entire Quran or go to terawih prayers every night. It’s great if you can, but it can get overwhelming for new converts. Plan your goals based on your own journey, and what’s more important is creating achievable goals that track progress and growth.

Muslim Pro/Qalbox tip: Use the Muslim Pro app to input the days you fasted and prayed. Check out Tadarus Al Quran, another new Qalbox original series where different expert reciters will read every juz (chapter) from the Quran.

3.Ask if you are unsure

It can get surprising and extremely confusing when people start throwing around Arabic terms, and you don’t speak Arabic. So don’t be embarrassed to ask and share that it’s your first Ramadan. It’s also acceptable to observe and learn as you go along. Finding books and media sources can help with your learning journey.

Muslim Pro/Qalbox tip: Look out for some basic “how-to” content series by Muslim Pro. Available via the app and connect.muslimpro.com


4.Seek knowledge

Seek the advice of the local imam or a convert support group to answer your questions, especially more complex questions involving rulings of fasting, prayer and more. If you are asking a fellow congregation member, be mindful that they may confuse tradition and ruling. Don’t panic but ask around!

Muslim Pro/Qalbox tip: Watch various shows on Qalbox to help you gain an appreciation of Ramadan traditions around the world. 

5.Create your own traditions

Make it a point to have an iftar with your friends, or even a Suhoor outing at a local restaurant that is open 24 hours a day. Maybe put up lights in the house or bake that special halal version of a dessert your (non-Muslim) family makes

Through the experiences of the film’s characters, we gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and religious traditions that shape their lives and communities.

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Lights are part of the Ramadan decorations that Rebecca has chosen for her family during Ramadan. She keeps it simple but beautiful.

Muslim Pro/Qalbox tip: Share your traditions with the Muslim Pro family through our community Facebook group, The Courtyard.

Rebecca also highlighted the importance of having a community of supporters.

Muslims can make Ramadan special for converts by doing these:

1.Reach out to converts!

Invite them to break fast with you, but be gentle with their dietary preferences. Maybe that briyani or samosa may be a bit too spicy for them. Guide them gently and without imposing your opinions. Let them feel free to ask any questions. 

Muslim Pro/Qalbox tip:After terawih prayers, you can end the night with watching some faith-related shows on Qalbox.

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Rebecca Siddiqi (far left) is part of the organizing team for a local Ramadan market in Northern Virginia.
Pre-Ramadan markets are a great way to shop for Ramadan essentials to be gifted to others.

2.Gift a convert Ramadan basket

A basket filled with a prayer rug, prayer clothes (hijab for women), dates, books, and some decoration items will make a convert feel welcomed and seen. Check in on them every few days or start a support network to take turns to check in.

Muslim Pro/Qalbox tip:  Get them a gift card to purchase a premium account for Muslim Pro on the app store. They can find out by following the steps here .

Muslim Pro is partnering with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) to support them in providing medical care and humanitarian aid to the children affected by war and conflict in Gaza, Palestine.

When you subscribe to Muslim Pro Premium this Ramadan (from now till 21 April 2023) you will contribute to the donation pool to PCRF. Half of the total proceeds from Premium subscriptions will be donated to PCRF. 

Muslim Pro is now Bigger and Better! Your digital companion this Ramadan.

This article was written by Suryani Omar, the founder of Deen Hubb, a boutique Islamic bookstore in United States.

About The Author

Suryani Omar

This article was written by Suryani Omar. With a passion for community and education, Suryani is currently the founder of Deen Hubb, a boutique Islamic bookstore based in the United States.

1 Comment

  1. SHAKIA lattimore

    As Salaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullaah Wa Barakaatuh My sisters I don’t have much support am a converts new shahada Insha’allah sisters can reach out to help me the region


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