Magazine article Islamic Horizons

My Ramadan Experience in America

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

My Ramadan Experience in America

Article excerpt

EDITOR'S NOTE: This May, ISNA held a Ramadan essay contest, inviting readers to share their Ramadan experience in the United States. Ethar Hamid's submission won first place.

I don't know if anyone has ever noticed this, before, but even the streets at nighttime have a heightened sense of spirituality about them, during Ramadan. Driving along the empty roads, there is an aura of soothing calm amidst the inky blackness. A part of me is secretly envious of the month of Ramadan, with its constant serenity. Why can't I be at continuous peace?

America may seem like an unlikely environment for any such tranquility, but then again, Ramadan is what you make of it-not where you spend it. Something that always makes me feel Ramadan-really feel it, in my heart-is hearing my dad read the Quran. He reads it to himself, on the couch, in a quiet voice, but I can't help but believe that the whole house benefits from his recitation. At those moments, my awareness of Allah is amplified, and in a way, I don't know where I am-I could be in Makkah.. .1 could be in Sudan, with my grandma.. .1 could be in Finland. I'm in a special place with the words of the Quran, just floating along and not minding where the joy takes me. At moments like those, is it of any importance that I am physically in Virginia? Spiritually, I am in a place far removed from there, aren't I? It seems more appropriate to say that I am in the jannah of the dunya.

Allah s.w.t. is always with us, and He is ever watchful. …

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