My Ramadan Diary (Part 1)
The imam decided to start the sermon by congratulating us all. "The best month
is here," he said. The mosque was full, as always. This mosque is very popular
because the sermon is in Dutch (most of the time), so everybody can understand
This is where many converts like me go to. But not just us, it's a mosque with
Moroccans, Turks, Somalia's, Nigerians, Egyptians, Indonesians, Japanese... It
is like you start the Ramadan with the entire Ummah (Muslim community). I love
When the sermon was done, I got into my car and drove to my wife's workplace.
She's done when I got there, and together, we drove to her family where we ate
and discussed our Ramadan plans.
The Tarawih Prayer starts this night, so I stand next to my brother-in-law in
line as the imam starts with surat Al-Baqarah. Now I really knew, Ramadan is
I have a job to do at a customer's office this night, so I work till 3 AM and
then get in the car for a one hour drive back to the mosque in Rotterdam.
On my way, I'm stopped by the police for a routine alcohol check. As I roll
down my window, the officer hears the Quran recitation from my radio. "Well,"
he says with a smile, "this shouldn't be much of a problem".
I got to the mosque in time for dawn Prayer and when we were done, I had a
short chat with some brothers.
This Ramadan, we have big plans. Our dawah foundation has received thousands
of books for us to distribute to non-Muslims. Also, we have a bunch of
lectures to organize and think of for the year to come. Luckily, I was able to
get three weeks leave from my job so we should be able to get some things done
However, before I can really start working with the brothers, I have four more
days 'in the office'. I'll have to work and fast, and as the only Muslim in
our office there's a lot of food, drink, and candy around all day. But I know:
been there, done that.
I drive home and finally get to lie down and sleep for a while. It's 7 AM.
These first hours of Ramadan didn't pass by unnoticed. I hope that goes for
the 29 days to come as well.
Nourdeen Wildeman is a Muslim revert from the Netherlands. He is a member of
the 'OntdekIslam' (Discover Islam) foundation which is the main Da'wah
platform in his country. Furthermore, his contribution to the local Islamic
community consists of organizing and giving lectures, working as main host
speaker on the National Islam Congress, writing columns and articles for the
Dutch Islamic Broadcasting Organiation (NIO) and others. Wildeman also created
the online Dutch mosque database (www.moskeewijzer.nl) where both muslims and
non-muslims can find detailed information on +/- 400 mosques in the