Linda Delgado (Widad)
Who is Mr. Ramadan? Why is he visiting 30 days and Mrs. Eid only three? Why
don't they visit together? Juz… do you mean juice? Am I supposed to be
drinking a glassful of juice each of the 30 days of Ramadan? Muslims eat a
breakfast before the sun rises and they eat a breakfast before the sun sets?
OH! You meant break fast not breakfast! Why are some of the men sleeping at
the masjid during the last ten days of Ramadan just to see Mr. Laylut al-Qadr?
Why can't they find him? What is the big secret? A Muslim told me about the
Islamic science of COD…COD is scientific? I thought it meant Cash On Delivery!
Instead I later learned he was talking about the moon!
I am a Muslim revert going on six years now and the opening paragraph is an
exaggeration of the confusion many new reverts feel when facing his or her
first Ramadan. I remember my first Ramadan with a sense of peace and also
fondness at the humor of the wonderful, sad, and happy experience. Looking
back I am amazed that I made it through without mistakes and didn't have 30
days of fasting to make up after Ramadan.
I am the only Muslim in my family and like most reverts, I don't have extended
Muslim families. Unless your particular Muslim community has an awareness of
the issues confronting Muslim reverts, and then most reverts are pretty much
on their own when it comes to Ramadan and the Eids' celebrations.
I was a member of several sister e-groups by the time my first Ramadan began.
I read avidly everything the good sisters wrote about their plans and doings
for Ramadan. Being a natural planner by nature, I decided to make a ''Ramadan
Plan'' and post it to the e-groups to see if I would be doing something wrong
or something right.
As I remember it, my plan was very elaborate. It began with the time I would
wake each day of Ramadan. Next I listed exactly what I would eat for Sahoor
and what Surah I would recite in Fajr prayer. Next I listed what Juz I would
read each day and even wrote the "from and to" page numbers. I also listed
what I would eat to break my fast and made a calendar of Ramadan Days just in
case I made a mistake I could write down the day and thus keep track of how
many fasts I would need to make up!
I checked with the two Muslim sisters I knew to see if they knew of any poor
families I might buy meals for ''just in case'' I got sick and couldn't fast.
They didn't know of any families they could point to so I added a local Muslim
Food Bank to my ''Help the Needy'' short list for not fasting due to any
I was doing fine until I tried to understand the Tarawih prayer. Then felt a
sense of relief as I knew I would not be going to the mosque much because of a
lack of transportation and poor health. I placed an asterisk by this for
future research. I also got hung up on understanding how to figure out Zakah.
Since I didn't own any gold I decided I must figure out what I owed based on
my annual salary. I didn't know I was supposed to deduct my living expenses
first! I had a hard time that first year because of my lack of knowledge about
this Islamic practice.
Did everything go according to PLAN? Nope... but I gave it my best shot and I
just trusted in Allah to reward me for my intentions and what I did right.
But figuring out Ramadan wasn't my biggest challenge. That first Ramadan came
at the same time as my Christian family's Christmas celebrations! In the
months leading up to Ramadan I had slowly removed objectionable objects and
pictures from my home. My home was ready for Ramadan decorations…well almost.
Now was the BIG test. I had to tell my family that family traditions that we
had shared for Christmas for 29 years were being set aside. No more going to
midnight Mass (at the Catholic Church) and no more opening presents after the
church service with the family gathered around the Christmas tree sipping hot
chocolate and eating home-made Christmas cookies!
My kids and grandkids were hurt and angry. I suggested that they have the
traditional Christmas Eve activities and after Mass go to my son's home which
was right next door to my own home. As the ''battle'' raged over Christmas
decorations versus Ramadan and Eid decorations I thought I would go crazy. I
was so sad and just couldn't be angry with my family. I had changed. They had
not. While they were willing to acknowledge that I had the right to choose my
religion, it wasn't until my religion conflicted with their own that the first
real problems occurred between my Christian family and myself about me being
Finally I decided that my home would not have decorations for Christmas or for
Ramadan and Eid. I didn't share in going to Mass with the family or the gift
opening around the Christmas tree, but the next day I did cook the traditional
meal of turkey and trimmings and we had a family meal together. We agreed that
I would give each of them a gift at the family dinner and they could give me
an Eid gift which I would save and open up on Eid.
It was not a perfect solution but it worked this first year. In subsequent
years each of my children began a tradition of celebrating their Christmas in
their own homes and our annual family get-together has been held during the
summer months when their children are out of school.
I have grown used to spending my Ramadan and Eids alone. There are times when
I think about how nice it would be for a Muslim family in the community to ask
me to their home to break fast and share their meal, pray with them and
perhaps listen while the Qur'an is being read. Sigh. But I have also come to
appreciate the quiet time I have during Ramadan where I know I will be able to
read all of the Qur'an, one Juz each night, and a wonderful sister-friend sent
me a clock with the Adan in it so I hear the call to prayer five times daily
and it is comforting, especially during Ramadan.
Now the rooms in the house which are specifically used by me have Ramadan and
Eid pictures decorating walls… pictures and banners of Islamic graphics sent
to me by sister-friends and their children from around the world. My family
decorates their family room for their holidays and we are tolerant and at
peace with one another.
I share email and telephone greetings with many Muslim friends around the
world and also send and receive many Ramadan and Eid greeting cards through
the mail….and always I feel that Allah is with me. I am never alone.
©2005 Linda D. Delgado (Widad)
Linda (Widad) Delgado is a Muslim, lives in Arizona, is married, and has three
children and eight grandchildren. Mrs. Delgado is a graduate of the University
of Phoenix and is a retired State Police Sergeant. She is the Director of the
Islamic Writers Alliance www.islamicwritersalliance.net. She is also a
publisher: Muslim Writers Publishing www.MuslimWritersPublishing.com and
author: 2005 AMWA Excellence in Media, Literary Art Award for Islamic Rose
Books. Click here to read her journey to Islam. You can reach her at