Ramadan in the US: A Challenging Experience
Ramadan is a time for reflection, piety, and self enhancement. Some take this
time for granted, but for many, Ramadan recharges the soul for the entire
In the United States, it is very easy for one to lose touch with Islam and
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) not just in the holy month of Ramadan,
but in everyday life. It is a real challenge.
So the question arises, how do Muslims living in America make it through
As an American Muslim who was born and raised in the United States, I have
experienced many challenges when fasting in Ramadan. Ever since I started
fasting as a child, my classmates would ask me, why must I fast for this
specific month, and till today, my non-Muslim friends and colleagues do the
I did not know how to answer this question until I got a bit older until heard
this hadith of Prophet Muhammad:
"When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the
gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained." ( Al-Bukhari)
I realized then that fasting is not just about refraining from food and drink
from dawn till sunset, but for a higher cause, it's a chance to purify and
cleanse our hearts.
It is a great feeling to be doing something for a higher calling and people
around you don't know about it, it creates a sense of humility, and that's the
essence of fasting as it's totally between you and God.
Muslims in the U.S. have a great chance in Ramadan that is two-fold, because
if people around them don't know they are fasting, that is an excellent
practice of self control and patience which strengthens faith.
Ramadan in the U.S. is a wonderful, special time as communities across the
U.S. come together to rejuvenate their faith. Aside from its individual,
spiritual benefits, it brings people together. This is an arduous task to
achieve in a busy, materialistic society as the U.S.
In Muslim societies, everyday life differs completely in Ramadan, but in the
U.S, life remains the same. This is the great challenge that one must
Rather than getting the privilege of starting work later or leaving work
earlier, Muslims must continue on as if it was a regular day, unlike what
happens in most Muslim countries.
This requires more strength and perseverance from the individual. Although the
task is tough, God makes it easy. There are some days that one does not feel
like fasting, but must put his/her faith in God and obey His orders.
In my opinion, the outcome of fasting is a stronger person who can overcome
challenges and tribulations of life.
To conclude, Muslims in America have a great opportunity during the holy month
of Ramadan to improve and renew their faith in God.
Fasting the holy month of Ramadan leads to the purification of the soul which
brings us closer to God. Muslims should let the life of Prophet Muhammad be
Every challenge one overcomes gives more strength for the next challenge that
must be overcome.
Fasting in America is certainly a test of faith and the greater the challenge
is, the greater the reward from God.
I am blessed to witness and live Ramadan in the United States.