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Lonely Ramadan? How Salams Connect Can Help Muslim Reverts

Radiyah Beyah
                    It’s Ramadan!!! A month that is filled with opportunities to better your spiritual and mental health. In Ramadan we begin our fast together, we end it together, and we pray together. We come together in the Masjid and we spend our nights worshiping Allah as a community. This is the ideal Ramadan experience. This is what we’ve been waiting for all year. However, there are some muslims who are deprived of this unifying experience, muslims who have to begin the fast alone, who have to break their fast alone, and who aren’t familiar with Masjids in their area. Therefore, they end up spending their entire Ramadan alone. However it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a feature on the Salams app that helps Muslims form brotherhood and sisterhood and connect! This feature enables so many Muslims to engage with one another, and strive to worship Allah together in Ramadan, during this beautiful month. The feature is called Salams Connect.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.

        I recently moved to Jersey with my family, and I am very unfamiliar with the area. I automatically assumed that I would have to travel back and forth to my hometown to connect with other Muslim women. Then I realized that Salams has a connect feature that would allow me to view the profiles of other Muslim women in my area. Salams Connect can help me connect with muslim women who are familiar with Masjids in my area. I could also find Muslim sisters who can recommend different Islamic classes and lectures. I met a Muslim woman on the app who had recently converted to Islam. We spoke for quite some time, shared social media profiles and we talked about forming a Halaqah (circle of knowledge), for other Muslimahs who live in New Jersey.

          After conversing with all these Muslim women on the app for several days, and feeling the bond of Islamic sisterhood, a thought crossed my mind. I thought about how some Muslimahs find it hard to find sisterhood. I thought about how difficult it must be for new Muslimahs, Muslim Reverts. Imagine waking up for Suhoor alone, and then going to work with a majority of non-muslims who prattle on all day talking about what they’re eating for lunch. 

Here is a scenario that might make it easier for you to imagine the possible difficulties new Muslims face in Ramadan:

A woman, Khadijah, takes her shahadah (testimony of faith) and embraces the Islamic religion in Ramadan, and is excited about practicing the month of Ramadan(fasting from sunup to sun down without observing food, drink, or foul talk and actions). She goes to her job for a regular day of work. During lunchtime she has a conversation with her coworkers.

 Jennifer: “Hey Khadijah, aren’t you hungry.” 
Khadjiah: “No, I'm fasting. It’s Ramadan”
Jennifer: “So you fast the whole month and never eat?”
Khadijah: “I eat in the morning before the sun comes up, and I break my fast when the sun goes down; actually my stomach shrinks after fasting for several days.” 
Jennifer: “Oh, that sounds hard. I hope you don’t pass out.” 

Then Sarah comes and asks the same set of questions the next day. Then Jennifer says “What are you eating for lunch Khadijah?...OOPS I forgot your fasting.” After she finishes answering questions all day, as if she was on a religious game show, Khadijah goes home to an empty house, and breaks her fast alone. Or, if Khadijah still lives with her family. She goes home to a house full of family members who aren’t Muslim. Family members, who don’t understand the concept and beauty of Ramadan.

If you can relate to Khadijah's Ramadan experience, as a muslim revert, you are definitely not alone. You no longer have to be. Salams Connect can help you make muslim friends in your area, and can help you find your soul sisters. You can logon, find muslim friends with similar hobbies and interests and connect to experience Ramadan with them. You can even coordinate and meet up at your local masjid and organize knowledge circles.

        Solidarity and a sense of community is essential to one's health and wellbeing. Salman al-Farisi reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, 

There are blessings in three: the united community, tharid stew, and the pre-fasting meal.”Shu’ab al-Imān 711 Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani. 

As a community we need to come together and ensure that no one feels socially deserted during this holy month. Sharing a meal and laughing with your family or friends after a long day of fasting is a beautiful gift that should not be taken for granted. 

       Our Muslim sisters and brothers are hurting and we have the power to do something about it.  Social health is ranked third on the pyramid of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is an essential element that can greatly impact our mental health. 

The Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him), encouraged brotherhood and sisterhood between the believers. Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

 “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.” Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6011, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2586.

        In this modern age we have the technology that can allow us to build friendships with people a million miles away. We can form bonds with our sisters and brothers. Salam’s connect feature will allow Muslim women to connect and reach out to Muslim sisters and can help Muslim men reach out and connect with other Muslim brothers. This feature enables  Muslim sisters to bond with other Muslim sisters, you could form a lifelong friendship with a like minded individual. Don’t underestimate the power of community, and don’t reject an opportunity to create long lasting relationships. Say yes to solidarity, say yes to friendships, say yes to using Salams connect. 


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