Islam

My First Four Ramadans: A Story of Faith, Love and Family

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Adam Abid Alexander, Canada

My First Ramadan

In the summer of 2007, I travelled to the Canadian province of Alberta to begin work with my cousin. During this time, I had been doing some soul searching, and after a couple of months, I realized that I had never studied Islam. Therefore, I decided to find a mosque to get a copy of the Holy Qur’an. I was informed that in a few days the holy month of Ramadan was about to begin, and so I was presented with a chart outlining the days of fasting along with the instruction that one should try to complete a full reading of the Holy Qur’an in the month of Ramadan. I accepted the challenge and when Ramadan began, I started fasting and reading the Holy Qur’an. There are so many incidents that have taken place during this blessed month that can be mentioned, however, I wish to share only a few.

The Holy Qur'an
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One week into this blessed month, the long drives to and from work and the breaks during the day were extremely difficult. I was too nervous to bring the Holy Qur’an with me to read as I was afraid of what people would ask me. I was sharing this feeling with my aunt one evening, and the next morning when I had awoken for suhoor [morning meal to close the fast] I found my copy of the Holy Qur’an next to my food with paper stapled over the front and back covers. My aunt told me that her young daughter had heard me speaking about my concern and so she did this so that I could bring the Holy Qur’an with me to work. This made fasting at work much easier, now that the long rides to and from work and all my breaks could be spent reading the Holy Qur’an. Nearing the end of Ramadan, I was convinced that the Holy Qur’an had indeed been revealed by God and on the last day of Ramadan, I finished the last chapter of the Holy Qur’an. Upon completing it, I decided to become a Muslim. This was my first Ramadan.

My Second Ramadan

I moved back to a city called Hamilton shortly after accepting Islam to be around some of the Sunni Muslim brothers I had met earlier during college. Roughly one year later, I moved closer to my stepfather’s restaurant and began working for him. A short walk away from work was Baitul Noor, an Ahmadi mosque. I began going there to attend the Friday prayers and occasionally for maghrib [early evening prayer] and ishaa [late evening prayer] as well. A kind Ahmadi Muslim approached me and told me about the mosque and who the founder of this sect of Islam was (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian). I was certain that Allah would not misguide me, so I prostrated in prayer and asked my God if this was the right place to be. God subsequently answered my prayer, and thereafter, on September 16, 2008, during the month of Ramadan I signed my bai’at (oath of allegiance) and became an Ahmadi Muslim. This was my second Ramadan.

Muslim man praying in the mosque
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My Third Ramadan

Within a short amount of time, I had met a wonderful man who wanted to know me more and see if, God-willing, I may be a good prospect for his daughter. After a meeting with him and his sons, they all approved, and I was introduced to his daughter. After a few meetings at his home and talking to his daughter, I chose to spend the entire night praying in the mosque to Allah, that He may continue to guide me.

In the morning, I informed her father, that Sidra and I have decided to marry. And on September 18, 2009, the last Friday of Ramadan, our nikah [Islamic marriage] was announced. This was my third Ramadan.

My Fourth Ramadan

After being a member of this beautiful community, I realized that I could not enjoy it fully without my brother Derek. I prayed that Allah may guide my family to accept Islam, especially my half brother Derek. After I had accepted Islam, Derek’s father – who is my stepfather – told me that I could not ask Derek to accept Islam. I was unsure of what I should do; if I could not preach to my brother Derek, how would he learn about Islam? I remembered a prayer in the Holy Qur’an of the Prophet Moses (as) in which he prayed to Allah for his brother Aaron (as). Allah accepted this prayer, as a result of which his brother became his companion and helper in faith. I decided to do the same. I would cry at night for my brother to accept Islam and to give him the joy of Islam that Allah had given me. I would ask Derek to accompany me while I engaged in tabligh [propagating the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat] with other Muslims and Christians.

One evening, a miraculous event occurred; I had to go to the hospital to visit one of my wife’s relatives who had been in an accident. It so happened that my brother was at the hospital at the same time because his grandmother had fainted due to low blood pressure. We were alone in the waiting room and out of the quiet, my brother stated that he wanted to be a Muslim. We recited the shahadah [declaration of faith] together, but I told him the importance of informing his father the truth; that I had not preached to him and did not ask him to accept Islam. I was so excited to tell one of our dear Imams that my brother Derek has accepted Islam and has declared the shahadah. The Imam asked me if he had signed the bai’at form, to which I responded no. He asked then if my brother was non-Ahmadi? That’s when I realized someone must tell my brother about Islam Ahmadiyyat. This dear Imam kindly sat with my brother during the 23rd Canadian National Khuddam Ijtema [Youth Retreat] and explained about Ahmadiyyat to him in more detail. Derek signed the bai’at which was completed a few days later at the beginning of Ramadan. This was my fourth Ramadan.

Each Ramadan carries with it special treasures for those who strive to seek them out. We don’t know what we will find, however, Allah Almighty has guaranteed us that He will be the ultimate reward and the greatest treasure to be found in the month of Ramadan, for those who tread the path of righteousness along with patience and prayers.

This Ramadan I praise Allah for giving me a wonderful wife, an amazing family, and an opportunity to serve my faith. ‘And if you try to count the favours of Allah, you will not be able to number them. Surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.’ [1] And so, I pray the same and more for each member of this Community. May Allah Almighty accept our prayers and forgive us our shortcomings and bind us together in unity and safeguard us from the trials and afflictions of life and death. Ameen Allahumma Ameen.

Ramadan Mubarak!!

About the Author: Adam Abid Alexander accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat in 2008. He now serves as an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Canada.


[1] The Holy Qur’an 16:19

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