I am a Muslim But I Don’t Feel Like a Very Good One

Ramadan comes every year in wonder, without fail. I know it will come. I know it is coming. It has now ended. But what state did it find me in? All I had thought about, in the lead up, was all the appointments I would miss because of my inability to attend brunches, dinners, weddings, parties and breakfasts. I wondered: how would I tell people that I just can’t be there?

And, just like every year, I realized how silly this preoccupation is compared to what I am about to do. As much as there is excitement and angst in anticipation of this month, there’s a bit of dread too: the pain, the sacrifice; the late nights.

How you feel, I think, really does depend on the state you’re in or how the preceding months, since the last Ramadan, has been. This year has been particularly challenging. I am not surrounded by Muslims. I am not surrounded by family. I live in a quaint town with a lot of friends and acquaintances; there is no one close to me who follows Ramadan or the sort of teachings in Islam that ultimately are so universal: honesty, love and respect of everyone including plants and animals, polite conduct.

When I am the only Muslim I know, however, it’s hard to feel inspired and connected. I know that I could be by reading the Qur’an daily, keeping faithfully with my daily prayers, even when I am at a friend’s house or wherever I may be, as much as possible.I could be listening to lectures on Islam, watching inspiring talks — there is a lot that I can do. But I just have not done my part, dissuaded by this world and its many liberties, follies and frivolous occupations.

I know that the word of God is all that counts and all that heals me. Yet despite knowing this, despite having it be an intricate part of my DNA even, I have drifted in prayer, in devotion, in speech, in action and in my heart. It is hard to admit.

Ramadan came and I had to renew a bond, a devotion, a commitment to God. It comes, as it always does, at a time that is always a b-402365-Islamic_Artgood time; a time during which I find myself astray from the basics that I know so very well. I am a Muslim but I don’t feel like a very good Muslim. Ramadan found me, as it does every year, and I found it, as I do every year. And I try to runaway; I am not good enough: I cannot pray or fast, it’s too tiring. How can I plunge myself into the devotional acts of worship when I have not been faithful all year round?

I wish I could find people to share Ramadan with me. Show me the Taraweeh prayers that I have not experienced yet in my 36 years and teach me how to read the Qur’an properly with its meanings and enchantments,. I wish I could find people with whom I can experience prayer, devotion and meditation quietly and communally.

  • Most Viewed This Week on TIM

  • Latest comments on TIM

  • About the autor
    Rana Alrabi

    Rana Alrabi is a Montrealer with Palestinian, Lebanese and Kabyle origins, a polyglot and a public relations strategist in the promotion of human rights, environmental and cultural initiatives.

    Latest at tim

    See our Current issue

    Join our Newsletter

    Enter your e-mail address below to receive periodic updates from The Islamic Monthly.

  • Follow us on

    • myke7xs

      It is Ramadan now. And I feel I am doing just terribly. Honestly, the only things I have been able to stick with is the not eating or drinking till its time.. Oh and I haven’t had a cigarette since I first sighted the moon. Big deal, I haven’t done anything else that goes along with Ramadan. The praying, lowering the glances, keeping my mind off of the dunya. especially that one. All I can do is think about meaningless crap…..Any ways. What you wrote was nice to read. Im all alone with my islam as well. I have no one to talk to about it. No one to relate to. And every time I try to go to a muslim type event or function, I feel discriminated against cause of how I look. But then again I’ve never fit in any where and I’ve felt like that my whole life, so im an idiot thinking this would be any different. I believe in Allah and his messenger. I know that islam is his religion perfected. But I am afraid because I also KNOW that that’s not enough. And Im scared that if I don’t get my faith at the level it needs to be, that Im going to fail him and fail my self and it wont be anyone elses fault but mine. Peace Sister. May Allah guide you back to him and give you peace of mind in knowing that he is pleased with you. Ahh wouldn’t that just be great…
      Michael Metoyer
      Norwalk Ca,