Covert Fasting for Converts
Dear New Muslim
Even though you feel alone, and this Ramadan is a struggle, we are proud of you and praying for you.
Every pain you feel and every challenge you face we increase in your love. We support you and wish to provide you with some tools to help you at this trying time.
Keep in mind that each circumstance and situation calls for a different course of action. The following are only suggestions and you are best suited to implement what works for you.
Muslims around the world share the bond of fasting as a brotherhood around the world. A big part of the difficulty of fasting is relieved when everyone around you is also fasting, openly.
But what if no one knows you’re Muslim? Many of us, New Muslims, have not disclosed the decision of embracing Islam to our family and loved ones.
Here are some creative ways that you can use to avoid the awkwardness of being the only one in the room not eating:
6 Tips for Fasting in Secret
1. Deflect and Avoid
If invited to a dinner or a party, excuse yourself out. No one can force you to attend a gathering, like a birthday, where partaking in food will play a central role. You can opt out of that cake and ice cream by simply telling your family, friends, or co-workers, that you “don’t feel like it”. You can soften the blow by asking for a rain check and promising to make it up to them at a different time.
2. Excuses, excuses
If getting out of the gathering is unavoidable, simply refrain from eating. You may opt out at the table, and join in the conversation. There is no need to lie or make up a false excuse. It is doubtful that you will be pressured to eat if you refuse, and unlikely that someone present will force you to eat. If you are physically forced to eat, you would be excused and should not feel guilty.
3. Get busy
If you are at home and there is an event that will put pressure on you to eat or drink, you could make yourself busy in the kitchen or elsewhere in the house, preparing for the guests. You can stay busy while the meal is served, or start cleaning up.
4. Home away from home
If you predict that when you return home at a certain time, you will be caught fasting, then stay out. Go to the library or to a museum or another place that will occupy your time until you imagine the meal at home is over. Your alibi can be reinforced if you take up a class that brings you home after the sun has set.
5. Time for Eating
If invited out, or to plan an event where you will feel this pressure, plan it so that it extends past the time the sun sets. You can duck out to offer your prescribed ritual devotion and come back to the event to break your fast. If the choice is there to decide between a daytime or night-time gathering, choose the late one so that you can eat and drink along with the rest of the group.