Diary of a convert: 'God rewarded me with most awaited news'

Luis Carreno (as told to Saman Haziq)/Dubai
Filed on May 31, 2018 | Last updated on May 31, 2018 at 07.41 am
Luis Carreno (left)

Tempted by the smells of good food, I was reminded that this is my test, of my patience, my needs and my love for my Creator

As we move deeper into the holy month of Ramadan, I have started feeling more confident in fasting and felt in compete control of myself when it came to food and drinks.

But I got a jolt today with an incident at work. I started work early day knew it was going to be a busy day, hence I was prepared mentally. But as the afternoon approached, I realised there was a work meeting with a number of expats who were not fasting.

Now, this posed as a real challenge for me and I realised that having food around you while fasting is a blessing. Today, it was going to be different and difficult for me. How do you keep up your resolve to fast despite people eating around you?

So, during the meeting, almost everyone around me was eating and drinking freely, without realising that I am fasting. I could see and smell good food and desserts all around me. It seemed like an early Iftar and at one point I felt such a strong urge that I thought I may break my fast.

It was quite hard to keep away as the aroma of my favourite foods came from every nook and corner. I felt so weak at that moment, and I was about 80km away from where I was going for Iftar. I was sure I wouldn't be able to wait for so long, but Alhamdulillah, I was able to control my urge to eat.

I'm sure it was because Allah knows the purity of my intention. I decided to stay strong, I was reminded that this is my test, a test of my imaan, my patience, my needs and my love for my Creator.

Thanks to God, my meeting got over quickly and I soon was able to reach my army base (where I work) and received a warm welcome at Iftar with my coworkers. For controlling my urges in the afternoon, I felt I was rewarded by Allah with such an exotic Iftar.

Besides the chance to experience a local style Iftar that I absolutely love, with my favourite Arabic foods, the style in which it was eaten was also fascinating for me. So, we all sat down on the floor and were served dates, yogurt, rice and mutton and all sort of local dishes that I never knew existed. It was one of the tastiest Iftars I've had.

Plus, some great news came my way.

My fiancée's paperwork from her country was complete and now we could get married. My fiancée, a South African and I have been meaning to get married for the past five months, but one or the other missing document delayed our wedding time and again.

It took a lot of patience and trust in Allah that helped us both stay strong. We were almost losing hope and then Allah blessed us with this news. I feel it is Allah's reward and nothing else. Once again, it has renewed my faith and love for my Creator.


(Luis Carreno is a 36-year-old Colombian national who is a professional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt coach for the UAE armed forces in Dubai. He embraced Islam in January 2018 at the Islamic Information Center in Satwa.)

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