The New Muslim's Field Guide Podcast

Honest, Practical Advice for New Muslims from two converts, authors of "The New Muslim's Field Guide"

From the authors of "The New Muslim's Field Guide" comes the NMFG Podcast. We offer handy Ramadan tips, hilarious stories from our own new Muslim days, and honest, practical advice for your new journey on the path of Islam.

Every Ramadan, the question is posed to us: is Ramadan about doing the most possible—prayers, charity, Qur'an recitation—or is it about slowing down and experiencing God in a deeper way? In other words, is the quantity of your worship that's more important to God, or the quality of it? In this episode Kaighla and Theresa talk about what, exactly, counts as worship (clue: it's way broader than you'd think), advise new converts to work on a few small acts of worship they can keep up rather than going all in, full force, in an impossible-to-sustain fever, and discuss the importance of recognizing and embracing the season of life wherein you find yourself this Ramadan.

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More than any other time of the year, Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to see yourself for who you really are, warts and all. This can and should create a healthy sense of guilt if you've spent the year neglecting your soul through sin or by neglecting your prayers and other required acts of worship. But that guilt can turn into an unhealthy shame when we allow our worst choices to define our identity, and worse, when we imagine God sees us the way we see ourselves. In this episode, Theresa and Kaighla advise us on the importance of forgiving ourselves for the choices we've made, remind us that we are more than our worst choices, and explain the key difference between guilt (which is good) and shame (which is really, really bad).

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Fasting in Ramadan is required for every Muslim unless he or she has a valid excuse. Prayer, though, is, without a doubt, the central practice of a Muslim's life, but there are lots of Muslims (and especially new Muslims) who struggle to maintain a healthy prayer habit, even in Ramadan. In this episode, Kaighla and Theresa discuss why prayer even matters, discuss the question of if it even makes sense to fast if you're not praying, explore the ways one can establish a healthy prayer habit, share helpful tips to focusing in your prayer, and talk about why it's not cool to judge the "Ramadan Muslims" you may know cuz hey... you don't live their life.

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It's so easy in Ramadan to think only of yourself, your needs, your hunger, the ways you're struggling, etc. In this Ramadan Tips episode, Theresa and Kaighla advise new Muslims to find a way to make Ramadan about others and their needs. Theresa suggests a novel way to get your foot in the door with the local Muslim community, Kaighla tells a story of a time someone took the chance in Ramadan to make a major difference in her life, and they remind new Muslims of the balance of Islam and the importance of also making sure one's own needs are met.

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God says again and again throughout the Quran that mankind is perpetually forgetful and ungrateful. One of the hardest parts about Ramadan is keeping an attitude of gratitude, when it's so much easier to dwell on what you don't have, on what hurts, on what you miss about non-Ramadan days. In this Ramadan Tips episode, Theresa reminds us to be specifically grateful to the tiniest of things in life, Kaighla tells a story about an experience that made her super grateful for running water, and we discuss the way Ramadan resets our attitude about the role of food.

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