Religions and Spirituality

A Personal Ramadan Diary: Week 4, Final Reflections

Mona Mostafa and friends break fast during a recent evening during Ramadan. Credits: Submitted photos
Credits: Submitted photos
Credits: Submitted photos

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - As Ramadan comes to an end, it's important to reflect on what we've gained from this spiritual journey.

Within these 29 days, I've learned so much about myself, my strength, my capabilities, and my endurance.

In the physical sense, I've learned that I can be without food for more than 16 hours (which is pretty impressive if you ask me). 

Sign Up for E-News

I've also learned that I can actually refrain from more things than I thought (listening to music, watching excessive television, etc.).

Instead, I practiced using that time to do things that were more productive and would benefit me.

I would spend time reading Quran (our Holy book) on my QuranLite App, Googling how to optimize my time during Ramadan and used Pinterest to look up motivational quotes and words of encouragement to keep me going throughout the day.

So we shouldn't only focus on what we were deprived from, but it's important to look back and recognize what we've gained as well. 

 Hopefully, we would see that we used our time to the best of our ability during the month and plan to continue doing so throughout the year.

I can't speak for everyone, but I would definitely say that there's always some things I could keep working on throughout the year and things I could do better come next Ramadan.

So for many, the next step after Ramadan is to focus on how we could keep certain positive habits going. For some people that might mean going to the mosque more often, learning more about the religion or donating more to charity.

 Regardless, the important thing to remember is that the spiritual aspect shouldn't end when Ramadan does.

As excited as we get to eat breakfast and lunch again, we shouldn't forget why we fasted in the first place. Ramadan teaches us to appreciate each bite so much more.

To realize that so many people around the world suffer from that hunger we felt for a month but unfortunately, feel it every day.

And to remember that although we have a meal on the table every night, they may not.

So we should increase in giving charity. Even if it’s a small amount every so often.  Some help is better than no help at all.

Ramadan also teaches us about our inner strength and how much we could actually refrain from, aside from food.

It teaches us discipline.

I mentioned in my earlier article that I stopped listening to music on my way to and from work for the holy month, although it’s something I normally do.

I can't lie, my commute to work is at least 40 minutes each way and I definitely found it difficult not to push the power button to save myself from the silence.

But, I managed to do it.

This is just a small example but it shows you that we could technically refrain from any desires big or small if we put our mind to it.

Especially because if we have mastered controlling our appetite (which is the hardest thing to control), then refraining from anything else is just as possible.

What made this Ramadan more interesting than the rest was for me, was that two of my non-Muslim coworkers also fasted the entire month with me.

It was so interesting to listen to their experience while fasting, that I asked them to share some of it for this article.

Below, are two different perspectives of two non-Muslims on their experience fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

"Fasting. A word that was not ingrained in my annual activities a couple of years ago,” said Melica Niccole, 33, of Irvington. “This all changed in 2014 when I attempted to fast and actually was successful. After the fast, I felt enlightened and was definitely 20 lbs. less than my previous weight. It was an amazing experience.”

She said the reason she began fasting was to grow spiritually and to support her boyfriend who fasted each year.

“In reflecting on my past and current religious beliefs, I would say I am an omnist. I believe that all religions work together or have some type of commonality amongst each other,” she said. “In the past, I was raised with Christian traditions. This year, I learned a lot from fasting; one thing being that the last 10 days of Ramadan are the most sacred days of fasting. Individuals generally pray more during this time for themselves and others. I am a true supporter of fasting and believe everyone should try it with their own purpose in mind."

Deven Williams, 26, of Fords, said she may convert to Islam.

"I was going to start this article with, ‘I chose to fast...’. I believe that this fast was meant to rearrange my life and my priorities. Although, I am not a convert yet to Islam I feel that I am on the brink,” she said. “I went to Ghana, Africa two years ago through a women's rights organization, where I volunteered at a refugee camp, taught children at their school, and worked at a women's shelter. Some of my peers were Muslim. Having conversations with them and watching how they maneuvered always intrigued me because it seemed as if they were free.”

She said she has been in “spiritual warfare” with herself for a long time but recently realized that not only was this warfare happening, but that she needed to do something about it.

“A Muslim co-worker of mine invited me to her mosque shortly before Ramadan. With the love and passion shown from the community, it confirmed that I needed to try (fasting for) Ramadan,” she said. “My experience with Ramadan has been eventful. I have benefited tremendously. Looking back at the beginning of Ramadan, I notice the change in my spirit and emotions. I see how more focused I was, whether it is on my job or not.”

She said this fast was one of the hardest things that she had ever done.

“I think it is a challenge that I needed in order to put my priorities in perspective. It made me realize that not eating and drinking is only the surface of what's going on, but beyond that, it helps shapes us in becoming humble, sincere, and diligent individuals,” she said. “I think I have grown so much within this month and I am grateful that I am was able to experience this amazing spiritual process of growth."

And on that note, thank you so much for reading my Ramadan Diaries.

If you didn't know anything about the month before, I hope I helped answer any questions you had. 

And if you did know, or if you celebrated it as well, then I hope you gained something from it and enjoyed it.

Editor's Note: Mona Mostafa is a South Brunswick resident writing a four-part series of her personal journey through the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. TAPinto South Brunswick and Cranbury would like to thank Mona for her insights on the holiday and sharing her culture with our readers.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Baby Crossing Summer Sale going on now!

July 12, 2018

Our SUMMER SALE is going on now! Get 40% percent off select summer apparel. 

PLUS check out the amazing deals in our $5 and $10 bins. We're open ALL week!

980 Mt Kemble Avenue, Morristown NJ 07928

Monday - Saturday 9:30am - 5pm

Sunday 12pm - 5pm

4th of July Sale Going on now at The Depot Gift Shop

4th of July sale going on now at the Depot Gift Shop.

The Depot Gift Shop is located at 980 Mt Kemble Avenue in Morristown

My Training Gym offers a 21-Day Summer Jump Start

Jump start your summer with My Training Gym!


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Have Lunch with the Librarian at Macculloch Hall Wednesdays in July

July 11, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Grab a blanket and your lunch and enjoy a wonderful afternoon with "Lunch with the Librarian" at Macculloch Hall Gardens. 

Today and every Wednesday in July and August, the librarian from the Morristown Library will read stories to pre-school children and their parents or caregivers under Macculloch Hall's magnificent beech tree.

The event ...

Free Movie Fridays and Mondays at the Morris County Library

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Looking to start your weekend with a movie? The Morris County Library is offering free movies on Fridays and Mondays to all Morris County residents.

On Fridays, the library will show Black Panther, Murder on the orient Express, Hostiles and Star wars VIII The Last Jedi.  All movies begin at 2pm. On Mondays the library will host family movies with ...

Tri Harder Triathlon Comes to Ginty Pool Saturday July 14

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Tri-Harder Kid's Triathlon Series is once again coming to Ginty Pool on Saturday July 14 at 8:30am. 

The event, for children ages 4 - 14, focuses on participation and the importance of physical activity rather than places and scores. The event provides participants with general times and ribbons are given to all registrants. 

Participants ...

Game Day! FC Motown will Host FC Baltimore at Drew

July 18, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Grab the family and friends and head over to Drew University tonight to cheer on FC Motown as they face FC Baltimore. Tonight, both teams will square off in the NPSL Northeast Region Semifinals.  Game time is 8pm.

To read more about the team, click HERE 


Nature Walks in Morristown's Foote's Pond Wood; Tonight July 12

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Join Bill Munther, Ecologist and Friend of Foote’s Pond Wood, for a Nature Walk at Foote's Pond tonight, Thursday July 12 at 6:30pm.

Munther will lead attendees on a walk around Foote’s Pond Wood Park to view and identify its flora and fauna and describe its ecosystems and habitats. A great opportunity and introduction. Can't make it tonight, don't ...

Don't Miss The Kids Program - Dig it! Plant it! Eat it! at Morristown's Macculloch Hall

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Macculloch Hall is hosting a youth summer garden program on Saturday July 7, 14, 21 and August 4, 11, and 18. The hands on program is for families from 10am - 11:30am. Come to the garden and learn how to make refrigerator pickles, help tend the vegetables, create nature-inspired art, and learn about helpful insects and pollinators through games and garden scavenger ...

MTG Youth Training Camp in Full Swing

July 14, 2018

My Training Gym's Youth Athletics Program is a group training designed to:

Reduce body mass - Increase muscular strength - Improve motor skills - Encourage plant based nutrition - Enhance concentration - Build self-confidence - Prevent sports injuries. 

Stop by the gym and check out a session, Mon-Thurs. 3-4pm.  Your child(ren) will thank you!

Bring the Kids! Touch a Truck Day at Ginty Field

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Fire trucks, garbage trucks, police cars and many more vehciles will be part of Touch a Truck Day on Friday July 13. Children of all ages are invited down to Ginty Field to explore, touch and see these vehicles.

The Touch a Truck Day will take place from 9:30am - 11:30am at Ginty Field in Morris Township.

Sign up to get all the news as it happens ...

1st Annual Diversity Day to Be Held on the Morristown Green; Sat. July 8

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Celebrate your neighbors during the first annual Diversity Day in Morristown. 

The event will take place on the Morristown Green on Saturday July 8. The event will kick off with an interfaith service at 11am which everyone is invited to. Following the service there will be music, entertainment and food from 12noon - 4pm.

Working together to present the event is ...

Cadet CMSgt Craig Petrin of Morristown, receives Award

July 17, 2018

Cadet CMSgt Craig Petrin, of the Lone Eagle Composite Squadron, Morristown, NJ, was presented with the Honor Cadet Award recently at the one week NJ Wing Civil Air Patrol Basic Encampment held at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

The Honor Cadet Award is presented to those who show outstanding leadership, character, and attention to detail.  Also during encampment, Craig performed the ...

Free Slurpee Day today at Morristown's 7-Eleven

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  Today is Wednesday July 11 or better known as Free Slurpee Day at local 7-Eleven stores. On 7/11, the retailer is offering customers a free small slurpee from 11am - 7pm or while supplies last.

So stop in to your local store for a cool treat to beat the heat.

The Morristown location is located at 50 Morris Street. Another close location is the store located in Cedar ...

Roxbury Helpers Sought for Upcoming Fistball World Championships

ROXBURY, NJ – The organizers of the upcoming U18 Fistball World Championships, an international even taking place in Succasunna, are seeking volunteers to work with visitors from across the globe.

Werner Adam, the northeast regional director for the United States Fistball Association (USFA), said planning for the big event is going well. However, one hurdle that remains is ...

Counterfeit Money Used at Rite-Aid

July 14, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ - The Parsippany police reported that Counterfeit money was used at the Rite-Aid on N. Beverwyck Road.

Patrol Officer P. Kolln responded to store for a person who purchased a Green Dot prepaid Visa Card with counterfeit currency. Upon his arrival he spoke to the employee who advised him that a black male in his mid-twenties, wearing a baseball cap, a black long sleeve shirt ...

New Trolley System to Connect Downtown Paterson with Great Falls

July 16, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Standing beside two diesel powered trolleys on the site that the Paterson Art Factory calls home on Tuesday, Mayor Andre Sayegh showed that he is wasting no time in moving ahead on efforts to make the Great Falls, and the area around it, the centerpiece of the city’s much anticipated resurgence.

Calling the Art Factory a “partner”, Sayegh offered his ...

Belmar Parasail: Soar Into Summer with a High-Flying Adventure Along the Beachfront

July 14, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — As Belmar finally basks in picture-perfect weather, it may be time to check off a summer activity on your bucket list. And for many, parasailing is one of those “must-do” experiences.

At Belmar Parasail, the season is in full swing, offering boat trips from the Belmar Manutti Marina to the beachfront where passengers are lifted 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean ...

Monmouth County: Haskell Invitations Out, Triple Crown Champion, Justify Is Not On The List

OCEANPORT, N.J. — Forty-four 3-year-olds were extended invitations to the $1 million Haskell Invitational on Sunday, July 29, at Monmouth Park. Triple Crown winner, Justify is not on the list.

On July 10, Justify’s connections announced that the colt’s training was put on hold with Trainer Bob Baffert saying there was intermittent swelling in one ...

Morristown Happenings: Things to Do in Morristown This Weekend; July 13 - 15

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Jump for's the weekend! Don't let Friday the 13th scare you away, there are lots of fun things to do in and around town this weekend! Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday July 13

Spirit Animals Glassblowing Class; Morris County School of Glass; 9am - 11am

Mini Summer Camp: Woodsy Walkers; Great Swamp (Chatham); 10am - 11:30am

Tyke ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)


If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

TapInto Welcomes Letters to the Editor, Guidelines for Submission Listed

July 18, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Letters to the Editor are a time-honored tradition in the newspaper industry and now that so much of news has moved online, the letters explaining a personal point of view have moved with it.

While many of our letters come during election time, TapInto invites letters year round. The main rules are to include a full name, phone number, email and snail mail address. TapInto ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

July 16, 2018

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

Declaration of Independence – What is it?

The definition of a free country is where the government does not control what people say or do for political reasons and where people can express their opinions without punishment. The transition from a totalitarian state to a free country will be long and slow.

In a 2017 report Freedom House said that of the 195 countries assessed, 87 (45%) were rated Free, 59 (30%) Partly Free, ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, July 19


Kids' Critter Camp


Thu, July 19, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Thu, July 19, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster,

2018 Members’ Non-Juried Exhibition & Sale

Arts & Entertainment

Warrants, Theft and Narcotic Possession Top This Week's Police Blotter

July 17, 2018

7/5: ARREST FOR D.W.I./THEFT/WARRANT: Officers executed a motor-vehicle stop for a moving violation in Jefferson Township. An investigation led to Gina L. Falcon, age 24, of Paterson, to be charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Receiving Stolen Property; and Destiny Martinez, age 24, of Passaic, to be charged with Receiving Stolen Property. Ms. Martinez was also found to have a warrant for ...

Kessler Foundation Seeks Volunteers for Important Breast Cancer Study

July 16, 2018

Researchers at Kessler Foundation in West Orange, NJ are studying new ways of combating breast cancer-related weakness & fatigue. These symptoms can diminish quality of life & often last long after treatment has ended. If you are a woman aged 40-75, who was diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 10 years*, you may qualify for this important research study.

We are ...


 It is with great sadness that The Hampshire Companies announces that Todd Anderson, ...
Read more
- Mar 13, 2017
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Paulus J. Tuyp, passed away at his residence with his loving and ...
Read more
- Mar 12, 2017
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Edward K. Larsen, 94, passed away on Sunday, March 12, 2017 at JFK ...
Read more