Ramadan Mubarak – Tips For Fasting During The Holy Month
It’s the holy month of Ramadan again! For the uninitiated, Ramadan is the festival when Muslims all over the world observe fast (roza). Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. As part of this fast, apart from avoiding food and water, one is expected to stay away from sins (gunnah), cigarettes and sexual activity.
The fast starts at sunrise and ends at sunset. During sunrise, around 4 in the morning, people eat for the day. This time is called Suhour and the time when they break the fast is called Iftar. During the day, people offer prayers (Namaz) and recite the Holy Quran. The 30 days of fasting is followed by the festival of Id-ul-Fitar.
There are exceptions for fasting during the holy month for pregnant women, children, elderly people, women who are menstruating, people who are sick and people who are traveling.
Why do Muslims observe Ramadan?
Muslims have been fasting for over 1420 years by now, as they were ordered by God through the Quran. According to Islamic history, around 610 AD a caravan trader named Mohammed was wandering in the desert of Mecca, Saudi Arabia when suddenly an angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that he was chosen to receive the words of Allah. Later, Mohammed began speaking and transcribing the words of the Quran. It took almost 23 years for the book to be completed and contains the words of God to mankind, transcribed by Prophet Mohammed, considered as the last prophet.
The Quran says the reason behind fasting is God-consciousness; it is a practice to gain control of the self and cleanse the body, mind and soul.
Fasting can be difficult at times, but it can be made easy and effortless by following these tips:
- When eating in the morning (suhour), eat healthy food rich in protein and fiber, so that the digestion process is gradual and you won’t feel hungry often.
- Drink lots of water during the non fasting hours.
- Break your fast with dates and milk; they will not make you feel dizzy.
- Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables rather than canned or fatty foods.
- Don’t eat a lot at once during Iftar. Your body will not only gain weight but also make you feel uneasy the next day. Eat in smaller proportions and eat frequently.
- Take a 15-20 minutes nap in the day to keep you more active. This also helps you look fresh.
- Walk a little after Suhour and Iftar.
Fasting has many benefits. It not only detoxifies the body but cleanses the mind and the soul. It also makes us strong-willed and resilient. So fast your way to good health!
Over 800 million people in the world sleep hungry – 21000 people die due to starvation every single day.
Yet, starting today, one billion people all over the world will skip one meal every day for the next 30 days. This should effectively create a surplus of 30 billion meals, which are then pumped back into the society in the form of Zakaat. (If only we could ensure that it reaches the right people).
Happy Ramadan, the largest targeted civilian action for poverty alleviation and resource redistribution.
This year, let the beautiful month be celebrated by all of us, irrespective of our race, colour, gender, sexuality, economic status and political views.
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