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Five Tips for Passing Safely Through Ramadan Annoyance-Free

Five Tips for Passing Safely Through Ramadan Annoyance-Free

Let’s be honest. Fasting can be and feel, extremely annoying.

Even though, as Muslims, we try to focus on the immense blessings Ramadan has to offer, the truth of the matter is that, we are also highly self-indulgent.

Throughout our normal days, we are consuming foods and beverages at any given opportunity. So, fasting all day, every day of Ramadan is far from normal, and certainly uncomfortable.

Not being able to eat or drink anything the entire day is a frustratingly annoying test of patience with symptoms that can include: headache, stomach ache, bad breath, dry lips, tiredness, and an inability to concentrate.

Some people, particularly those who are accustomed to having their morning tea or coffee – and those who smoke cigarettes – can even experience changes in their personality, making them a bit short-tempered; I’m sure you have an idea of what I am talking about.

But experiencing negative symptoms of fasting is not Ramadan’s fault, per se.

Health First

We are obliged to take responsibility for our health.

It is crucially important when contemplating or preparing for any period of fasting, to consult with your doctor, particularly if you are on any medications.

Further the Qu’ran provides a remedy for those who may be restricted from fasting due to health reasons or travel. Allah the Almighty, Most Merciful says (interpretation of the meaning),

“During the month of Ramadan the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance to the people with Clear Signs of the true guidance and as the Criterion (between right and wrong). So those of you who live to see that month should fast it, and whoever is sick or on a journey should fast the same number of other days instead. Allah wants ease and not hardship for you so that you may complete the number of days required, magnify Allah for what He has guided you to, and give thanks to Him.” (Qu’ran 2:185)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says,

“…be moderate in your religious deeds and do what is within your ability.” [Bukhari]

Fasting Tips – And More Tips!

There are plenty of tips on how to fast properly and safely (minimizing some of the common side-effects), and to feel energized in Ramadan.

As discussed, although prescribed, fasting in Ramadan is not to be taken lightly, particularly where our health is concerned.

While being mindful of our physical health while fasting in Ramadan, perhaps some of the tips below may be helpful in striking a balance between fasting and scheduling time to read Qu’ran, performing good deeds, participating in the taraweeh prayers, and making lots of duas to supplement our spiritual health.

Here are my top five tips – based on personal experience, good and bad – and lots of experimentation over the 11-years I have passed through Ramadan’s as a revert Muslim:

  1. Drink Plenty of Water

Take drinking at least 1.5 – 2 L (approx. 8 glasses) pure water seriously. If you exercise, you will need to drink more, but do not drink it all at once. Drink it throughout the night. This is more important than eating because humans can survive quite long time without food, but only a few days without water.

Five Tips for Passing Safely Through Ramadan Annoyance-Free - About Islam

  1. Don’t Forget Your Vegetables

Eat a plentiful variety of vegetables between iftar and suhoor for optimal energy levels. Your power isn’t going to come from the fried stuff, the pastas, the chicken with rice, and definitely not the sweets.

  1. Limit Sugar Intake

If you really need to use sugar, then at least substitute it with Eritrit or Stavia or something less dangerous than white sugar. If you crave sweets, eat fruits. Dates and bananas are quite sweet and a better choice over kunafa, baklawa or any other traditional temptation.

Just remember: moderation in everything.

  1. Avoid Binge Eating

Have mercy on your fast-shrunken stomach when it’s time for iftar; don’t binge-fill yourself all at once, even if it feels like you’re starving. Eat small portions, drink plenty of fluids, and wait a bit for your stomach to digest what you’ve consumed.

You will find yourself feeling full vs. bloated and ready to crash-out on the nearest sofa – topping-off everything with tea/coffee, sweets and  TV – and falling into the trap of laziness that causes far too many Muslims to end up missing the Maghrib prayer, and/or the Taraweeh prayers.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately…Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise).” [Bukhari]

  1. Exercise

Don’t neglect your exercise. Lending a helping hand in cleaning up the post-iftar disaster counts as exercise! Ask any woman of the house!

Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was asked,

“What did the Prophet () use to do in his house?” She replied, “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” [Bukhari]

After pitching-in, get some fresh air; take a short walk outside after iftar (you never know what opportunity may appear for a good deed!), or even do some light cardio and strengthening at home. You will feel much more energized.

Bonus Tips

Finish eating suhoor at least 30 minutes before fajr. Try some natural yogurt with muzli and/or fruits, or a piece of whole grain bread with cheese and salad. Whatever healthy menu you opt for, just remember: keep it light.

After eating, drink water or a tasty smoothie.

If you want to sleep well, skip the fava beans or anything else ‘heavy’. Eating properly is essential – but our bodies have a right over us in more than one way – so do not underestimate the importance of sleep.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says,

“…Your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you…” [Bukhari]

It’s a Wrap

You might walk away from reading these tips thinking, “Pfff…not for me!” But if you are already passing the days of Ramadan feeling tired and annoyed instead of energized, remember this: it’s not because of fasting; it’s because of bad habits and what you ate prior to and after fasting.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately…Always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course, whereby you will reach your target (of paradise).” [Bukhari]

May Allah the Almighty grant you and your families a happy and blessed Ramadan filled with spiritual growth, infused by a healthier life-style; and may you pass through it safely.

 


About Aya Timea

Timea Aya Csányi is editor and counselor of the Ask the Counselor section. She is also a certified group fitness instructor who pursues her BSc. degree in Psychology at Islamic Online University. She is advocates for gaining self-love and confidence through exercise.

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