The fast ofÂ RamadanÂ is rigorous during the best of times. During long and hot summer days, it may be required observe the fast for as many as sixteen or more hours at a time. To ensure adequate nutrition and continued good health, follow these tips:
- Prior to Ramadan, a Muslim should alwaysÂ consult with a doctorÂ about the safety of fasting in individual health circumstances.
- Even if you are generally healthy, recognize that Ramadan will take a toll. Plan your schedule and meals ahead of time in order to make sure you get the nutrients, hydration, and rest that you need.
- EatÂ suhoorÂ just prior to dawn. Yes, it’s hard to get up at that hour, which is why it has many benefits and rewards. It will help you to wake up for the Fajr prayer. The suhoor meal is Sunnah. And this morning meal is generally recognized as the single most important meal of the day. Do not overeat, though. Focus on taking in foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, fruits or vegetables, and plenty of water. For example: an egg on whole-grain toast, a few crackers with peanut butter, some orange slices, and two glasses of water.
- During the hottest part of the day, stay in cool areas (indoors or in shade) and limit your physical activity. Rest if possible.
- Avoid gorging yourself when breaking the fast at sunset. Follow the Sunnah: break your fast with dates and either milk, water, or fruit juice. After the maghrib prayer, continue with a light starter such as soup and crackers. After a long period of fasting, you need to bring your fluids and blood sugar level up without overdoing it.
- During the early evening (after maghrib), have a healthy and balanced dinner. Do not overeat, and be sure to drink a few more glasses of fluids.
- During the evening hours, resist the temptation to drink tea, coffee, and soda. When visiting friends or family, ask for glasses of water.
- Serve yourself, your family, and guests a “dessert” of fresh fruit and nuts. There are lovely choices available in this season, and they are much more healthy than chocolates and candy.
- Sip on water throughout the evening. Aim for 8 glasses by bedtime. To help you keep track, fill and refill a water bottle with a measured amount of water, and be sure to finish it.
- Light exercise, such as walking for 15-20 minutes, is best done in the evening hours.
- Avoid fried and spicy foods as they may cause heartburn or indigestion.
- Speak to your doctor about an appropriate multi-vitamin.
- Continue to brush and floss your teeth several times a day.
- Wash your hands regularly, and avoid those who cough or sneeze. This is important to prevent the spread of viruses (such as
- seasonal flu and H1N1) and bacteria which may cause illness.
- Quit smoking!
- Organize your schedule so that you get enough sleep.
Benefits of Ramadan
Ramadan is a period of fasting, reflection, devotion, generosity and sacrifice observed by Muslims around the world. While major holidays of other faiths have largely become commercialized events, Ramadan retains its intense spiritual meaning.
The word “Ramadan” comes from the Arabic root word for “parched thirst” and “sun-baked ground.” It is expressive of the hunger and thirst felt by those who spend the month in fasting. As opposed to other holidays, when people often indulge, Ramadan is by nature a time of sacrifice.
- Through fasting, a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and sympathizes with those in the world who have little to eat every day.
- Through increased devotion, Muslims feel closer to their Creator, and recognize that everything we have in this life is a blessing from Him.
- Through increased charity, Muslims develop feelings of generosity and good-will toward others. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said, “A man’s wealth is never diminished by charity.”
- Through self-control, a Muslim practices good manners, good speech, and good habits.
- Through changing routines, Muslims have a chance to establish more healthy lifestyle habits — particularly with regards to diet and smoking.
- Through family and community gatherings, Muslims strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, in their own communities and throughout the world.
Ramadan is a very special time for Muslims, but the feelings and lessons we experience should stay with us throughout the year. In the Qur’an, Muslims are commanded to fast so that they may “learn self-restraint” (Qur’an 2:183). This restraint and devotion is especially felt during Ramadan, but we all must strive to make the feelings and attitudes stay with us during our “normal” lives. That is the true goal and test of Ramadan.
May Allah accept our fasting, forgive our sins, and guide us all to the Straight Path. May Allah bless us all during Ramadan, and throughout the year, with His forgiveness, mercy, and peace, and bring us all closer to Him and to each other.
Source of content :-Â About.com