Ramadan Kareem everyone. This year Ramadan also coincides with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, meaning this year’s Ramadan will have the longest average fasting hours in its 33-year lunar-based cycle. It’s not going to be easy and I am pretty sure there are many people who have already started having second thoughts about Ramadan.Â Although the challenge seems very daunting, we know we wouldnâ€™t want to miss out on the blessings of this amazing month. Not only is this month good for the spirit, it is also good for the body!
Ramadan is a great month to heal inside out, to reconnect with the Creator, to notice areas where we are lagging and to work on improving ourselves. At the end of the day, the aim is to become a good human being. The kind everyone wants to be around, who gives out vibes of positivity and optimism and who makes others comfortable in their presence.
Anas bin Malik narrates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said: â€śTreat people with ease and do not be hard on them; give them glad tidings and do not make them run away.â€ťÂ [Bukhari and Muslim]
And Ramadan is the month to work on traits that will make us beloved in the eyes of Allah Taâ€™ala.
We have compiled some tips to get you through this month with ease.
FOOD DOâ€™s & DONâ€™Ts
Don’t break your fast with a feast or you mayÂ put on weight instead of losing it.
Dr Razeen Mahroof, an anaesthetist from Oxford, says feasting during the non-fasting hours can be unhealthy. He recommends approaching the fast with discipline, or an opportunity to lose weight and be healthier could be wasted.
â€śThe underlying message behind Ramadan is self-discipline and self-control,” he says. “This shouldnâ€™t fall apart at the end of the day”.
Dr MahroofÂ saysÂ your food intake should be simple and not differ too much from your normal diet. It should contain foods from all the major food groups:
- fruit and vegetables
- bread, cereals and potatoes
- meat,Â fishÂ or alternatives
- milk and dairy foods
- foods containingÂ fatÂ andÂ sugar
Foods to avoid are the fast-burning, heavily processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates (sugar and white flour), as well as fatty food (such as cakes, biscuits, chocolates and sweets such as Indian mithai).
It’s also worth avoiding caffeine-based drinks such as tea, coffee and cola. Caffeine is a diuretic and stimulates faster water loss through urination.
â€śSuhoor should be light and include slow digesting food like pitta bread, salad, cereal (especially oats) or toast, so that you have a constant release of energy,â€ť Dr Mahroof says.
â€śItâ€™s important to have some fluids with vitamins, such as fruit juice or fruit. Some people have isotonic drinks (such as Lucozade) to replace any lost salts.â€ť
It’s customary for Muslims to break the fast (Iftar) with some dates, in accordance with the Prophetic traditions.
Dates will provide a burst of energy. Fruit juices will also have a similar, revitalising effect. Start by drinking plenty of water, which helps rehydration and reduces the chances of overindulgence. Avoid the rich, special dishes that traditionally celebrate the fast.
Foods to avoid
- deep-fried foodsÂ â€“Â such as pakoras, samosas and fried dumplings
- high-sugar and high-fat foodsÂ â€“Â including sweets such as creamy cakes, mathai etc
- high-fat cooked foodsÂ â€“Â such as parathas, oily curries and greasy pastries
- baked samosas and boiled dumplings
- chapattis made without oil
- baked or grilled meat and chicken
- homemade pastry using just a single layer
- milk-based sweets and puddings, such as rasmalai andÂ barfee
Cooking methods to avoid
- deep frying
- excessive use of oil
Healthy cooking methods
- shallow frying (usually there isÂ little difference in taste)
- grilling or baking is healthier and helps retain the taste andÂ original flavour of the food, especially with chicken and fish
SPIRITUALITY DOâ€™s & DONâ€™Ts
Donâ€™t be cranky:
Â The hunger and heat can do that to you but remember the reason we are fasting is to remain patient in all circumstances.
Help around the house:
Remember that the ladies in the house are also fasting and it is not easy to stand in front of the cooker to prepare meals in the heat. Help as much as you can. Ladies, remember not to whine, gossip, nag your husband when he comes home. He has probably had a hard day, make his home a source of contentment for him.
Learn a bit of Quran every day
Peace in the heart is from Quran only and the 30th Juz has small surahs that are very easy to memorize. Revamp your namaz by learning and including these small surahs in it.
Visit the sick, give charity and mend ties
Try to kill your ego and walk in the other personâ€™s shoes as well. Reach out and meet new people, listen to their stories and empathize with them. It is hard to find people who listen to other people these days. Everyone has an agenda, a goal to meet, an end to achieve. Try to listen to people and
Make dua for others
We cannot iterate it enough but know that Ramadan is the month when there is a very high chance that you will get whatever you ask for. So why not ask for something that benefits you the next world as well? Ask for pious children, for a pious and peaceful house, for acts of worship that are accepted, for a heart that is satisfied with Allah Taâ€™alaâ€™s decree, for a spouse who helps you reach Jannah. Make dua for your enemies, for the mother-in-law who has hurt you, for the daughter-in-law who didnâ€™t come up to your expectations, for a business partner who was fraudulent, for a colleague who keeps pulling your legs, for a back stabber, for a gossiper and slanderer, make dua for all of them!
We hope you find these tips useful and they help you develop the right framework for eating and being spiritual during this special month.
Do share your feedback and comments on what you make and what you do during Ramadan.
Ya Allah, Balighna Ramadan!
What do you see when you look at your daughter?Â I see my own hopes, aspirations, dreams, and visions all packed up in my miniature self.Â My daughter is my next level, she is everything that I wanted to be.Â So isnâ€™t it natural that sometimes I want her to dress the same way as me?
My love for my own daughter and daughters all over the world is the inspiration behind our recent Me & Mummy collection.
All mums with daughters would know how cute matching outfits look but what a struggle it is to find some in the market that are affordable as well as modest (for both mums and girls).Â We have designed two outfits for you. The first outfit is the Navy Pearls Dress and the other one is Â White and Gold Organza Dress.
Both these dresses are designed with both mums and girls in mind – we have chosen colours that would look nice on little girls as well as mums. The material for both the dresses are extremely comfortable and fully lined so your little ones stay happy. These outfits are designed for special occasions like birthday parties, Eid or even weddings where you can both make a statement in your matching outfits. You can shop the dresses here.
We hope you like these outfits and enjoy wearing them just like we enjoyed making them.
Mirage by numra