With Ramadhaan approaching I thought I would share some of my tips/hacks I like to do throughout the fasting month. It is nice to have a subtle reminder from time to time, even though it may be the most straight forward thing. I find that sometimes we make false promises to ourselves or wait for a major event to happen, for example, ‘Im going to start reading the Quraan when Ramadan starts’ or ‘Im going to start on my daily prayers in Ramadhaan’ etc. Why wait, why not start when you have the chance, or even the day before Ramadhaan. As we are influenced by the environment and the people around us we sometimes forget to concentrate on what is more important. It is the way we think and feel that we end up with an anticlimax and go back to our normal self after a couple of days or weeks of practicing. I sincerely believe it is a gradual process, introduce the important things into your life and just make a S T A R T on them, and it’s okay if you mess up because you can pick yourself back up and try again.
PS. These tips are absolutely random and are in no particular order.
Yup, keeping it shut. Not just because of the stanky breath (more on that later). It is much easier to get worked up in this month due to not being able to eat or drink for several hours of the day, and carrying out your daily responsibilities whether it is work or school. Preparing the mind is a good start, as fasting is not just about refraining from food but to work on oneself. If you think about it, you already have a part of patience covered, you accustom your stomach by not eating anything, or even sipping on water when your throat is dried out from thirst. Another way to look at is if you get angry about something (I usually just count a slow 10 in my head), or use bad words we instantly remember that we are fasting and thus show patience against such evils.
Remember, you are not the only person fasting in this world, millions of people are doing the same alongside you. People who can barely afford a meal are fasting alongside you. Always remember that.
There are days where you miss Suhoor (✋) or you literally have minutes left to close your fast. I always find keeping a bottle of water beside you and some dates or a quick snack. As the fasting month is in the summer time and we have hot weather, I love keeping a Swell bottle with me filled with water. A swell bottle can keep your drink cold for 24 hours or warm for 12 hours so it’s great to quench your thirst as soon as you wake up. (Links Below)
After breaking your fast, I always find drinking lukewarm water the best for hydration. This is because your body does not have to work as hard to absorb the water than it would have to for a very cold drink of water.
Back in the UK, the supermarkets are raided and the shelves are empty as everyone is buying Suhoor items last minute and then you are stuck with COCO POPS (which you go back to near to the end of Ramadhaan) for a couple of days because you imagined to have big filling breakfasts for Suhoor. Don’t leave it last minute, simple.
My mind personally goes crazy when I go grocery shopping because everything looks so good and you just want to buy it all. Take a list with you so that you can focus on which aisles you need to go to and make it a simple in and out trip.
The Prophet said, “(Allah said), ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me, and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” (Bukhari)
So this may or may not work for some people, but I have to brush my teeth (minus toothpaste) when I wake up from my sleep after Suhoor. If you own a miswaak, thats even better. I don’t aggressively brush, but a gentle brush over the teeth and tongue and to rinse the mouth with WARM water several times in the day.
It is a great month to give to charity, the rewards for this are immense. Generally you can visit your local mosque and make donations there and also most homes have a designated charity pot. However, to get the most out of your reward, I recommend physically giving to someone in need, like a homeless person, items such as food or money since this is also classed as Sadqaa.
6. Food Recipes
Warning: May not work for you.
This is a weird one but I like to watch YouTube videos for food recipes, wether it’s Italian foods, desserts, drinks. ANYTHING! and I don’t know why but it makes me feel so much better and less hungry. Especially when I have a growling stomach, it makes me forget for a moment that I’m hungry because I’m so focused on looking at delicious foods.
One of my favorite channels to watch is the beautiful Italian chef Laura Vitale
I think I say this a lot to the people around me ‘Eat in moderation’, and its true. If you are planning to lose weight this month or to stop the habit of overeating then fasting is the best way. I am going to lay the table out for you: You first start with water and a date of course, before reaching for the fried items try to get some good greens and fruits in your diet. Remember these are the first foods that are going down in to your stomach and your stomach is really going to appreciate you right now and it is going to get to work. It will start to grind down and absorb all the goodness and nutrients coming from the greens straight in to your body. Try to even make a quick shot of a healthy juice (liquid absorbs quicker). If there is any chicken item on the table go ahead and add that to your salad, at this point you are going to want to continue eating better and not over eat and even have space for a dessert. I know it does not sound appealing for some of you and will only work for people who want to achieve their goal but once you get passed the first few days then you will be good to go. And you can keep weekends or Fridays as your indulge days.
If any of these tips helps one soul, then I am one happy bunny.