Ramadan and Fasting
Ramadan is one of the holiest times of a Muslim Calendar and UAE has a different vibe altogether during the holy month. The ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, the holy month of Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as per Islamic beliefs. The month-long fasting, which is also known as ‘Sawm’ is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is based on the sighting of crescent Moon, as per the biographical compilations of the Hadiths.
The word ‘Ramadan’ finds its roots back in Arabic ‘Ramida’ or ‘Ar-ramad’, which means dryness or scorching heat and fasting during the holy month is deemed obligatory or ‘Fard’ for adult Muslims (exceptions are made for the ones’ dealing with illness or on Travel). Muslims fast from dawn until sunset and when we say fast, we mean avoiding food and water until it’s time for ‘Iftar’.
The meal you have before dawn is referred to as ‘Suhoor’ whereas the meal you have to break the fast after sunset is known as ‘Iftar’.
There are these tiny elements or attributes within the Ramadan period that makes fasting even more special. For instance, families sit together to break their fast and go together for prayers. These things are not possible during regular days when the working hours are longer and family members do not share the same schedule.
To show respect to the land and to those who fast, even non-Muslims observe Ramadan fast, which makes the feeling even more special. These aspects are some of the major pillars that complete the ‘Year of Tolerance’. The culture here allows colleagues at work from different Nationalities and Religions to co-exist and work like one big family, which is why you will find non-Muslims fasting alongside their Muslim brethren.
Things to take care during Ramadan before you fast:
• It is very essential to hydrate yourself in the evening by drinking enough water and other healthy liquids. It is suggested to drink at least 8 glasses of water between Iftar and Suhoor.
• Avoid caffeinated drinks as they are diuretic in nature and can flush the water away from your body, leaving you dehydrated.
• Fizzy drinks should also be avoided as they can slow down the digestion.
• Adding electrolytes to water not only helps in drinking more but also replenishes the body of essential minerals as well.
• Although after several hours of depleting yourself it might be a bit too much to avoid fried food, but other than being of negligible nutritional value, fried food can cause bloating and fatigue as well. Fast food is one of the primary reasons why people feel sluggish even after ‘Iftar’.
• Although one should not exercise too rigorously during Ramadan, maintaining an active schedule that includes bodyweight exercises or just walking will work wonder for your blood circulation and overall body mechanism. Avoid heavy lifting and sprinting during Ramadan as it can lead to dizziness and issues like low blood pressure or even injuries for that matter!
• Just like excessive sugar and fats, one should be very particular about his or her ‘salt’ intake as well, especially when you break your fast. High intake of salt will increase your thirst, a situation not recommended during Ramadan.
• ‘Dates’ are of paramount importance among the Arabs, both functionally and religiously, which is why they break their fast with dates. Prophet Muhammad used to break his fast with ‘dates’ which is practiced by his followers as well.
Ramadan, other than being of religious importance is one of the best ways to learn more about patience, adopt healthy habits and practice self-restraint as well. Therefore, if you are looking forward to quitting smoking, then this Ramadan can be a great healer for you i.e. if you are actually trying to QUIT.
How do you and your family prepare for Ramadan? Share the info with us through the COMMENT section! SHARE the blog with your friends to spread the word 🙂