Each year the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is marked by Ramadan, a holy month of fasting. The dates of the holy month change each year as they are largely dependent on the sighting of the crescent moon.
The whole month of Ramadan is celebrated by Muslims all over the world through spiritual reflection, increased devotion, and daily fasting. While practices around the world might slightly vary, we at TABIIB would like to bring everyone’s attention to some of the rules and traditions of Ramadan.
The Tradition Of Fasting During Ramadan
According to Islam, the act of fasting is meant is to reinforce the need to be thankful. As one of the five pillars of Islam, this act is followed by most Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Rules Of Fasting
During the holy month, to honor the tradition of fasting, people across the world don’t eat or drink anything from dawn to sunset. The rising of the sun onsets the fast, so before sunrise, people who fast eat a pre-fast meal known as suhur. The setting of the sun marks the end of the fast. So people who fast, usually break their fast after sunset with iftar, a meal which usually starts with dates and water, followed by dinner.
Who Is Exempted From Fasting
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is followed by most healthy adult Muslims. However, some individuals are exempted from this tradition including:
- The elderly
- Children who have not reached puberty
- Menstruating women
- Individuals who are physically or mentally incapable of fasting
- Pregnant women
- Breastfeeding mothers
General Tips To Remember While Fasting
Even during Ramadan, one must focus on attaining proper nutrition and hydration. So following simple tips, even during Ramadan might help your body stay fit and healthy.
- Drink plenty of water & eat hydrating foods between Iftar and Suhoor
Most of the time Ramadan falls during summer. So if you are fasting during Ramadan, ensure you drink plenty of water & eat hydrating foods between Iftar and Suhoor.
- Consume a wholesome meal during Suhoor
During Ramadan, put extra effort to consume a well-balanced diet. Ideally, your meal must consist of:
- bread, cereals, and other grain products
- meat, fish, and poultry
- milk, cheese, and yogurt
- fruit and vegetables
- fats and sugars (to ensure a good calorie intake)
- Avoid eating fried foods, salty foods, and high-sugar foods
It may be fulfilling to reward yourself with rich, greasy dishes after a long day of fast. But, in the long run, indulging in such foods may make the next day of fasting very difficult. The unhealthy salty food will increase thirst, and the sugary food will make you feel sluggish. Such unhealthy food will also get digested fast making you feel hungry the next day.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks
During Ramadan, avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Excessive caffeine consumption can cause dehydration as it can make some urinate often.
On the whole, try your best to eat healthy during Ramadan to ensure that you are not negatively affecting your health. If you have any prior health conditions, consult a doctor before you start fasting