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The Night of Decree (Lailatul Qadr) and Sunnah Worships

How should a Muslim seek Lailatul-Qadr?

One who misses this blessed night then he has missed much good for no one misses it except one from whom it is withheld. Therefore it is recommended that the Muslim who is eager to be obedient to Allaah should stand in Prayer during this night out of Eemaan and hoping for the great reward, since if he does this, Allaah will forgive his previous sins.Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Whoever stands in (Prayer) in Lailatul-Qadr out of Eemaan and seeking reward then his previous sins are forgiven.” (Sahih Bukhari)It is recommended to supplicate a great deal in it, it is reported from ‘Aa’ishah, Radiyallaahu Anha that she said: “O Messenger of Allaah! What if I knew which night Lailatul-Qadr was, then what should I say in it?” He said: “Say: Allaahumma innaka ‘affuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee.” (O Allaah you are the one who pardons greatly, and loves to pardon, so pardon me.) (at-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

O brothers! You know the importance of this night, so stand in Prayer in the last ten nights, in worship, detaching oneself from the women, ordering your family with this, and increasing in actions of obedience and worship in it.

It was narrated that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:

When the last ten days of Ramadaan began, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would tighten his waist-wrapper, spend his nights in prayer, and wake his family.

[Narrated by Sahih Muslim, 2024; Sahih Muslim, 1174]

Allaah swt says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We have sent it (this Qur’aan) down in the Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree).

2. And what will make you know what the Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is?

3. The Night of Al‑Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allaah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months).4. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh [Jibreel (Gabriel)] by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees,5. (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allaah to His believing slaves) until the appearance of dawn”[Translation of the Holy Quran, Surrah Al-Qadr 97:1-5]

Question:
How should we observe Laylat al-Qadr? Is it by praying, or by reading Qur’aan and the Prophet’s Seerah, listening to lectures and lessons and by celebrating it in the mosque?.

How should we observe Laylat al-Qadr and when is it?

Praise be to Allaah.
Firstly:

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to strive hard in worship during the last ten days of Ramadaan as he never did at any other time, praying, reading Qur’aan and making du’aa’. Al-Bukhaari and Muslim narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that when the last ten days of Ramadaan came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would stay up at night and would wake his family up, and would abstain from marital relations. Ahmad and Muslim narrated that he used to used to strive hard in worship during the last ten days of Ramadaan as he never did at any other time.

Secondly:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) enjoined staying up and praying on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward. It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever stays up and prays on Laylat al-Qadr out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” Agreed upon. This hadeeth indicates that it is prescribed to observe Laylat al-Qadr by spending the night in prayer.

Thirdly:

One of the best du’aa’s that may be recited on Laylat al-Qadr is that which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught to ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her). Al-Tirmidhi narrated, and classed the report as saheeh, that ‘Aa’ishah said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, if I know which night is Laylat al-Qadr, what should I say on that night?’ He said, ‘Say: Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb al-‘afwa fa’affu ‘anni (O Allaah, You are forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me).”

Fourthly:

With regard to specifying which night of Ramadaan is Laylat al-Qadr, this needs specific evidence, but the odd-numbered nights during the last ten nights are more likely than others, and the night of the twenty-seventh is the most likely to be Laylat al-Qadr, because that is mentioned in the ahaadeeth.

Fifthly:

With regard to innovations, they are not permissible during Ramadaan or at other times. It was proven that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” According to another report, “Whoever does any action that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.”

We know of no basis for the celebrations that are held during some nights of Ramadaan. The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the worst of matters are those which are innovated (bid’ah).

And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas , 10/413

Islam Q&A

Date and its Medical benefits

♥ Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Allah’s blessing be upon Him) said, “Break your fast by eating dates as it is purifying.” [Ahmad]

♥ Prophet Muhammad (Peace & Allah’s blessing be upon Him) said, “ Whoever finds dates should break his fast with them and the one who does not should break his fast with water because it is pure.”

Health Benefits:

1● Dates are rich in several vitamins and minerals. When the level of trace elements falls in the body, the health of the blood vessels is affected leading to an increased heart-rate and a consequent inability to perform its function with normal efficiency
.2● Dates are also rich in calcium, they help strengthen the bones. When the calcium content in the body decreases, children are affected with rickets and the bones of adults become brittle and weak.3● Modern dietary institutes now recommend dates to be given to children suffering from a nervous nature or hyperactivity.4● Modern medicine has shown that they are effective in preventing abdominal cancer.

5● Dates are rich in natural fibers, they also surpass other fruits in the sheer variety of their constituents. They contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium.

 

We are all one Ummah!!!

Asalaamu alaikum waramathullahi wabarakathu dear Sisters & Brothers !

I’m A Sunni Muslim Alhmdulilah and I follow the Qur’an & our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s sunnah.

★ STOP CATEGORIZING ISLAM AND STOP TRYING TO DIVIDE ISLAM. WE ARE ALL MUSLIMS. MUSLIMS ARE ALL BROTHERS, SISTERS AND WE ARE ALL ONE UMMAH.

“Those who annoy ALLAH and His Messenger shall be cursed by ALLAH in this world and in the Hereafter. ALLAH has prepared for them a humiliating punishment”. 
[33:57]

Wake up Muslims!! We are ONE Ummah, and we worship ONE GOD. It doesn’t matter if your father is from China or if you mother is from Jamaica, we are one body, one entity, ONE Ummah! Allah the Almighty says:
“Verily, this community of yours is a single community, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore serve Me (and no other)” 
[21:92]

This is a divine law “IF YOU ARE UNITED, YOU WILL BECOME POWERFUL”

Make a promise today; “I won’t live for myself anymore. I belong to this Ummah and I will live for it!” , In Sha Allah

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Proven Techniques for a Successful Positive Change in Ramadhaan

The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has said,”Almighty Allah says, ‘I treat my servant according to his expectations from Me, and I am with him when he remembers me. If he remembers Me in his heart, I remember him in My heart…. if he walks towards Me, I run unto him.” (Hadith-Qudsi)

Make this Ramadhaan the month of “Change”..Are You Ready for it??? 

“Change” is the vogue today. “Change” is being chanted by the Presidents to rally up public support; “Change” is being demanded by the masses suffering due to skyrocketing fuel and commodity prices; “Change”, a drastic one indeed, is what we are witnessing with awe in the global weather patterns.

For Muslims, Ramadhaan is the prime time for change. This month dramatically alters our routines and schedules. From tight sleep schedules, to hunger for extended hours, to reduction in consumption of junk foods, to a technology diet; to withdrawal from caffeine addiction, to lengthy standing in Taraweeh prayers at night, to extensive listening to the Quran. What a change indeed!

Beyond Routines and Rituals:

The real change, however, Ramadhaan demands of us is the internal change – a change that positively transforms our lifestyle, character, attitudes, conversations, and habits. Allah has described this change in the month of Ramadhaan as follows: “O you who believe, fasting has been ordained on you as it was decreed upon those before you so that you may adopt Taqwa” (2:183 [ Translation of the Holy Quran 2:183].


Slavery to Ramadhaan?

If our change is limited to outer physical practices only, we become slaves to Ramadhaan, instead of being servants to Ar-Rahman (Allah, the Merciful).

Prophet Muhammad has warned us about those who don’t fast from bad behaviour:

“Allah has no interest in any person’s abstention from eating and drinking, if that person does not give up lying and dishonest actions” (Sahih al-Bukhari)


Ramadhaan Resolutions:

Every Ramadhaan we make resolutions and tell ourselves: “This Ramadhaan will be different. I’m going to change my ______ habit.” “I will give up ………”, “I will take my practice of Islam to the next level”. But how many of us are really able to follow through? Plenty of good intentions, many amazing wishes, but sadly enough, life goes on as usual the morning of Eid.

Ask yourself, how is my fasting benefitting my spiritual connection with Allah? How is my extensive worship in Ramadhaan helping me discipline my tongue (taste and speech), eyes, ears, and habits?

Are you ready to take that first step to transform your bad habits into good ones?


Ways to Kick Bad Habits:

Few things are more demanding than eliminating bad habits, since they are part of our daily routines and personality. It takes days of patience and practice to break old habits.

However, the good news is, Ramadhaan offers a perfect and natural environment for moral training. Interestingly, researches from “positive psychology” (scientific study of successful people) have repeatedly shown it takes between 30 to 40 days to kick a bad habit and develop a new one.

In addition to the physical discipline during the month of Ramadhaan, the increased spiritual exercise and connection with Allah, can transform your habits for life.

Try these proven techniques for a successful positive change in your habits during Ramadhaan and beyond!

1. Acknowledge and Identify your bad habits: First step is to admit you need to change. If you are in a state of denial, you won’t recognize that you have a bad habit to change.

2. Pick a habit for this month: Prioritize your bad habits and focus on one for this month. If you are committed to changing at least one habit, you will see remarkable results, Allah-willing.

3. Realize that it’s in us to change: Don’t believe the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” You can break a bad habit if you really want to. No one else can change your habits, if you don’t want to.

4. Remember, Allah loves those who commit mistakes and repent: The Noble Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

“By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if you were not to commit sin, Allah would sweep you out of existence and He would replace (you by) those people who would commit sin and seek forgiveness from Allah, and He would have pardoned them.” (Hadith -Sahih Muslim)

5. Intention & Plan to change: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” A healthy process of change in character requires a gradual pace, which entails planning. Develop concrete milestones to measure your progress.

6. Replace a bad habit with a good one: Completely eliminating a habit is more challenging than replacing it with a more productive habit. Moreover, it’s crucial to replace the lost natural needs, such as the need to socialize and to be entertained with something healthy.

For instance, it’s easier to replace your addiction to TV with a physical workout or reading the Qur’aan or a good Islamic book etc. Interestingly, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the greatest ‘psychologist’ of humanity, illustrated this principle in these words:

“Fear Allah wherever you may be; follow up an evil deed with a good one which will wipe (the former) out, and behave good-naturedly towards people.” (Hadith-At-Tirmidhi).

7. Change your Environment: Resist the negative peer pressure by finding a better company of friends. Collective action to change is very powerful. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) explained this peer pressure effect with the analogy:

“A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” (Hadith-Sahih al-Bukhari & Muslim)

8. Exercise: Spiritual exercise is important for lasting change. You may not realize that by exerting your yourself in spiritual exercises like the reading of Qur’an and Hadith, fasting, giving charity, Zikr(remembering Allah),Spending time in the Path of Allah etc helps in eliminating a number of bad habits. Through the spiritual light of doing noble deeds, evil ones will gradually be eradicated from your life. Allah says : “Indeed, Salah restrains from Shameful and unjust deeds” (Quran:29:45). A person complained to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) about someone who read salaah and also committed theft .The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said “His salaat will very soon wean him off that sin.’ This shows that the evil habits can be got rid of by adhering to good practises. The doing of good deeds such as remembering Allah cleanses the heart. A clean heart encourages a person to do good deeds and refrains one from evil habits!

Moreover, exercising your will power (struggle to fight temptations) for this month helps you kick all kinds of bad habits and form new good ones. Willpower is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the more you strengthen it.

9. Think of yourself as a changed, different, new person. This simple psychological shift in your thinking about your own image can do wonders. Tell yourself, “I can’t continue this ill-behaviour. I am better than that. I am stronger. I am wiser.”

10. Reward success: The most fundamental law in all of psychology is the “law of effect.” It simply states that actions followed by rewards are strengthened and likely to recur. Unfortunately, studies show that people rarely use this technique when trying to change personal habits.

Setting up formal or informal rewards for success greatly increases your chances of transforming bad habits into good ones, and is far more effective than punishing yourself for bad habits or setbacks. As Muslims we should also remember that the ultimate reward is Allah’s Pleasure and Paradise in the Hereafter.

11. Get help: Tell someone about your effort to change if it helps. He or she may keep you on track and may offer some good advice. Read books that will encourage you to do virtues actions. Join the various (amaal) programs in your local Musjid. Ladies should endeavour to join their local Taalimi Halqas. There are good and sincere people who are ready to assist. We are not an island- We are an Ummah!

12. Boost your spiritual immune system: By fasting,doing good actions,Itikaaf(seclusion), spending time in the Musjid with the pious friends of Allah or going in the Path of Allah will boost your Imaan which will provide you with internal strength to overcome temptations to reverting to old bad habits.

13. Remind yourself of Death and Hereafter often: “Remember often the terminator (or destroyer) of all the pleasures(i.e. death),” the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)once stated. (Hadith-At-Tirmidhi.)

14. Resolve to continue on and follow up:Giving up bad habits or learning good habits requires regular maintenance and determination. It is a long, ongoing process, also known as “Tazkiyyah” in Islamic terminology. It’s more difficult than the first few steps of change. (“How many times have I dieted, for example, only to gain the weight back?”). So ensure that you follow up. Link yourself to a good Allah-fearing Islamic Scholar, make a habit of spending time in the Path of Allah and constantly engage in noble and charitable work.


15. Develop a relapse strategy:

How do you ensure not to return to your bad habit you are trying to change? Some people donate money to a good cause every time they return to sinning or a bad habit. This reminds them of the ‘cost’ of going back to old bad habits. Others try physically demanding acts to deter them from reverting to old ways. For example that if you do___ act than you will keep three fast or pay so much sadaqah(charity) etc

16. Ask Allah for Help (Dua): MOST IMPORTANT!-Make Asking for Allah’s Help an integral part of the overall change process. Ask for Allah’s Help before, during and after every attempt at kicking a bad habit. Do so sincerely, even begging and crying, like a child does when he or she really wants something. Allah is Ever-Willing to Help and to Respond to our needs, but it is us who must take the first step towards Him. Allah will NEVER disappoint us! Allah Ta’ala says “ Ask me, and I will answer your call…” (Translation of the Holy Quran 40:60)

“And whosoever is conscious of Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He (Allah) will make a way for him to get out (from) every (difficulty), and He will provide him from (sources) he could never imagine.” (Translation of the Holy Quran 65:2-3)

So surely you Can do it!!!…Just Trust and Pray to Allah and make that great change this Ramadhaan!

By The E Islam Team

✿✿✿ Common sins we continue during Ramadaan ✿✿✿

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ♥●•٠·˙CONTROL YOUR NAFS (The Ego): ·٠•●♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

UNNECESSARILY BREAKING FAST:– Narrated AbuHurayrah:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If anyone breaks his fast one day in Ramadan without a concession granted to him by Allah, a perpetual fast will not
atone for it.(Abu-Dawud : Book 13 : Hadith 2390)

LEAVING PRAYERS:– The Ramadaan fast, and indeed any righteous deed, is not accepted if you do not pray. That is because not praying constitutes kufr as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.” (Narrated by Muslim, 82).

TELLING LIES:- Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.” (Sahih BUkhari, Book #73, Hadith #83)

BACK BITING\GOSSIPING:- “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, in deeds some suspicions are sins. And spy not neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah, verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, Most Merciful” (Al-Hujuraat 49: 12).

WATCHING UNISLAMIC TV PROGRAMS:- Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It may be that the fasting person gets nothing from his fast apart from hunger, and it may be that the one who prays qiyaam at night may get nothing from his qiyaam but a sleepless night.” Ibn Maajah (1690)

ABUSE:- The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If any one of you is fasting, let him not utter obscenities or act in an ignorant manner, and if anyone insults him or wants to fight him, let him say, I am fasting.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1894; Muslim 1151.

This Ramadan let us try to keep a strong tab on our habit of backbiting. Let us train ourselves to avoid this grave sin which has become a part of every gathering and group. backbiting, lying, arguing, shouting, foul language, porn, hanging out with males, modernization, disrespecting parents, shouting at elders, treating youngsters rudely, immodesty etc……
(¯`v´¯)¸
`•.¸.•❤•.The worst part is SHAITAAN has trained us so well to be a slave to these evils that we have stopped even considering these sins as evil. ♥¸.•❤

 

Planning for Ramadhan

■ Nine Reasons Why We Must Plan Ramadan ■

Have you noticed that each year, Ramadan goes by faster and faster? Personally, I can remember details of Ramadan 11 years ago better in some ways than of Ramadan last year. It’s frightening.

This blessed month can’t be left to become a blur in our memories. It has to be more than that time of the year we squeeze in fasting amongst the other things we do daily.

One way to make the most of Ramadan is to plan beforehand. Here are nine reasons why you should plan for Ramadan:


■Reason 1: To be in “Ramadan mode”

By planning for Ramadan before it arrives, you put your mind in “Ramadan mode”. If you plan, you will mentally prepare for it, and it will force you to see it as the special month it is outside of your regular routine the rest of the year.

■ Reason 2: To adjust your schedule

By planning in advance, you can adjust your work, sleep and meal schedules in such a way as to make time for Suhoor, Iftar, etc. That means, for instance, that if you normally go to bed at midnight, in Ramadan you would sleep earlier in order to get up early for Suhoor. Or if you usually study late, you can instead sleep earlier and start studying after Suhoor in the early morning hours. Planning in advance allows you the luxury to make time for the change in schedule that Ramadan brings.


■ Reason 3: You can plan Ramadan family time

Is dinner time usually an individual affair in your home, as opposed to a time the whole family eats together? Are Friday evenings the time every family member goes off to his/her own social activities? Planning in advance can change this at least in Ramadan. Calling a family meeting about a month in advance, explaining the importance of Ramadan, its implications for the family and the need to eat Iftar together when possible as well as to attend Tarawih prayers, for example, will allow all family members to adjust their work and school schedules accordingly. That will, Insha Allah, make Ramadan a blessing not just to every person in the family, but to the family as a whole.

■ Reason 4: To make the menu

While Ramadan may mean extra Ibadah to some of the brothers, it usually means extra cooking for most of the sisters. Ramadan’s blessings are for men and women. Making a Ramadan menu for Iftar and meals, and working out when you want to invite relatives, neighbors and friends for Iftar will give sisters the opportunity to catch Tarawih and various other advantageous Ibadat instead of spending Ramadan’s 29 or 30 days stuck in the kitchen. (And by the way, brothers, helping out with cooking or cleaning was a practice of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him-maybe this is a way you can increase your Sawab [rewards] this month).

■ Reason 5 : You can plan an Iftar at your home

You may have eaten fantastic Iftars at friends’ homes last year. This year, open your doors. There is blessing in feeding a fasting person other than yourself and your family. Planning in advance gives you the luxury of calling friends over the month before and setting a date, so you can “grab” them before others get an opportunity to.

■ Reason 6: To make a travel schedule

Do you know a fellow Muslim in your neighborhood who wants to get to the mosque for Tarawih every night but doesn’t have a car? Or do you look at your work schedule and realize you have to work overtime near the end of Ramdan, so your family will miss out on Tarawih at the mosque the last ten nights of Ramadan? Planning in advance helps you work out your daily or weekly travel schedule to attend Tarawih prayers at the mosque, or even a trip for Iftar at a friend’s place who may life farther away. It also helps ease the burden of transportation in winter. Maybe you can start a car pool? Since you have the time before Ramadan begins, you can work this out with neighbors and friends.

■ Reason 7: To do good at high Sawab times

Being generous is definitely an Islamic merit, but being generous in Ramadan is even more highly rewarded. Match Ibadat with specific times that carry more reward. Prepare to do Itifkaf, increase asking Allah for forgiveness in the last ten nights of Ramadan. Plan to give increased Sadaqa this month. Plan to visit that relative you may have not seen for months, if not years. Thinking about and arranging to do these things and finding other ways of gaining the pleasure of Allah in Ramadan will Insha Allah help you benefit more from it.

■ Reason 8: You can squeeze in Eid shopping

Planning in advance helps you think about all of those things you wanted to do in time for the end of Ramadan or Eid last year but couldn’t. Maybe you wanted to go Eid shopping for gifts for family and friends in the last week of Ramadan but were too busy with the last ten nights of Ramadan. No problem. This year, you decide to go in the third week of Ramadan instead.

■ Reason 9: You can plan Dawa activities during Ramadan

Some Muslims have gone to soup kitchens and made meals during Ramadan, while they were fasting. Not only will, Insha Allah, they be rewarded, but this is a great Dawa opportunity to explain what Ramadan and Islam are about. Planning in advance for such an activity gives you the time to call up a soup kitchen in your area, explain what you want to do, and get your act together. You can also plan school Dawa activities in Ramadan by planning in advance, by meeting with the principal or teacher beforehand, preparing a presentation, etc.

Guidelines for Ramadhan- health tips (what to eat and avoid eating in Ramadhan)

Guidelines for Ramadhan

By  Dr. Farouk Haffajee

This article provides useful advice on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadhan. If followed, it would enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadhan.During the holy month of Ramadhan, our diet should not differ very much from our normal diet and should be as simple as possible. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadhan is an ideal time to normalise one’s weight.In view of the long hours of fasting, we should consume slow digesting foods including fibre containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, etc. (called complex carbohydrates).· Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).· Fibre-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, and other herbs like methie, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.

The foods eaten should be well-balanced, containing foods from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried foods are unhealthy and should be limited. They cause indigestion, heart-burn, and weight problems.

AVOID:

Fried and fatty foods.

o Foods containing too much sugar.

o Over-eating especially at sehri.

~ Too much tea at sehri. Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.

~Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadhan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.

EAT:

Complex carbohydrates at sehri so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.

§ Haleem is an excellent source of protein and is a slow-burning food.

§ Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.

§ Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.

§ Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.

DRINK:

As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.

CONSTIPATION

Constipation can cause piles (haemorroids), fissures (painful cracks in anal canal) and indigestion with a bloated feeling.

Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.

Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran in baking, brown flour when making roti.

INDIGESTION AND WIND

Causes: Over-eating. Too much fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas.

Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juices or better still drink water. Avoid fried foods, add ajmor to wind-producing foods.


LETHARGY (‘low blood pressure’)

Excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, especially on getting up from sitting position, pale appearance and feeling faint are symptoms associated with “low blood pressure”. This tends to occur towards the afternoon.

Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake.

Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.

Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed by taking a blood pressure reading when symptoms are present. Persons with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadhan. They should consult their doctor.

HEADACHE:

Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, doing too much in one day, lack of sleep, hunger usually occur as the day goes by and worsens at the end of the day. When associated with “low blood pressure”, the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar.

Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadhan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganise your schedule during the Ramadan so as to have adequate sleep.

LOW BLOOD SUGAR:

Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), unable to perform physical activities, headache, palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar.

Causes in non-diabetics: Having too much sugar i.e. refined carbohydrates especially at suhur (sehri). The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop.

Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks.

Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor.

MUSCLE CRAMPS:

Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium foods.

Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.

Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor.

PEPTIC ULCERS, HEART BURN, GASTRITIS AND HIATUS HERNIA

Increased acid levels in the empty stomach in Ramadhan aggravate the above conditions. It presents as a burning feeling in the stomach area under the ribs and can extend upto the throat. Spicy foods, coffee, and Cola drinks worsen these conditions.

Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctor well before Ramadhan.

KIDNEY STONES

Kidney stones may occur in people who have less liquids to drink. Therefore, it is essential to drink extra liquids so as to prevent stone formation.

JOINT PAINS

Causes: During Ramadhan, when extra salah are performed the pressure on the knee joints increases. In the elderly and those with arthritis this may result in pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.

Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadhan so that they can be prepared for the additional strain. Being physically fit allows greater fulfilment, thus enabling one to be able to perform salah with ease.

Dr. Farouk Haffejee Islamic Medical Association of South Africa – Durban