The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad PBUH. The Quran was sent down when it was time for humanity to reach maturity, it was a guidance between right and wrong. The Quran was sent down in stages which in total took 23 years to complete. The gradual revelation of the Quran prepared people steadily, so they have an understanding to what is prohibited, what is expected from them, the Quran reminds people of their responsibilities, reminds people who have forgotten their responsibilities, it teaches us ways of living, dying, marrying, selling and buying.
We’re entering the Holiest Month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, and I thought to myself although I follow Islam, I know my namaz, I pray, I know who our Prophet is, I know what is right and wrong to an extent but I still feel as though I don’t know enough about my religion and it honestly feels as though there is this part in me, which is full of guilt for not taking time out to understand my religion. Recently I was in Huddersfield and my cousin was telling me about this Islamic Camp he took part in, you basically learn about Islam, he was learning the topic Black Magic and my auntie was learning about Ghusal (how to wash the body or prepare a deceased body) and I knew parts of these topics but never fully got taught everything, the process of Ghusal, how to prevent Black Magic etc. I think it’s time I change this and it’s never too late to re-educate yourself about Islam. Read the Quran in Arabic and in English to understand what you’re reading, join Islamic Classes, there’s so many opportunities we’re given, join with your sisters, friends and always ask questions, always take notes.
I’ve decided to join some classes during Ramadan and keep this as an on going activity after Ramadan as well.
How do we all prepare for Ramadan?
In fact what do you do in Ramadan? The most obvious is we fast but in fact there are different parts to Ramadan. As you know it is the most holiest month in the Islamic calendar, Prophet Muhammad said,
“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and although we can fast during other times in the year, it is obligatory to fast during the month of Ramadan if you are physically able to.
Charity is also very important in Islam and is another pillar of Islam known as Zakat. We should increase our charity preferably during the beginning of Ramadan to feed the poor.
Another part of Ramadan is to strengthen your faith (Shahada, another pillar of Islam) in Islam and strengthen your relationship to Allah with extra prayers (salah, another pillar of Islam).
Nightly prayers also known as Tarawih is another part of Ramadan, and we take part in this after Iftar. It’s not compulsory but it was performed by our Prophet Muhammad PBUH consistently.
Sha’ban is the month before Ramadan, the perfect time to start fasting those extra fasts that you have missed out from the previous Ramadan. This will help you prepare and gain control of your actions. Also if you are catching up with your missed fasts then you should also choose to fast during the 13th, 14th & 15th day of every month, known as “The White Days”.
What do you eat during suhoor? It’s recommended to keep it light and healthy. Also try not to over do it and drink too much water in the one go, drink water gradually. For sehri one Weetabix was always enough for me but the older I’ve become that’s all started to change.
A good source of fruit and vegetables can help with thurst throughout the day. Bread, rice, potatoes and whole grain breads are all high in complex carbohydrates which is great to include them in your meal for sehri.
It’s always good if you break your fast with dates. Dates are packed with natural sugars and will help relieve any headaches and give you a good burst of energy. Drink plenty of water, fresh juice or milk, but drink a good few glasses gradually. This will help with dehydration and drinking it gradually will prevent you feeling bloated. Try stay away from fatty fried foods, these tend to fill you up quickly and you end up not consuming enough nutrients. Choose good carbs, seeds, nuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, kidney beans, whole fruit (apple, banana, kiwi, strawberries etc), whole grains (brown rice, oats etc) and lots and lots of vegetables. Make sure to also have a good source of lean protein in your diet, fish, eggs, chicken breast, greek yoghurt, ground beef.
During Ramadan our aim is to repent and strengthening our faith. So what is the plan? I’ve set myself some goals, here are a list of them below.
- Keep all fasts
- Read all namaz
- Memorise a surat each day during Ramadan
- Finish the Quran twice this month
- Give as much charity as possible (money, food banks, clothes etc)
Let me know what your plans are for Ramadan, what are your goals and if this helped in any way.
Sincerely Sophs x