Ramadan is one of the most sacred traditions of our Muslim brothers and sisters. It is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar to foster the virtues of self-control, patience, and humility.
For this month-long religious tradition, Muslims from all over the world are united in sacrifice through faith and fasting, according to a report from the blog site Quran Reading.
According to the Muslim belief, during Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, the gates of hell are sealed while the entrance to paradise is opened.
To prepare for the holy month, Muslims bathe and pray at 6:00 p.m. to cleanse the soul the day before Ramadan starts. They also pray thrice while bathing.
When Ramadan officially starts, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. They are also not allowed to engage in worldly pleasures such as smoking, drinking liquor and sexual intercourse as commanded by Allah in verse 2:187 in the holy Quran
Fasting is then broken by sunset and Muslims go home for iftar (to eat after sunset) with family.
They then go to the mosque around 7:00 pm for isha (prayer) and practice four rakaats (parts).
Around 2:00 to 3:00 a.m., Muslims wake up for sahur (to eat before sunrise) before starting another day of fasting. It’s important for our Muslim brethren to follow Ramadan for this holy month reflects their spirituality and faith to Allah who forgives their sins.
Quran Reading has listed what should be observed and avoided during the holy month of Ramadan:
(1) Abstain from all forbidden things
(2) Pray sincerely
(3) Recite the Quran and follow its teachings
(4) Offer Tawareeh prayers
(5) Give alms to the poor
(6) Be patient and have strong self-control
(1) Eating food and drinking any kind of liquid during fasting time
(2) Losing temper
(3) Being rude, impolite or inconsiderate
(4) Use of foul words
(6) Lying or any form of trickery
(7) Arguing, fighting or shouting
(8) Engaging in sexual activities
Islam understands that there are certain conditions where Muslims cannot fast. Therefore, Allah permits eligible Muslims to skip fasting provided that they re-fast for the missed days.
Quran Reading lists the following as exceptions to skip fasting:
(1) For travelers who journey long distances and will need the nourishment from food and water;
(2) For the sick who are afflicted with diseases or are under medication;
(3) For the elderly whose bodies are too weak for fasting;
(4) For women who currently have their menstruation cycle or are going through post-natal bleeding stage;
(5) For women who are expecting a child or are pregnant, and
(6) For the mentally ill.
Meanwhile, the following are a few tips to stay healthy during Ramadan which causes a lot of changes in a person’s body due to the strain of fasting:
(1) Consume slow digesting foods such as oat, wheat and barley.
(2) Eat fibers like fruits and vegetables and high-energy food such as almonds and bananas.
(3) Increase water intake prior to fasting to avoid dehydration.
(4) Steer clear from fried and high-cholesterol food such as sweets, junk food and potatoes.
(5) Do not overeat during iftar.