Ramadan is a month of fasting, where a Muslim goes without food or drink from dawn to sunset, repeated everyday for 29 or 30 days, depending upon the Lunar Calendar. After having a pre-dawn breakfast to sustain themselves during the day, Muslims then fast till sunset.
An Iftar is the meal taken by Muslims after sunset during this month of Ramadan. The traditional meal to break fast is by following the example of the Prophet Muhammad (s), which consisted of dates and water. After the iftar, a lavish meal is prepared, with special traditional foods depending on cultural background and it is significant to share this meal with family members and loved ones.
The reason why Muslims fast is primarily because it is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is decreed by God for Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan, as a devotion and love for God.
Ramadan also inspires empathy for those who are suffering in extreme poverty with little or no food. It is this love of God, this obedience, why millions of Muslims around the world have continued this act of worship for hundreds of years.
During Ramadan, there are physical, social, emotional, psychological and spiritual components that interplay in proving that this experience is of mental and physical benefit. There is a great wisdom in overcoming struggle and strengthening your willpower.
Those who are excused from fasting include women who are pregnant or menstruating, anyone who is sick, the elderly and children.
Ramadan is scientifically proven to provide great physical and mental benefit and does not jeopardise a person’s health. If a person’s health or wellbeing is in danger, they are permitted to break their fast.
The DOS and DONT’S of Fasting.
Fasting does not just involve being without food or drink, but it is also a time for Muslims to concentrate on their own spirituality and practice self-reflection.
The concept of self-control, discipline and patience are key to establishing the basics of behaviour during Ramadan and to continue these improvements post Ramadan.
Praying all five daily prayers on time
Study and learn Islamic knowledge
Recite and understand the Holy Quran
Donate to charity and help the poor
Treat others with forgiveness and love.
No eating food or drink whilst fasting
No arguing and fighting
No swearing, lying or backbiting
No Wastage of Time on Technology