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Summer fasts

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 18th July 2012 15:08

From an email:

Some great tips we can benefit from InshaAllah.

Ramdhaan: Are you Physically Prepared?

Fasting is a great act of worship, yet sometimes we neglect to physically prepare which leads us to become physically weak thus undermining other acts of worship that can be achieved during the night & day.

Not only is eating wisely tricky, so is fasting wisely. Here are some strategies that have been compiled by people of extensive medical background as to make the fast less strenuous upon our bodies so that we may utilise our energy to the maximum in devotion to Allah, the Most Exalted.

Lots of Water: Most healthy adults can survive well over a month without eating. Most of the unpleasantness in ones breath associated with a fast does not come from lack of food, but rather, from lack of fluid. The solution therefore is to super-hydrate beforehand. Drink a great deal the prior evening, approximately 2.5 litres. Before the fast is over, you will be glad you did it.

Food: Though you should drink a lot before a fast, do not stuff yourself with food. Eat a normal meal but emphasize carbohydrates like potato/pasta or rice dishes, not huge amount of proteins or fats. Carbohydrates bond with water which your body can “drink” when it needs to during the fast. Proteins do not. Most of the dramatic but limited weight loss that people on high protein diets experience is, lost water that protein molecules cannot hold onto or bring into your system, water that you want around during a fast. Some people seem to think that they can “make up for” not eating by having a big pre-dawn meal. This is a very bad idea, and actually makes it harder to fast. Have you ever noticed how you feel particularly hungry the morning after a large meal? Eat a normal sized meal. Keep in mind the “hunger” that you feel at meal times is simply a result of your body preparing itself to receive food at the expected time. If you always eat lunch at precisely 12:30 and dinner at precisely 6pm, your body will start preparing to digest at those times. That is what we think of as “hunger.” If you vary your meal schedule & decrease at least 1 meal before the commencement of Ramadhaan, you will find that this eases your feelings of hunger at meal times.

After the fast, be careful not to over eat! Since the body protects itself from starvation when you are not eating, by slowing down the rate at which it burns food, the calories you take on right after a fast will stay with you a lot longer than those acquired when your metabolism is once again functioning at full speed. So prepare yourself for fasting, both physically and spiritually.

Reduce coffee/tea: The nausea and headaches that many people report during a fast have nothing to do either with food or drink. They are usually the result of caffeine/nicotine withdrawal. If you are a heavy coffee/tea or cola drinker, start tapering off a week or so before the fast.

Nuts and Raisins: Nuts and raisins are foods that enhance levels of energy. In addition, some of the scholars have mentioned that they also increase the memory, as does honey and chewing certain kinds of gum resin. Imaam al-Zuhri said: “You should eat honey because it is good for the memory.” He also said: “Whoever wants to memorize hadeeth should eat raisins.” Imam Ibraaheem said, “You should chew resin gum, because it gives energy to the heart and gets rid of forgetfulness.” (From al-Jaami’ by al-Khateeb, 2/394-397). As they also mentioned, too much acidic food is one of the causes of laziness and weak memory.

A highly recommended advice by a Muslim homeopath, 1 table spoon of crushed poppy seeds with 1 table spoon of crushed almonds mixed in a glass of milk at the pre-dawn meal, is sure to give you a great deal of slow releasing energy! Be sure to have it, even if it means that this is the only thing that you have! Try this once & you will be sure never to miss it!

And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death). (Al-Hijr 15:99)

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 18th July 2012 15:11
Some Common Mistakes in Ramadhaan



Taking Ramadhaan as a ritual

For many of us Ramadhaan has lost its spirituality and has become more of a ritual ( Stereotyped behaviour) than a form of Ibaadah. We fast from morning to night like a zombie (living dead)just because everyone around us is fasting too. We forget that its a time to purify our hearts and our souls from all evil. We forget to make Dua, forget to beseech Allah to forgive us and ask Him to save us from the Fire. Sure we stay away from food and drink but that's about all ?




Too much stress on food and drink

For some people, the entire month of Ramadhaan revolves around food. They spend the ENTIRE day planning, cooking, shopping and thinking about only food, instead of concentrating on Salaah, Quraan and other acts of worship. All they can think of is FOOD so much so that they turn the month of 'fasting' into the month of 'feasting'.




Spending all day cooking

Some of the sisters (either by their own choice or forced by their husbands) are cooking ALL day and ALL night, so that by the end of the day, they are too tired to even pray Ishaa, let alone pray Taraweeh or Tahajjud or even read Quraan. This is the month of mercy and forgiveness. So turn off that stove and turn on your Imaan!




Eating too much

Some people stuff themselves at Suhoor (Sehree) until they are ready to burst, because they think this is the way to not feel hungry during the day and some people eat at Iftaar, like there is no tomorrow, trying to 'make up for the food missed.' However, this is completely against the Sunnah. Moderation is the key to everything. The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach; for the son of Adam a few mouthfuls are sufficient to keep his back straight. If you must fill it, then one-third for food, one-third for drink and one-third for air." (Tirmidhi, Ibn Maajah. saheeh by al-Albaani).

Too much food distracts a person from many deeds of obedience and worship, makes him lazy and also makes the heart heedless.




Sleeping all day

Some people spend their entire day (or a major part of it) 'sleeping away their fast'. Is this what is really required of us during this noble month? These people also are missing the purpose of fasting and are slaves to their desires of comfort and ease. They cannot 'bear' to be awake and face a little hunger or exert a little self-control. For a fasting person to spend most of the day asleep is nothing but, negligence on his part.




Wasting time

The month of Ramadhaan is a precious, It is so much precious so that Allah calls this month "Ayyamum Ma'doodaat" (A fixed number of days). Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over. We should try and spend every moment possible in the worship of Allah so that we can make the most of this blessing. However, there are some of us who waste away their day playing video games, or worse still, watching TV, movies or even listening to music. Subhaan Allah! Trying to obey Allah by DISOBEYING him!




Fasting but not giving up evil

Some of us fast but do not give up lying, cursing, fighting, backbiting, etc. and some of us fast but do not give up cheating, stealing, dealing in haraam, buying lotto tickets, selling alcohol, fornication, etc. and all kinds of impermissible things without realizing that the purpose of fasting is to not stay away from food and drink; rather the aim behind it is to fear Allah.

"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious)" [al-Baqarah 2:183] The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it, and ignorance, Allah has no need of him giving up his food and drink." (Bukhaari)




Smoking

Smoking is forbidden in Islam whether during Ramadhaan or outside of it, as it is one of al-Khabaa'ith (evil things). And this includes ALL kinds of 'smoking material' eg.cigars, cigarettes, pipes,'Sheesha', hookah etc."he allows them as lawful At Tayyibaat (all good and lawful things), and prohibits them as unlawful Al Khabaa'ith (all evil and unlawful things) [al-A'raaf :157]

It is harmful, not only to the one smoking, but also to the ones around him.It is also a means of wasting ones wealth.
The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "There should be no harming or reciprocating harm." This is especially true during fasting and it invalidates the fast.(Fatwa -Ibn 'Uthaymeen)




Skipping Suhoor (Sehree)

The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Eat suhoor for in suhoor there is blessing."(Bukhaari, Muslim). And he (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "The thing that differentiates between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is eating suhoor." (Muslim)




Not fasting if they missed Suhoor ( Sehree)

Some people are too scared to fast if they miss Suhoor. However, this is a kind of cowardice and love of ease. What is the big deal if you missed a few morsels of food? It's not like you will die. Remember, obedience to Allah overcomes everything.




Eating continuously until the time for Maghrib is up

Some people put so much food in their plates when breaking their fast and continue eating, enjoying dessert, drinking tea, etc., until they miss Maghrib. That is obviously not right. The Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) was that once he broke his fast with some dates, then he would hasten to the prayer. Once you are done with the prayer, you can always go back and eat some more if you wish.




Missing the golden chance of having your Dua accepted


The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast. The Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Three prayers are not rejected: the prayer of a father, the prayer of a fasting person, and the prayer of a traveler." (al-Bayhaqi, saheeh by al-Albaani).

Instead of sitting down and making Dua at this precious time, some people forego this beautiful chance, and are too busy frying samosas, talking, setting the food, filling their plates and glasses, etc. Think about it....Is food more important than the chance to have your sins forgiven or the fulfillment of your Duas.




Fasting but not praying

The fasting of one who does not pray WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. This is because not praying constitutes kufr
as the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer." (Muslim) In fact, NONE of his good deeds will be accepted; rather, they are all annulled.

"Whoever does not pray 'Asr, his good deeds will be annulled." (Bukhaari)




Not fasting because of exams or work

Exams or work is NOT one of the excuses allowed by the Shariah to not fast. You can do your studying and revision at night if it is too hard to do that during the day. Also remember that pleasing and obeying Allah is much more important than 'good grades'. Besides, if you will fulfil your obligation to fast, even if you have to study, Allah will make it easy for you and help you in everything you do."Whosoever fears Allah, He will appoint for him a way out and provide for him from where he does not expect, Allah is Sufficient for whosoever puts his trust in Him." (Surah at-Talaaq 2-3)




Mixing fasting and dieting

DO NOT make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet. That is one of the biggest mistakes some of us make (esp. sisters). Fasting is an act of worship and can only be for the sake of Allah alone. Otherwise, mixing it with the intention of dieting may become a form of (minor) Shirk.





Praying ONLY on the night of the 27th

Some people pray ONLY on the 27th to seek Lailat ul-Qadr, neglecting all other odd nights, although the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) said: "Seek Lailat ul-Qadr among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadhaan." (Bukhaari, Muslim).
only 27th?





Wasting the last part of Ramadhaan preparing for Eid

Some people waste the entire last 10 days of Ramadhaan preparing for Eid, shopping and frequenting malls, etc. neglecting Ibadah and Lailatul Qadr. although, the Prophet (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) used to strive the hardest during the last ten days of Ramadhaan in worship(Ahmad, Muslim) and not in shopping. Buy whatever you need for Eid before Ramadhaan so that you can utilize the time in Ramadhaan to the max.Aa'ishah (RA) said: "When the (last) ten nights began, the Messenger of Allah (Sal Allahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam)) would tighten his waist-wrapper (i.e., strive hard in worship or refrain from intimacy with his wives), stay awake at night and wake his family." (Bukhaari and Muslim).


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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 21st July 2012 01:43
I've just changed the title to help us help others with their experience of ramadhan in summer. Especially the young ones.

Please share your experience with us so that we may improve our month and help our children understand and get use to fasting in the summer too.

Jazakallahu khair.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 21st July 2012 02:04
Jazakallah for this extremely important topic. As a general rule, I have found the following to be of utmost importance especially during the summer fasts.

"Fasting Wisely" could not have been put better above. I have been saying this to many before the month started. A good time table is the most healthy and meaningful approach for this testing Ramadhan summer period.

I know of a few people who don't fast because they have to work from 6am and they think they will die (not my words).

Muslims have put work and earning above anything else with the excuse of providing for family. Many Muslims have no faith in Rizq - Allah is Ar-Razzaaq yet we are pushing the lord aside taking it upon ourselves to work our socks of for a few pennies. No effort is made by Muslims to take the month off. They give Christmas holidays, holidays for rabbits and other insignificant holidays but when it comes to Ramadhan, hardly anyone takes a stand that it (the month) comes before work.

This at the end all comes down to a "time table" - adjust it in a way that'll enable you to make most of these 29/30 days out of 365.

Some might read this and think, "what does he know" - just answer me one thing, can you honestly say your reason is more important than the Fardh fasts?
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 21st July 2012 04:27
Loving this topic!

What annoys me most is when people complain of their hunger. Just for one month out of the entire year we fast for allah swt to remember those who are less fortunate than us and we cant even do that without complaining. and the other thing that gets on my nerves is when people try and find little excuses not to fast. How unfortunate :/
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 21st July 2012 13:15
Jazakallahu khair.

The Muslim sales man that I had mentioned in the Apple store was giving me the same rubbish that it's too long and that he will try a couple of days. He really got on my nerves. He started telling not to think he was a bad Muslim, he said he does believe but needed that little assurance that this was the right thing, i.e. Islam. Then he started talking nonsense, one year I fast and the next I don't, I keep it balanced. SubhanAllah. What a mentality.
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 21st July 2012 13:20
I get asked what I do to keep the hunger away. I tell people, especially young ones that I recite the Quran for long hours, that fills me up. I have even proven it to them by them seeing me read the Quran and do what one would normally do after eating, burp.

SubhanAllah, so much nutrition in the Quran.

Another thing to do us to make use of the miswak, it quenches the first and kills the hunger.
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 21st July 2012 16:33
Wow,amazing tips these tips have really benificial. Jazakallah brother for sharing out the email you had received!
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 21st July 2012 23:22
That's very true brother abu muhammad Masha allah. Another thing that I find helps Is durood shar3ef.
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 21st July 2012 23:43
Spiritual Detox:
1.Keep free from eating high-calorie flesh (gossip) of others no matter how juicy.
2.Switch to fat free truths.
3.Avoid artificial tempers.
4.Do voice therapy by reciting the Qur'an.
5.Purify your eyes by crying in Dua.
6.Do hand reflexology on tasbeehs.
7.Brighten your smile by using a miswaak.
8.Take the weight off your shoulders by paying your Zakaat.
9.Shrug of those extra kilos of sins by repenting.

May Allah bless us all, insha Allah. Allahumma Ameen.
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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd July 2012 01:33
Wow, mashaAllah. Great stuff.

My son completed his first summer fast, alhumdulillah.


Taraweeh finished 12:15am we got home at about 12:30am and we had 30 minutes left to do sehri (our sehri time was ending at 1:06am). 20 hours later we did Iftar. It was a tuff one for him but alhumdulillah he also experienced what he called a miracle, the full stomach after reciting the Quran and burping.

It was tuff for him and he was too tired for taraweeh.

It was the first time he heard something different from me. Whilst we were eating I told him "Mohammed, don't finish your food".

It is important not to over eat (not just in ramadhan) otherwise you may feel sick. Khair, I think he found it difficult and decided only to fast towards the end when the fasts are shorter.

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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 22nd July 2012 14:40
@brother Abu- very well mentioned, it is important not to over eat because it can make you Feel sick, also mashallah to Mohammed for completing his first summer fast also @ sister taqwah jazakallah for sharing those 9 points with us they were also beneficial!
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd July 2012 01:15
Masha Allah mohammed! may Allah swt reward you! Allah knows if you found it hard and he will insha allah reward you accordingly. :)

Barakillahu feeh sister! Reminder to myself first and foremost Insha allah.
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd July 2012 15:03
If You spend a lot of dedication into your fast even though you found it hard allah will reward you loads inshallah, also a another point to mention that, during your fast, you found it really hard to continue but however in the remeberance of allah you carried on also allah would give you many many rewards for just one simple fast,
A fast is small on the outside but big inside! By that i mean, Fair enough a fast is from dawn to dusk so for e.g 20 hours but during those 20 hours alot of zikr, quran, good deeds, salaah etc can be performed and you can get over 1000 big rewards!
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd July 2012 16:10

I guess Haleem is one of the best things to have at Sehir times in this Ramadhaan because its slow release food.

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