Ramadan is an opportunity for personal and spiritual growth. Make sure you take advantage while you can.
Ramadan is a time where Muslims all over the world refrain from food, drink, and physical relations during daylight hours. While most people tend to focus on the food aspect of Ramadan, this holy month is a great opportunity for Muslims to transcend animalistic needs and instincts and focus on spiritual growth.
I know I tend to gain weight in general (even during Ramadan), so I will make sure this year to keep my body healthy so that I can focus on my worship versus slaving away in the kitchen. We all know that Ramadan is not easy, but here are some of my own tried and true tips to ensure you have a productive Ramadan this year too!
Avoid Negative People
We all have toxic people in our lives. They are the people who are naysayers, make fun of your goals, or just plain don’t like you. Well, try to avoid those types of people this Ramadan. Not only will it make you happier, there is an added bonus of avoiding the huge sin of backbiting. It will also help you hunker down and focus on achieving your goals for Ramadan too.
Eat Suhoor (pre fasting meal before dawn)
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Researchers have shown that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. Can you imagine the benefits of eating a nice balanced suhoor before you embark on your fast? I plan to alternate between oatmeal plus fruit with egg whites and veggies. Eating suhoor ensures you will have the energy to the face the day of fasting and free your mind to reflect on deeper thoughts.
Have a Plan
While these tips are generally helpful, we should all have specific goals in mind for Ramadan. Is it to complete the Quran? Pray every night of tarawih at the masjid? Whatever your goal may be, make sure to map out a plan of success. For example, if you want to complete the Quran, break up the Quran in blocks each day to read. If you want to be at the masjid every night, make sure you plan out your meals and arrange for things in your home to be taken care of. Whatever your plan is, ask for help so that you can reach your Ramadan goals inshallah.
Avoid Idle Talk and Engage in Dhikr
When I am fasting, I find it easier to avoid the typical chit chat. I am still friendly, but avoiding unnecessary conversations has kept me from being distracted from what I really wanted to accomplish during Ramadan. Another bonus is that I have found that I am super focused on my work at the office and that leads to efficiency which is a win win. Doing dhikr also keeps remembrance of Allah close at hand too.
Go Easy on Iftar (post fast meal)
While its normal to want to binge eat after you break your fast, try to avoid over indulging. While traditional foods for breaking fast are deep fried, just eat a few dates and drink some milk. This way you can pray without having a bloated belly! After that, you can try some light protein with a few veggies. That way, you get healthy nutrients and you can avoid losing lean muscle mass.
I hope these tips help you have a productive Ramadan inshallah. From my family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Ramadan!