Tips On A Productive Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars within the Islam religion. It is a global event that Muslims all celebrate at the same time during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This spiritual event has many benefits for its observants and is seen as a devotion to God by the huge sacrifices Muslim people must make during this special month.
The event starts on the sighting of the first crescent moon and lasts for twenty-nine to thirty days. It is a time when Muslim people must not eat or drink or engage in sexual activities from dawn until sunset. Added to this, they cannot smoke, or engage in any sinful behavior.
Ramadan is obligatory for all Islam followers with an exception to pre-pubescent children and the elderly. People with pre-existing conditions are also advised to not fast as it can have a negative affect on their health. Other people that could be exempted from partaking in the fast would have to be menstruating, pregnant, breastfeeding, or traveling.
The fast starts at dawn every day for the month and ends at sunset. Before dawn, Muslim people have the Suhoor, this is the breakfast meal they have before the sun comes up and the day of fasting begins. Iftar is the meal that breaks the fast, this is done by eating dates first, saying the fourth of the five daily prayers and then eating a full meal.
Saying prayers at night and reciting the Qu’ran is part of the traditional process of Ramadan, the followers of Islam are encouraged and required to read the whole Qu’ran over the course of the month – making it one section a night.
Another pillar of Islam that is done during the month of Ramadan, is the percentage of money that Muslim people must give to the poor.
Spiritual and Personal Growth During Ramadan:
Fasting can enhance your spiritual and personal growth as a person. By abstaining from worldly things, you are cleansing your mind and heart by shifting the focus on God and worship.
Ramadan teaches people to be more considerate, compassionate and show more empathy to other people. Not eating or drinking reminds us of the less fortunate and to be mindful of those people who go longer periods being hungry.
This teaches us to be grateful for all that we have, fasting also teaches one to not be selfish as we are very fortunate to have all that we have. It also helps us to be aware of God and thus to extend a more caring version of yourself and to share often as you can during the day. Fasting also teaches patience as you must wait to break your fast according to the rules of Ramadan.
Fasting teaches us to have physical control as well having self-control. The concept is that by abstaining from your basic needs, you will turn to God in your time of need, and it will bring you much closer to him.
Not eating for a long period of time also serves as a reminder of how much we need to have food otherwise we will die and that teaches us to be more appreciative of the ability we must meet our needs to keep living our lives.
Tips on Having a Productive Ramadan:
Changing your lifestyle to accommodate the month of Ramadan can have some negative effects on you. Being deprived of your usual caffeine fix, not getting your usual number of hours in when sleeping or cutting your smoking can make it difficult to get through the day. Here are a few tips you can use during the month of Ramadan to achieve a productive Ramadan.
Adjust your sleeping hours- Go to bed earlier or have your pre-dawn meal early and then go back to sleep. If you can, try to squeeze in naps.
Plan your day- Having your day planned out and organized can help you ease into performing tasks and helps keep track of what has been done or what needs your attention. Also set your goals that you would like to achieve during Ramadan.
Eat healthy- It is important to still have a balanced diet even though you are fasting. Eating foods that are high in fibre will keep you fuller for a long time and help with keeping you energized throughout the day.
Drink plenty water- Staying hydrated helps keep the headaches at bay. Avoiding salty foods, as well as spicy foods that give you the urge to drink water. Drinking fresh juices always helps to stay hydrated.
Don’t overeat on Iftar- Instead of trying to squeeze in all the foods that you couldn’t eat while fasting, eat lighter meals so that they can digest easily so that you don’t feel bloated and unable to sleep.
Take breaks- Go on walks or take breaks during the day to help shift your focus and help you concentrate as you might start feeling sleepy or have a hard time holding attention.
Exercise- This will help boost your energy levels.
Try to also have pure thoughts, give more to the charities, show kindness and be patient to the people around you during the fasting period.