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Health Guidelines for Ramadhaan

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We are once again on the threshold of Ramadhaan – a month that is well known for its spiritual benefits. However, the act of fasting is replete with health benefits as well. Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) narrates that Rasulullah said, “Wage jihaad and earn booty, fast and acquire health, and travel and earn wealth.” (Majma‘uz Zawaaid #5070)

From this hadeeth, we learn that fasting enhances one’s health. Furthermore, it is a well known fact among the Hakeems (physicians) that overeating leads to sicknesses, and fasting is a remedy for many illnesses. Haarith bin Kaldah, the physician of the Arabs, was once asked, “What is the best medicine?” He replied, “Necessity i.e. hunger”. Fasting is a way of giving the body time to reorganize itself and serves as an accepted treatment in many therapies.

Generally speaking, fasting facilitates the elimination of toxins from the body and is also an antidote to addictive behaviours. Abstinence from food and highly emotive activities gives the body a chance to refocus and re-channel its energies to those areas which are generally neglected. Excess of food also dulls the senses and makes one lazy. We thus see that remaining hungry plays an important role in our physical wellbeing.

Word of Caution:

The following points should be borne in mind:

1. If a person is suffering from certain illnesses such as ulcers, etc., he should consult a Hakeem (physician) before fasting.

2. Ensure that your fasting is done for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala and not for the medical benefits.

Guidelines for the Month of Ramadhaan:

· Eat sehri as late as possible so that one has sufficient strength to manage throughout the day.

· Ensure that sufficient water is taken (not other liquids) at sehri and iftaar to supplement the body and assist it in eliminating toxins.

· Do not sleep immediately after sehri. Wait for at least thirty minutes.

· Do not over exert yourself during the day.

· Take a fifteen minute nap in the afternoon.

· Always try to break the fast with dates as they are highly nutritional, and are thus known as ‘The Bread of the Sahara’. The sugar in dates is ready for immediate absorption. It aids the body in recovering from the day’s fast.

· Do not break the fast with anything cold (i.e. directly from the fridge) as this will harm the stomach. After breaking the fast, wait for at least twenty minutes before having something cold.

· Do not overeat at the time of iftaar. A light meal is best.

· Do not eat another meal after Taraaweeh. If something is to be eaten, eat a light snack such as fruit. However, do not sleep immediately thereafter. Wait for at least thirty minutes before sleeping. 

Adapted and summarized from “Ramadhaan and Your Health” by Moulana Hakeem Jalil Muhammad Pandor (An Nasihah)