Fasting New Muslims

Ramadan Checklist: Get on the Right Track

Why are we fasting? What is the true purpose of fasting? And what is the wisdom behind this act of worship? What is intended to teach us? And how is it supposed to transform our life?

Let’s ponder on God’s words:

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn taqwa (God-consciousness). (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

So, how could we do this; attain taqwa through our fasting?

How could we make use of the Holy Month to transform our whole life, be better individuals, get closer to God, etc?

What exactly should we do, focus on? How to ascend gradually in our worship over the whole month?

Follow these very productive, practical tips….


Fasting New Muslims

Ramadan Daily: Extra Good Deeds

Ramadan is a very special and precious quest, make use of its limited presence while the doors of paradise are swung open, and the doors of hell-fire are shut.

Through the 30 days of fasting increase good deeds and acts of worship as possible as you can, knock earnestly on the doors of God’s mercy, get closer and closer to Him. But, how?

Here are some tips to help you reach these goals gradually…


Fasting New Muslims

Ramadan Daily: Gaining Knowledge

Every day of our live should be a further step towards God, and Ramadan is the very time to take such steps and to implement real change in our life.

So, let’s make use of the limited presence of such precious guest, while the doors of paradise are swung open, and the doors of hell-fire are shut.

During the Holy Month of fasting we will discuss valuable issues and practices related to Ramadan, and how to make use of the Holy Month through implementing certain good deeds, avoiding other tricky and sinful ones.

Through the 30 days of fasting we should increase good deeds and acts of worship as possible as we can, knock earnestly on the doors of God’s mercy, truly feel His closeness.


Fasting New Muslims

Ramadan Daily: Backbiting

What is backbiting in Islam? How much are you aware of such an evil deed, and its consequences? What does God say about it?

God says:

O you who believe! Shun much suspicion. Verily! Some suspicion is a crime. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting)! And keep your duty (towards Allah). Verily! Allah is Relenting, Merciful. (Al-Hujurat 49:12)

So, how can we stop backbiting?


Fasting New Muslims

Ramadan Daily: Social Media

Based on what we want to actually achieve in Ramadan and how productive we want to be, we direct our efforts towards what puts us on the right track.
So what things are you concerned with in Ramadan? Where do you put your efforts? And why; what do you want to achieve?


Fasting New Muslims

Worship in Islam: True Purpose and Motives


What does make a Muslim say their prayers at places where there is no one to ask them to offer them or even to see them offering them?  Isn’t it so because of their belief that God is ever looking at you?  What does make them leave their important business and other occupations and rush towards the mosque for Prayers?

What does make them terminate your sweet sleep in the early hours of the morning, go to the mosque in the heat of the noon, and  leave their evening entertainments for the sake of prayers?

Is it anything other than sense of duty; their realization that they must fulfill your responsibility to the Lord, come what may?  And why are they afraid of any mistake in prayer?

Congregational prayer arouses in Muslims the sense of their collective unity and fosters among them national fraternity.

Because their heart is filled with the fear of God and they know that they have to appear before Him on the Day of Judgment and give an account of their entire life.

Now look!  Can there be a better course of moral and spiritual training than Prayer?  It is this training which makes a man a perfect Muslim.  It reminds him of his covenant with God, refreshes his faith in Him, and keeps the belief in the Day of Judgment alive and ever present before his mind’s eye.  It makes him follow the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) and trains him in the observance of his duties.

This is indeed a strict training for conforming one’s practice to one’s ideals.  Obviously if a man’s consciousness of his duties towards his Creator is so acute that he prizes it above all worldly gains and keeps refreshing it through prayers, he would certainly not be inviting the displeasure of God that he all along has striven to avoid.

He will abide by the law of God in the entire gamut of life in the same way as he follows it in the five prayers every day.  This man can be relied upon in other fields of activity as well, for if the shadows of sin or deceit approach him, he will try to avoid them for fear of the Lord that would be ever present in his heart.  And if even after such a vital training a man misbehaves himself in other fields of life and disobeys the law of God, it can only be because of some intrinsic depravity of his self.

Then again, a Muslim should say their prayers in congregation and especially so the Friday Prayer.  This creates among the Muslims a bond of love and mutual understanding.  This arouses in them the sense of their collective unity and fosters among them national fraternity.  All of them say their prayers in one congregation and this inculcates in them a deep feeling of brotherhood.

Prayers are also a symbol of equality, for the poor and the rich, the low and the high, the rulers and the ruled, the educated and the unlettered, the black and the white all stand in one row and prostrate before their Lord.  Prayers also inculcate in Muslims a strong sense of discipline and obedience to the elected leader.

In short, prayers train them in all those virtues that make possible the development of a rich individual and collective life.

These are a few of the myriad of benefits Muslims derive from the daily Prayers.  If we refuse to avail ourselves of them we, and only we, are the losers.

If you see that some Muslims shirk the prayers, this can only mean one of two things: Either they do not recognize Prayers as our duty or they recognize them.  In the first case, their claim to faith shall be a shameless lie, for if they refuse to take orders from Allah they no longer acknowledge His authority.

In the second case, if they recognize Allah’s authority and still flout His commands, then they are the most unreliable of creatures that ever trod the earth.  For if they can do this to the highest authority in the universe, what guarantee is there that they shall not do the same in their dealings with other human beings?  And if duplicity overwhelms a society, what a hell of discord it is bound to become!


What the prayers seek to serve five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadan (ninth month of the lunar year) does once a year.  During this period from dawn to dusk, Muslims eat not a grain of food nor drink a drop of water, no matter how delicious the dish or how hungry or thirsty they feel.  What is it that makes them voluntarily undergo such rigors?  It is nothing but faith in God and the fear of Him and of the Day of Judgment.

Each and every moment during the fast, Muslims suppress their passions and desires, and proclaim by their doing so the supremacy of the Law of God.  This consciousness of duty and the spirit of patience that incessant fasting for full one month inculcates in Muslims help them to strengthen their faith.


fasting has an immense impact on society, for all Muslims, irrespective of their status, must observe fasting during the same month.

Rigor and discipline during this month bring us face to face with the realities of life, and help them make their life during the rest of the year a life of true subservience to His will.

From yet another point of view, fasting has an immense impact on society, for all Muslims, irrespective of their status, must observe fasting during the same month.  This brings to prominence the essential equality of men, and thus goes a long way towards creating in them sentiments of love and brotherhood.

During Ramadan evil conceals itself while good comes to the fore, and the whole atmosphere is filled with piety and purity.  This discipline has been imposed on Muslims to their own advantage.  Those who do not fulfill this cannot be relied upon in the discharge of their duties.

But the worst are those who, during this holy month, do not hesitate to eat or drink in public.  They are the people who by their conduct show that they care not a trifle for the commands of Allah, in Whom they profess their belief as their Creator and Sustainer.

Not only this, they also show that they are not loyal members of the Muslim community; rather, they have nothing to do with it.  It is evident that in so far as obedience to law and regard for a trust reposed in them goes, only the worst could be expected of such hypocrites.


Fasting New Muslims

Surviving Ramadan in the West: My Thirty-Day Journey

By Shabana Diouri

muslim woman praying

Plan the day around prayer times, especially Fajr and Maghrib, and setting multiple alarms accordingly.

As a young Muslim woman born and bred in the West, Shabana Diouri soon came to realize that her ideals of the perfect Islamic lifestyle could sometimes be challenged by the demands of British life.

My experience of the basic foundations of Islam was quite different from the way experiences were portrayed in the Islamic books I had read. This was particularly the case for fasting during the month of Ramadan.

More often than not, rather than enjoying the Ramadan experience of iftars (meals to break the fast after sunset) with the whole family gathered around the kitchen table, iftars were instead opened with friends, fellow students, or work colleagues outside the home.

I would give anything to have had that ideal scenario of the traditional family focused Ramadan with three dates in each of our hands, asking each other whether the fast was now open. But in reality it was just simply not possible or practical to achieve this, especially during weekdays.

Life gets busy. We have to revise for exams. We must meet work deadlines. We need to be in so many different places at specific times in hectic life schedules. Gathering our siblings, and in many cases our parents too, everyday for a month at a specified time for iftar tends to get more and more difficult especially when iftar happens early in the winter months.

Therefore, being British Muslim can eventually compel us to go in search of a life-faith balance that can make us feel like we are progressing on both this life and hereafter bases.

Instead of feeling short-changed, I found it best to make the most of these special times. I utilized various ways to make the most of the barakah (blessings) that could be earned in these blessed four weeks.

One of the most effective ways to balance Ramadan with a British lifestyle was being well prepared and super organized

Plan in Advance

Firstly, I found it useful to plan in advance exactly where and with who I would be breaking the fast. I did this every day, a quick text or phone call in the morning would suffice. I would come into work early so that I could then leave early.

Sometimes there would be a mad dash home to open it with family members, or I would arrange to go to a childhood friend’s house, or have a restaurant meal with fellow colleagues if I was studying or working. I just felt it was very important to have company at iftar, even if it wasn’t always with family.

Carry Maghrib Essentials

Secondly, I always carried a packet of dates and a bottle of water with me just in case maghrib (sunset) time came whilst I was in transit to where I would be having my meal, or if I was running late – at least I would open my fast on time.

I would also carry a pocket size Qur’an and mini prayer mat to keep up with my prayers and Qur’an connection as Ramadan is the month of Qur’an, but now we can also download apps to our phones for adhan (call to prayer) reminders and the Qur’an with translation or tafseer (exegesis).

I would use my travelling time on the tube or bus to fit in this dhikr (remembrance of Allah), especially when the journey would normally take an hour.

Narrated Salman ibn `Amir that The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; but if he cannot get any, then (he should break his fast) with water, for water is purifying.” (Abu Dawud)

Give Quietly and Loudly

Thirdly, I would not pass up the opportunity to give da`wah, both quietly and loudly. It is quietly, in the sense that, regardless of my fasting it was business as usual. I didn’t ask for any special treatment or make a big fuss that I was fasting. I just got on with it and did not allow my standards to slip.

This seemed to be the best da`wah of all; colleagues were fascinated and asked more questions about how I was managing to stay on the ball and be self disciplined despite the demands of fasting all day, especially without water!

And also loudly in the sense that at work, with fellow Muslims, we organised an iftar event for non-Muslim colleagues and invited a well respected guest speaker to explain more about what Ramadan is and what it meant to Muslims. Once, we even invited colleagues to fast for the day and it was a great way to go on to share delicious food at the opening of the fast.

Organize Well, Including Sleep Time

Finally, one of the most effective ways to balance Ramadan with a British lifestyle was being well prepared and super organized. This meant planning the day around prayer times, especially Fajr and Maghrib, and setting multiple alarms accordingly.

Also adjusting sleep patterns to ensure I didn’t burn out and maybe take up a post-Dhuhr power nap as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to do.

Vitally, I spent some time after `Isha’ Prayer to plan what I would be having for sahur (the meal before a fast begins) and placing items out on the kitchen worktop so that I could easily get into gear when I woke up in the early hours, and then doing the same for iftar.

It helped hugely to keep meals simple and healthy. Considering how much the stomach shrinks, there is no need for elaborate dishes or large portions especially when food is not the focus of Ramadan.

True Meaning of Ramadan

In many ways, not having the traditional ideals of Ramadan I imprinted on my lifestyle actually aided me in discovering and unlocking the true meaning and potential of Ramadan.

Whilst many people were rushing around like crazy organizing a daily banquet for iftar, I was quietly able to make du’a at that often ignored time just before Maghrib when the du`aa’ of the fasting person is more likely to be answered.

Because I was blessed with the freedom to make Ramadan the way I wanted it to be – I was free from pressures to follow a status quo; I was able to find the spiritual high that I was in pursuit of.

Overall, I also found that surviving Ramadan in the West had more to do with the company I kept during my thirty day journey and furthermore had far more to do with the ‘feeding’ of the soul rather than the feeding of the stomach.

Narrated `Abdullah ibn Umar: Marwan ibn Salim al-Muqaffa’ said: I saw Ibn `Umar holding his bread with his hand and cutting what exceeded the handful of it. He (Ibn `Umar) told that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said when he broke his fast: “thirst has gone, the arteries are moist, and the reward is sure, if Allah wills”. (Abu Dawud)




Shabana Diouri is an aspiring writer and poet with a strong affinity toward the issues of women in Islam and spiritual needs of the heart. Currently she spends her time in Edinburgh as a freelance writer and engages in outreach work with the University of Edinburgh to encourage a deeper understanding of Islam and Muslim culture.


Fasting New Muslims

All About Ramadan (1435/2014)

By Editorial Staff

ramadan kareemUpon becoming Muslim, one must fast the month Ramadan, the second act of worship that Allah enjoins upon us, every year.

During Ramadan one must abstain from anything that breaks the fast; eaing, drinking and sexual intercourse, from the time of fajr (dawn) until maghrib (sunset) as an act of obedience to Allah.

Like the Prayer, this act of worship has been part of the Shari`ahs given by all the Prophets. Their followers fasted as we do.

Ramadan is the month in which Muslims observe the obligatory fast which has been prescribed by God on those who believe in Him as it was prescribed on previous nations.

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain piety. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

The above verse explains the main purpose of fasting. It is to attain taqwa (God-consciousness) which means that every Muslim must be watchful of everything. He must watch out every word he utters and every action he does.

In this Special Folder, we will focus on fasting and its related issues.

Prepare Yourself for Ramadan

Fasting with the Prophet: Day 1Ramadan’s Chronicles: Fasting with the Prophet

With Dr. Tariq Ramadan’s chronicles ‘Fasting with the Prophet’ learn about the Prophet’s fasting, your religion, and many other things each single day of the Holy Month.

Tarawih Prayer

Ramadan’s First Night: Open the Gates of Blessings

virtues of RamadanWhat virtues does the first night of Ramadan have? At whom will Allah look in that blessed night? Why? What did the Prophet say about it?

Your Health in Ramadan

Fasting and Overall Health

Fasting and Overall Health

In some cases, fasting could do more harm than good to some ill people, but could be beneficial to others, and even improve health. Who is exempted from fasting, who can decide this? How should fasting…

E-Books on Ramadan

3d man sitting on ebook word reading a red book

New Muslim Ramadan Guide

With the coming of Ramadan, every Muslim has to prepare himself for that blessed month. This book tackles the most important issues that a Muslim has to be aware of before going on fasting. It tries to present the rulings of fasting as well as the spiritual objectives for which fasting was obligated. Take your time in going through this helpful book and we hope that we provided something that has been beneficial for you.



Fasting New Muslims

Women I`tikaf: At Mosques or at Homes?

Is it allowed for women to do i`tikaf for the last ten days of Ramadan? If yes, is i`tikaf performed in the mosque or in their houses? Did the Prophet’s wives do i`tikaf?

Click on the video below to hear the answer from Sheikh Yasir Qadhi…


Fasting New Muslims

Ramadan..Seize It before It’s Too Late

Don’t let the opportunity of Ramadan escape before leaving a real change in your life. Don’t wait until the last night of the Precious Month comes and you realize how a lost opportunity this year was, exactly like the previous ones; without feeling the joy  and enthusiasm of `Eid, while penitently asking yourself: ‘How did I let it go that way?’.

What if you don’t get another Ramadan? What if you don’t get another opportunity to transform your life and start over as a really different person?

Don’t let another opportunity slip through your fingers!

What if you don’t get another Precious Month? What if you don’t get another opportunity to transform your life and start over as a really different person? Don’t let another Ramadan slip through your fingers!

In the video below  talks about the opportunities we have in Blessed Month and how you shouldn’t let this year’s go to waste…