Categories
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)

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Source: youngmuslimahmagazine.com

 

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.

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Categories
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.

 

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Categories
Fasting New Muslims

Fasting: Exclusively Private Worship

The second act of worship that Allah enjoins upon you is sawm or the fasting. It means abstaining from dawn to sunset from eating, drinking and sex.

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

However, the rules, the number of days, and the periods prescribed for fasting have varied from one Shari`ah to another. Today, although fasting remains a part of most religions in some form or other, people have often changed its original form by accretions of their own.

O Believers! Fasting is ordained for you, even as it was ordained for those before you. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

Why has this particular act of worship been practised in all eras?

Life of Worship

Islam aims to transform the whole life of man into a life of worship. He is born a slave; and to serve his Creator is his very nature. Not for a single moment should he live without worshipping, that is surrendering to Him in thoughts and deeds. He must remain conscious of what he ought to do to earn the pleasure of God and what he ought to avoid. He should, then, walk on the path leading to Allah’s pleasure, eschew that leading to His displeasure just as he would avoid the embers of a fire.

Only when our entire lives have become modelled on this pattern can we be considered to have worshipped our Master as is His due and as having fulfilled the purport of “I have not created jinn and men except to worship Me”. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

Purpose of Rituals

The real purpose of ritual acts of worshipsalah (prayer), zakah, sawm (fasting) and Hajj – is to help us come to that life of total worship.

Never think that you can acquit yourselves of what you owe to Allah only if you bow and prostrate yourselves five times a day, suffer hunger and thirst from dawn to sunset for thirty days in Ramadan and, if wealthy, give the alms and perform the Pilgrimage once in a lifetime.

Doing all this does not release you from bondage to Him, nor make you free to do whatever you like. Rather, one of the underlying purposes of enjoining these rituals upon you is to develop you so that you can transform your whole lives into the `Ibadah (worship) of God.

How does the fasting prepare us for this lifelong act of worship?

How Does Fasting Develop Us?

Exclusively Private Worship

All acts of worship include some outward physical movement, but not the Fasting. In the Prayer you stand, sit, bow down and prostrate yourselves; all these acts are visible to everybody. In Hajj you undertake a long journey and travel with thousands of people. Zakah is known to at least two persons, the giver and the receiver. None of these acts can remain concealed; if you perform them, other people will come to know about it.

But the Fasting is a form of `ibadah which is entirely private. The All-knowing God alone knows that His servant is fasting. You are required to take food before dawn (sahur) and abstain from eating and drinking anything till the time to break the fast (iftar). But, if you secretly eat and drink in between, nobody except God will know about it.

Sure Sign of Faith

The private nature of the fasting ensures that you have strong faith in God as the One Who knows everything. Only if your faith is true and strong, you will not dream of eating or drinking secretly: even in the hottest summer, when your throats dry up with thirst, you will not drink a drop of water; even when you feel faint with hunger, when life itself seems to be ebbing, you will not eat anything.

To do all this, see what firm conviction must you have in that nothing whatsoever can ever be concealed from your God! How strong must be His fear in your hearts! You will keep your fast for about 360 hours for one month only because of your profound belief in the reward and punishment of the Hereafter. Had you the slightest doubt in that you have to meet your Maker, you would not complete such a fast. With doubts in hearts, no such resolves can be fulfilled.

Month-long Training

In this way does Allah put to the test a Muslim`s faith for a full month every year. To the extent you emerge successful from this trial, your faith becomes firmer and deeper. The

Fasting is both a trial and a training. If you deposit anything on trust with somebody, you are, as it were, testing his integrity.

If he does not abuse your trust, he not only passes his test, but, at the same time, also develops greater strength to bear the burden of greater trusts in future. Similarly, Allah puts your faith to severe test continuously for one month, many long hours a day. If you emerge triumphant from this test, more strength develops in you to refrain from other sins.

This is what the Qur’an says:

O believers! Fasting is ordained for you, even as it was ordained for those before you, that you might attain to God-consciousness. (Al-Baqarah 2:183).

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s ‘Let Us Be Muslims’.

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Categories
Fasting New Muslims

Avoid These Mistakes during Ramadan

Here are seven valuable tips that can help you to avoid common mistakes made during this blessed month of Ramadan:

1- Taking Ramadan as a Mere Ritual

By simply observing the outward rulings of fasting and practices of Ramadan without paying attention to their meaning and purpose will turn it into a mere ritual; an outward show of piety. We can lose the spirit and the essence of fasting altogether.

What is the essence of Ramadan?

The blessed Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us that Ramadan is; a time of patience, sympathy with fellow humans, seeking nearness to Allah Almighty, praying day and night, reciting the Qur’an and listening to it.

This is why he described Ramadan as an intercessor for us on the Day of Judgment and the means of atonement for our sins. One way of making fasting a ritual is to regard it as dieting – fasting is for pleasing our benevolent Lord and following in the footsteps of the Prophet.

By fasting properly we should automatically lose weight, however, do not make the mistake of fasting with the intention to diet since fasting is an act of worship, this way you will deprive yourself of its spiritual benefits.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Jibreel prayed, ‘May Allah ruin that person to who Ramadan comes and his sins are not forgiven,’ and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allah ruin that person who lives to see his parents grow old, one or both of them, but he does not enter Paradise (by not serving them) and I said, ‘Ameen’. Then he said, ‘May Allah ruin that person in whose presence you are mentioned and he does not send blessings upon you,’ and I said, ‘Ameen” (At-Tirmidhi).

2- Craving for Delicious Food

Fasting is a great spiritual exercise that helps us on our journey to the Lord, however giving up food sometimes makes us think more about it. This is evident at iftar (breaking the fast) time; dinner tables become a sumptuous banquet.

Someone will have spent hours shopping, cooking and laying out the table instead of concentrating on salah, Qur’an and other acts of worship, we are missing the very purpose of fasting, to control our desires and delights. Yet Islam teaches moderation; “Eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly Allah does not like people who waste”. (Al-A`raf 7:31)

3- Over-sleeping and Being Forgetful of Allah

In Ramadan, our sleeping pattern changes because we have to get up very early for sahur (breakfast) and go to bed very late because of the Tarawih Prayer. Consequently some people spend more time sleeping.

The month of Ramadan is too precious to be wasted like this. The Qur’an reminds us about the precious nature of Ramadan by saying; “These are limited few days“ (Al-Baqarah 2:184).

Before we know it, this month of mercy and forgiveness will be over, every moment of it should be spent in the worship of Allah.

This is a month when Muslims should give up watching TV, playing games and listening to music. The Prophet said; ”if people knew the value of Ramadan they would want the whole year to be Ramadan”.

4- Importance of Sahur (Breaking Fast)

Due to late night Tarawih Prayers some people miss sahur. The Prophet (peace be upon him) advised against this practice he said “Eat sahur for in sahur there is blessing”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

5- Not Making Time for Du`aa’

Du`aa’ or prayer is the believer’s most powerful tool against the attacks of Shaytan (Satan) and the ego. It is an expression of his humility towards his creator, and submission of dependency on the Almighty Lord.

The prayer of the fasting person is guaranteed to be accepted at the time of breaking fast. The Prophet 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).

This is time to pray, sisters in particular need to be careful by organizing themselves at this time so they can also pray rather than be busy serving or cooking.

6- Fasting but Disobeying Other Duties of Shari`ah (e.g. Not Praying)

The Qur’an describes the purpose of fasting; “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become God fearing” (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

Fasting trains us to obey the teachings of Islam, it motivates us, spurs us and gives us the energy to follow the Shari`ah. The Prophet 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 (Bukhari).

So praying, giving Zakat and doing good is part of Ramadan, anyone who neglects these is depriving himself from the great benefits of Ramadan.

7- Good Social Practices

Here are three wonderful activities in Ramadan that no one can afford to miss:

Iftar parties: Inviting others for breaking fast is sunnah, however be careful not to make it too lavish. Giving sumptuous banquets in this month goes against the spirit of simplicity and frugality.

I`tikaf is spiritual retreat, when the fasting person stays in the masjid or for women to stay in their room. `A’ishah said “the Messenger (peace be upon him) used to retreat during the last ten days of Ramadan, he did this regularly and after him I do it”.

The night of power (27th of Ramadan) is better than a thousand months of worship the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Seek Lailat Al-Qadr (the Night of Power) among the odd numbered nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan” (Al-Bukhari).

Spending this night in worship, seeking forgiveness and Divine nearness marks the climax of Ramadan.

May Allah give us the ability to follow these steps and help us become true believers.

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Source: musharrafhussain.com

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Categories
Fasting New Muslims

Ramadan Nutrition and Workout Plan for Success

I am frequently asked, “How can I workout and eat properly while fasting?” Most people see the blessed month of Ramadan as a time when they will lose strength and muscle mass; some think they can only “maintain” themselves during this month, while many women actually gain weight!

If you use some of the strategies I am about to share with you, you can make some of your best gains during Ramadan. It’s all about maximizing nutrient uptake, maintaining proper hydration, and modifying key fat-burning and muscle-building hormones in your favor–and of course Preparation — if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!

Plus, how can you truly maximize this month spiritually if your body is sick, tired, and your mind isn’t sharp?

Ramadan Nutrition

It is important to take a solid multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement with suhoor.

First of all, let’s look at what happens to your body during Ramadan. While you are fasting, you become more dehydrated at rest – but actually less than if you had exercised aerobically for over an hour (so exercise causes greater dehydration for that time period versus fasting).

Your main metabolic fuel source for bodily function during fasting is mainly fat, which is a good thing. So the goals during Ramadan are to maximize metabolism (even though your metabolism will slow down due to less frequent meals); preserve and enhance as much lean muscle mass as possible (which will inherently increase metabolic rate and allow you to burn more calories at rest); and maximize your workout (both cardio and weight training).

During Ramadan, depending on your goals, I really recommend that you limit cardio to 2 days a week at the most. This is again to preserve as much lean muscle tissue as possible. There is actually research showing the health benefits of fasting. It is truly a physical purification.

According to a study published in the reputable European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers concluded “no detrimental effects on health have as yet been directly attributed to negative water balance at the levels that may be produced in Ramadan.”

Other research has actually shown cardiovascular benefits of fasting during Ramadan — that is, IF you can avoid the IBS. No, that’s not irritable bowel syndrome – it’s the dreaded Iftar Binging Syndrome! It is vital to eat moderate to small meals even after iftar.

Training Times for Workout

OK, enough of the background, let’s get to the meat of it! I am going to set the record straight here.  The best time to do a weight-training workout is NOT while fasting. This can create way too much muscle breakdown and cause a significant rise in the catabolic hormone cortisol. Training while in a state of dehydration can decrease strength significantly. In fact, research indicates that dehydrating a muscle by as little as 3% can cause a 12% loss in strength. Training while you are fasting can actually be more detrimental than beneficial!

The best time to weight train during Ramadan is after taraweeh prayers at night. This will ensure that you will have several meals and plenty of water in your system before going to the gym. This will also allow you to consume your all-important post workout meal or shake which is essential muscle growth which leads to fat loss. If this is too late then the next best time to weight train is about 1 hour after iftar before taraweeh prayer. You could do a short but intense 30 minute workout.

The best time to do cardio work for maximum fat loss is before suhoor – yep, that’s the truth. Of course, most people I know will not want to get up at around 3:30 am and do cardio! If you CAN pull this off, then the best thing to do is get up and drink plenty of water with a cup of coffee, green tea, or oolong tea, wait 30 minutes and perform 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio work like a brisk walk on a treadmill.

If this is out of the question for you, then the next best time to do cardio is approximately 30-45 minutes after a “light” iftar (I will define this shortly). Short, high intensity cardio like sprinting is actually great to do during Ramadan.  It takes less than 10 minutes and provides maximum benefit in terms of fat burning and lean muscle preservation! This isn’t “driving Miss Daisy” cardio – it’s very intensive: an example would be sprinting for 20-30 seconds at full speed (like a crazy dog is chasing you!) and then walking for one minute. Do 4-5 cycles like that and you’re good! Start slow, of course, and work your way up.

So now you know when to train, it’s time to learn what to eat and drink (think water, water, and more water!)

Suhoor (The Pre-Dawn Meal)

For suhoor, it is imperative to drink plenty of water, eat a good blend of protein, carbohydrates, and essential fat. That’s right, “good fats” have many fat-burning and muscle-building properties, and their importance is even greater during Ramadan. Some good suhoor foods include:

  • Egg whites (1 yolk)
  • Chicken breast
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream of wheat
  • Protein shake
  • Cinnamon
  • Bananas
  • Raw, dark Honey
  • Raisins or dates
  • Fibrous vegetables –This will help increase the feeling of fullness as well.
  • All natural peanut butter
  • Flax seed oil – A great and tasty brand is Omega Swirl from Barleans –There’s a version for Women as well. (www.barleans.com)
  • Olive oil – preferably extra virgin (which means it’s cold processed and the essential fatty acids are preserved)
  • Plenty of water

It is important to take a solid multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement with suhoor as well to make sure daily minimum requirements of key nutrients are met. One good source for women is the Women’s Blend by Super Nutrition and a good one for men is Opti-Pack by Super Nutrition. Taking extra vitamin C and vitamin E can also be helpful.

A great product is Emergen-C from Alacer. It is very important to watch your sodium intake at this time as high sodium can cause greater dehydration plus increase thirst during the day – not good for fasters. Avoid high sodium foods like soups, sauces, condiments, gravies, high sodium bread products, and canned meats. Of course eating fried foods and heavy oil items can cause heartburn and problems for you all day so it is best to avoid those if possible!

Iftar (Sunset Meal)

This is a key time for rehydration. The wisdom in Islam is never ending. We break our fast with dates and water but if you investigate this nutritionally, you will see that dates are very unique in their nutrient content. They contain very high levels of potassium (much more than a banana), a key re-hydration mineral and a special carbohydrate blend that enhances hydration above and beyond water alone. They contain a special blend of glucose and fructose for short and long term energy. They also have a special nutrient called beta D-glucan that is a soluble fiber that can enhance satiety and digestive health.

So basically when you eat a date and water for iftar your body gets hydrated again much faster than with water alone (this is a complex topic but I don’t want to bore you with the details – You can think of dates and water as a very advanced form of Gatorade®).

In fact, clinical research published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition entitled “The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future?” concluded that “dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits.”

You should also eat some quality protein at iftar time as well. I would first recommend three dates. For men, I recommend a meal replacement protein powder like Protein Rush from VPX Sports, Lean Body by Labrada, or Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori and for women, one scoop of a protein powder like Pro-Blend 55, Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori, and Low Carb protein from MRM. Of course, drink plenty of water – in fact, keep a water bottle with you at all times after sunset! Then 1-1.5 hours later have a food meal (or follow the schedule above for cardio). Then during tarawih, depending if you pray 8 or 20 rak`ahs, have a protein bar (like Power Crunch) or ready-to-drink protein shake in the middle (not while you are praying of course!); or you can have another small protein and complex carbohydrate meal after the 8 rak`ahs. If you have a protein bar, drink plenty of water and then go train for about 30-45 minutes. For women, you can actually do 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weight training at this time. For men, you can take a BCAA (branched chain amino acid) product like BCAA-G from MRM before, during and right after the workout to preserve lean muscle.

After the workout, also have another nutrition shake with plenty of water. Eating small meals at night can trick your body into speeding up metabolic rate (not to mention increase nutrient absorption and stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels). Your body loves homeostasis and wants to maintain a certain balance – you literally have to shock it constantly to lose fat and gain muscle over the long run! There is so much wisdom in “Eat and drink but not to excess” and we should try and follow that especially during Ramadan.

Sample Ramadan Meal Plan for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

*This plan is for a 170 lb MALE, please adjust amounts for body weight

Suhoor:

  • Eat 6-8 egg whites (with one yolk)
  • One bowl of plain oatmeal w/cinnamon, raisins and a banana
  • 1 teaspoon all-natural peanut butter or olive oil or flax seed oil (1 tablespoon Barlean’s Omega Swirl)
  • Plenty of water (16-24 oz.)
  • Opti-pack by Super Nutrition (one pack) multi-vitamin/mineral

Iftar:

  • Three Dates and a Nutrition Shake (Protein Rush from VPX Sports, Lean Body by Labrada, or Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori)
  • Plenty of water

Sample Ramadan Meal Plan for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

*This plan is for a 130 lb FEMALE, please adjust amounts for bodyweight)

Suhoor:

  • Eat 3-4 egg whites (with one yolk)
  • ½ cup of plain oatmeal w/ cinammon, raisins and a small banana
  • 1 teaspoon all-natural peanut butter, almond butter or olive oil or flax seed oil (1 tablespoon Barlean’s Omega Swirl)
  • Plenty of water (16-24 oz.)
  • Women’s blend: 2 pills of multi-vitamin/multi-mineral

Iftar:

  • Three Dates and a Nutrition Shake-1 scoop w/12 oz water (Pro-Blend 55, Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori, and Low Carb protein from MRM)
  • Plenty of water

For cardio workouts: Do cardio 45 minutes after this meal for 30-45 minutes at a moderate pace or do a sprint workout if you have less time and then have the next meal before tarawih. Have a cup of green tea, Oolong tea, or coffee with iftar on cardio days.

For weight training days: Eat another food meal before tarawih like chicken breast (or baked salmon), brown rice and some veggies OR baked fish (salmon, tuna, orange roughy, or mahi mahi), sweet potato, and a garden salad or some steamed vegetables.

Drink plenty of water during tarawih. Go to the gym after tarawih. (If you pray 20 rak`ahs, have a protein bar in the middle of prayer). Drink plenty of water during the workout. For men, you can even have Accelerade or Powerade™ or another sports drink during the workout.

After the workout, have another Nutrition Shake and lots of water of course. Then sleep 45 minutes later or stay up all night eating and working like I do!

Following these simple workout and nutrition tips can really help you make great gains during this blessed month. May Allah help give us patience and strength in this month and throughout the year and make us strong mentally, internally, spiritually, and physically!

Top 5 Healthy Foods to eat During Ramadan

  1. Dates – They contain a unique blend of glucose and fructose and have a very high potassium content (about 64% more than bananas). They have a nutrient called beta-D-glucan which is a soluble fiber that has health benefits and can increase the feeling of fullness.
  2. Raw, Unfiltered Honey – This contains many phytochemicals and flavonoids that can enhance health. Honey is very good for increasing energy. It is an excellent source of antioxidants. In fact, ORAC tests show it has the highest level of antioxidants of virtually any natural food on earth! It even has anti-bacterial effects. Take 1-2 tablespoons daily.
  3. Fish – Eating fish regularly can have positive effects on health. The fish oils EPA and DHA have been shown to improve brain function, enhance cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation among other things. Some of the best fish are cold water wild salmon, orange roughy, deep sea cod, sea bass, ahi tuna, mahi mahi, and tilapia.
  4. Figs – They contain key mineral such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They are also a great source of fiber and can support healthy blood sugar levels. Figs are an alkaline food which means they help balance the Ph of the body making it less acidic.
  5. Olive Oil – Contains omega 9 or oleic fatty acids. It has been shown to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). It also seems to have some antioxidant effects. Look for extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed). Cooking with it can lower some of its benefits. Add it to food after it is cooked!

Happy Healthy Ramadan!

*The content of this article is for information purposes only. Please consult a physician before starting any nutrition, training, or supplementation program.

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Source: Suhaibwebb.com

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Categories
Fasting New Muslims

How to Spend the Last Ten Days of Ramadan

Ramadan is coming to a close, but we still have a chance to make use of it during the last few nights and days. Some may ask How should I be ‘practically’ spending the last precious days of Ramadan?

In the video below Sheikh Waleed Basyouni talks about this…

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Source: Almaghrib Institute

 

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