Image 1 of 10: Do not curse! Ramadan is a time for patience and humility as well as spiritual cleansing of mind and body. Even when tested by others, one should abstain from ill-temper & impatience. Instead, smile - to inject the day with positive energy and uplifting spirits.
Image 1 of 10: Abstinence from marital relations or sexual intercourse: During the fast, all appetites of the flesh are abstained from, including 'unclean' thoughts of intimacy. After 'Iftar', sexual intimacy can be resumed. Use daytime for family & tell your Ma you love her! Spare a cuddle for your sister!
Image 1 of 10: This does not mean practice stinginess with loved ones. Instead be economically resourceful. Ramadan, like Christmas, is becoming more commercial and people tend to spend more on food & luxuries.
Do give generously to the needy and share your love & bounty. After all Ramadan is Kareem (generous)!
Image 1 of 10: Stay awake! Across the Muslim world, the routine can change so that day & night are reversed. But the whole point of the exercise is to carry on as normal. Avoid the temptation to sleep all day til Iftar. Still, do enjoy later nights, with Suhoor - a light meal- and stay active with Ramadan prayers.
Image 1 of 10: Don't over-eat: It's tempting, but the 'correct' Iftar is a simple meal, since the idea is to exercise restraint this month and not waste food. But let's face it it's hard not to eat that extra bite when deprived all day, so just in case you overdo it, keep an indigestion medication on hand!
Image 1 of 10: Be creative & resourceful: Don't be driven to distraction by fantasies of what you'll be eating at Iftar. Do instead use the food-less space as an opportunity for focus, motivation and productivity. With nothing else to do but work and errands you've put aside for a rainy day, work that fast away!
Image 1 of 10: Don't smoke during hours of the fast: wait til Iftar, when you'll often see people light up (after that first sip of water and date or two!). Instead try to practice healthy activities and take a pre-Iftar stroll or post-Iftar walk with
family. Do enjoy some Ramadan sweets- just not to excess.
Image 1 of 10: Don't drink alcohol in the hours of the fast, or indeed during the entire Holy Month. Ramadan is a time to respect the true Islamic doctrine which includes no drinking.Instead, do enjoy the Ramadan drink offerings (non-alcoholic seasonal treats such as: Amar il Deen; Jallab, Tamer Hindi, Sahlab.
Image 1 of 10: Don't dress down! (Meaning do not bare flesh or revealing attire) Just because Ramadan might fall in the hottest month of the year, this is not an invitation to exhibit your summer tan. Do dress conservatively: opt for modest, looser clothing ladies, and avoid shorts above the knees, men.
Image 1 of 10: Don't drive like crazy, breaking all speed limits, or engine's capacity, to reach your 'Iftar'. Causing an accident or fatality will save you no time in reaching your destination. Do be on time for Iftar- it is very bad form to arrive late after the sun-down, when people have already started eating.
This post first appeared on Albawaba website in Ramadan 2011.
Ramadan is a time of rules and regulations, but they don't dull the fulfillment, joy and benefits of this holiest of months!
It's a time for practicing self-restraint; piety and sobriety with fewer fleshy pleasures than ordinarily enjoyed. Because if you can freely refrain from lawful fun for God's sake, it will be easier for you to turn away from what is unlawful and forbidden.
The Quran prescribes fasting as a teaching tool to learn piety and righteousness. “Fasting provides us with motivation, self-control and firm will to give up bad manners and habits,” said Imam of Al Faruq Masjid Shaikh Mohammed Al Arabi.
Fasting goes beyond self-denial of food and drink. One Muslim scholar described it like this, "I mean his tongue should fast, he should not backbite or lie, for example. His eyes should not look at what Allah obligates as forbidden. His legs should not walk to places where such a person would commit a sin. When a person fasts from dawn to sunset, he/she abstains from food and drink, along with sexual intercourse if he/she is married."
Al Bawaba brings you some basic Ramadan intel, adding some creative ideas for how you can 'get it right' this Holy Month, and better understand and support your neighbors who are.
Reminder of Ramadan terms:
Iftar: The meal taken to break the fast at sun-down.
Suhoor: The traditionally light meal taken late night or early hours before starting the fast, from dawn.