Image 1 of 14: Morning sickness is an immediate golden ticket out of the starvation blues..(never mind post natal blues that might descend in later stages). Find yourself pregnant (just a few weeks along will do nicely) or actually do get knocked up, just in the nick of time!
Image 1 of 14: PMS eat your hearts out! While this is the dreaded time of the month, ladies your cycle is your stairway to heavenly feasting. Get menstrual, and let it linger! - who’s counting? If you’re strict about it, you're expected to make up the ‘period’ later. Still, folk are not as holier- than-thou after the Holy Month, so just pull a 'fast' one!
Image 1 of 14: Pay your way out - Your cash blessing will feed the poor which is surely the best way to break your fast guilt-free? Those who can,fast, those who can’t pay not to. Fasting would only be a kill-joy to your Ramadan escape/ cruise plans anyway…
Image 1 of 14: Travel your way out of the hunger games: Go on an expedition (a gambling trip to Vegas does not count); count your commute to work as the ‘journey’ of a weary traveller or live up to the Arab stereotype and use a camel for a ride!
Image 1 of 14: Convert to the nearest proselytic religion: An Orthodox Christian’s version of Ramadan (or Lent) could actually help you lose weight. No meat or dairy- so goodbye chocolate & burgers, and hello religiously fit body. Infidels and believers of ‘other’ books are not required to do Ramadan, so the world's your oyster for alternative holy habits.
Image 1 of 14: Find yourself with a serious illness or condition/ or pull a temporary (try month long) sickie: food poisoning from that late night suhur (pre-fast meal) -- hey even the common cold should do the trick! Throwing your food up can be used as an excuse to get food in.
Image 1 of 14: Lie-- who’s gonna know that you snuck that banana or trailer mix into the loo (and let’s hope that God turned a blind eye to your toilet tidbits)!
Image 1 of 14: Change your career path and ‘fast’-track your way into the life of a pilot or surgeon. After all, no-one wants ‘certain’ professions fasting. Even the most die-hard Muslims wouldn’t begrudge their eye-surgeon a couple of sunnyside-up eggs pre-donning the scrubs.
Image 1 of 14: Cite coercion or Middle Eastern kidnapping as your excuse to carry on eating - Say you were threatened with jail/execution/torture if you didn’t break your fast. We all like some drama, so use some Ramadan soap opera as your inspiration to spice up your story.
Image 1 of 14: Lie about your age - After ten fasting becomes compulsory, whereas once an OAP, Quaker Oats is back on the menu. Lay off the anti-ageing cream so that fasting will become a thing of the past by the time you’ve hit 50! If anyone’s suspicious, just say you come from good Muslim genetic stock - and have hip surgery scheduled for next week!
Image 1 of 14: Join the Jihad - “A mujahid who knows that he will fight the enemy in the month of Ramadan and who is worried that he will become weak and will not be able to fight as necessary if he fasts does not have to fast.” Get recruited by the ISIS!
Image 1 of 14: Become a professional footballer, and fast (in order not to)! We're all proud of the Algerian football team (granted exemption from fasting) who made history in 2014's World Cup. True, the faithful can argue that it was Ramadan’s blessings that got them so far but it can also be said that sticking to the food pyramid helps climb the leagues.
Image 1 of 14: Thank you for Smoking! Smokers should be allowed to break their fast for the safety of others. So if you’re a chain smoking chimney, the grumpy hungry could do without the nicotine mood-swings, so save it for a rainy holy month.
Image 1 of 14: Have the courage to eat to your hearts content, coffee n all, and tell all those who question you that you’re allowing them to get more brownie points or good deeds (hasanat) for being exposed to temptation and resisting it. After all, you are doing them a favor by giving their fast a turbo-boost!
There are more ways than one to skip the fasting this Ramadan if you're so-inclined to opt out of the Holy Month's hunger habit.
Ramadan isn’t as easy as ABC, especially for non-practising Muslims who prefer to pick n mix while living it up on the wild side for the other 11 “free” months of the year, away from the religious rigmarole that preside over this holy month. But for the arguably lucky some, there are actually many legitimate excuses which can get you off the hook during the month long period of purging.
If your fasting's not your cup of tea, or your Ramadan club membership has expired by the time you reach adulthood, you can swap it for one of our Get Out of Jail cards, leaving you set to munch your way through the Holy Month Scott-free!
But remember, if you’re not going to be abstaining from eating and drinking during the daylight hours, you could still partake in the Ramadan spirit by signing up for the mellow yet merry month. No pressure, but you’re expected to manifest exemplary behaviour through charity, good deeds, modest dress, kindness and prayers. By the end of the month, you can expect to feel self-reformed and spiritually-cleansed. Trade your yoga retreat in for this annual fasting fixture and consider yourself in the zen zone.
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Or, you could just avoid all the excuses, fight the urge to lie, and stand up to those holier-than-thou who attack you (verbally) for not fasting. After all, Islam is not supposed to throw people in “jail” for not fasting and its tenets are built on tolerance and choice, so perhaps by playing it pro-choice, others can learn a lesson or two from you about Islam! Of course, for the practicing and die-hard devout, bailing is not an option - as fasting is one of five pillars or must-do's for being a Muslim.
With that being said, here’s our top tips n tricks on how to break your fast guilt-free! Non-practicing, or out-of-practice, Muslims, take a page out of this panel of hacks, cheats and valid exemptions. Enjoy the legit to the more flippant and 'lame', or pure flippant, courtesy of liberties taken to tickle your fancies and dog-chewed-my-homework sense of cheekiness - and read on!