We are in the second week of the special month, Ramadan. Oh! How time flies.
It was during Ramadan that the Holy Qu’ran was revealed and with its light, illuminated the world with its infallible guidance.
Muslims are ordered to fast during this holy month, leaving our food from dawn to sunset, this year lasting 18 hours.
Forgoing the desire to eat and welcoming a spiritual state of remembrance of Allah; increasing in acts of Ibadah (worship); good deeds and humbly feeling the starvation of those who are constantly without food.
Fasting is essentially a ‘detox’ as we abstain from toxic/unhealthy substances for a period of time.
Our stomachs are the hub for digestion and the maturing of food, it was referred to by Dr. Al-Harith bin kaladah as “the home for diseases”. Among the wisdoms of fasting is that it gives our stomachs a well deserved rest. So it is only fitting that when we break our fasts, we seek and eat the most highly nutritious foods available to us rather than toping up on toxic foods after a detox...sounds silly but people do this…. everyday.
What you eat at iftar can sow the seed for what foods you will eat/crave throughout and after Ramadan, so in my opinion, now is a great time to switch out heavy, unhealthy fried foods for delicious and nutritious lighter ones.
Overeating = flopped acts of Ibadah
Gluttony is disliked in many faiths including Islam, this is why The Prophet (salallaahu `alaihi wassallam) said:
“The human being can fill no container worse than his belly. Sufficient for the son of Adam are so many morsels of food as will keep his spine upright. But if he must eat more, then a third for his food, a third for his drink and a third for his breath.”
At-Tibb An-Nabawī p.20. Hadīth reported by Imām Ahmad in Al-Musnad (4/132), At-Tirmidhī (2499), Ibn Mājah (3349), and it was authenticated by Al-Albānī in Sahīh Sunan At-Tirmidhī (1939).
Having a hefty meal ladled with oil and salt followed by a trip to the dessert parlour for a high dose of sugar will not support you in increasing acts of Ibadah (worship). If anything, it’ll just set you up for the ‘Rock the boat’ at Tarawih- we’ve all been there, feeling like a large ship on rough seas, belly full swaying to-and-fro as you count down the rakats.
Salt, sugar & oil are a great combination for overeating, as they stimulate the production of a chemical called dopamine in our brain that leads us to want more.
Reduce the amount that is added to your food and consume the good fat & sodium that is naturally occurring within it; eat a few mouthfuls of juicy fruit, lean meat, cruciferous vegetables and all that good stuff, just enough to keep your spine straight, once this has digested get set for the water drinking marathon.
And last but not least, remember, Ramadan is not about dieting and trying to lose weight, our focus should be away from feeding our bellies and toward feeding our souls.