• 7 Health Lessons From Ramadan for the Rest of the Year

    During last Ramadan, a South African Radio station “Radio 786” interviewed me. The primary objective of the interview was to discuss seven health lessons one can learn from Ramadan for the rest of the year.

    I sincerely hope that this interview is highly beneficial to the listeners.

    It’s important to note that this was my very first Radio interview, I guess you’ll overlook the shortcomings in the interview ☺.

    Please listen to the interview and feel free to share your feedback.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Part 3:

    Part 4:

     

  • Do You Make These 5 Mistakes in Ramadan?

    Ramadan is an excellent time to improve every aspect of your life, especially your physical and spiritual health.

    If you would like to improve your physical health, and thereby increase your spiritual productivity during this blessed month, then avoid these five mistakes.

    Mistake #1: Missing suhoor

    “Eat suḥoor; indeed, there is a blessing in suḥoor.” (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

    Missing suhoor means that you’re missing out on some great blessings (barakah). The void of these blessings leads to lethargy and increased unproductivity throughout the day. For your body to function, it needs fuel. So eat your suhoor even if it’s a small portion.

    Another implication of this hadith is this: when something is blessed, even a small amount of it results in increased satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong, waking up for suhoor is difficult, but its health benefits are incredible.

    This point leads to the second mistake most people do.

    Mistake #2: Eating too much

    The blessing in suhoor or the enjoyment you feel during iftar is really in eating less, not in eating more. Prophet (PBUH) said,

    “Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes for more, it should be one-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath.” (Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah)

    When you eat too much, your body becomes busy digesting the extra volume of food by sending most of the blood supply to your stomach. Because your blood supply has become localised, the lack of blood circulation to other body parts takes its toll on your body. This leads to sluggishness and the usual “Ramadan tiredness”.

    You can choose to eat less by implementing these two simple techniques:

    1. Serve your food on a salad plate
    2. Eat slowly by chewing every morsel at least 15 times.

    Mistake #3: Eating deep-fried foods at iftar

    If there is one simple change you can make to improve your health in Ramadan, then it’s avoiding deep-fried foods at iftar. It’s the worst choice of food you can have at iftar.

    You should avoid fried foods because fasting is a form of detoxification for your body. After such thorough detoxification, all your body wants is nutritious food to reenergize your body, not junk food to destroy the long process of detoxification.

    Imagine spending an entire day cleaning your house and then throwing a bucket of dirt in your living room. Not a wise idea, right? Eating deep-fried foods at iftar is similar to throwing dirt in your body.

    After a long fasting day, deep-fried food causes more harm to your body than it does good. Most of these foods can cause irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn and other discomforts. They also make any activity following iftar difficult (e.g. taraweeh).

    If you can’t live life without your deep-fried foods, then have a small portion of it after eating your vegetables and proteins. As you prepare your meal, use only unrefined coconut oil instead of other oils for deep-frying.

    When vegetable oils are exposed to high heat, they can form harmful compounds. But oils that consist mostly of saturated (such as coconut oil) and monosaturated fats are stable at high heat and don’t form such toxic compounds.

    Research studies have shown that even after long hours of continuous deep frying at 180°C (365°F), the quality of coconut oil does not deteriorate.

    Mistake #4: Avoiding naps

    Lack of sleep often leads to mood swings and irritability. Scheduling naps during the day is the easiest and most efficient way of freeing yourself from this predicament.

    Naps can be as short as 15-20 minutes. Even if you don’t fall asleep, just closing your eyes helps you to revitalise your mind and body.

    Mistake #5: Ignoring exercise

    I work out 3-4 times a week in Ramadan, as do my clients. One of the best things you can do to improve your health is to work out an hour before iftar.

    In my recent Ramadan Health Guide FREE eBook, I’ve outlined the details and benefits of exercising while fasting.

    Grab the FREE copy from here

    May Allah subuhanawuta’ala grant you and me the ability to improve our physical and spiritual health in this blessed month.

  • Five Simple Hacks to 10x Your Ramadan

    Alhamdullilah, in just a few days we are reaching the blessed month of Ramadan. SubhanAllah, just uttering the name fills me with excitement and fear.

    Excitement because of the greatest Blessings it carries but fear because of this particular hadith:

    Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet (PBUH) once ascended the pulpit and he said, “Ameen, ameen, ameen.” It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, you ascended the pulpit and said ameen, ameen, ameen.” The Prophet said, “Verily, Gabriel came to me and he said:Whoever reaches the month of Ramadan and he is not forgiven, then he will enter Hellfire and Allah will cast him far away, so say ameen. I said ameen… (Sahih, Ibn Hibban)

    May Allah subuhanawuta’ala protect us from the Eternal Hellfire!

    These words of our most beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) may sound quite harsh, after all, he has been sent as a Mercy to mankind. But in the reality, there is an important reason for this rhetoric.

    Ramadan is the Best Training Camp

    If you think about it, Allah subuhanawuta’ala bestows upon us the month of Ramadan as means of changing our lives positively. The amount of training Allah subuhanawuta’ala grants us through Ramadan is truly mind-boggling.

    He subuhanawuta’ala made Ramadan…

    • The month of ‘ibadah (worship),
    • The month of rahma (mercy),
    • The month of saving people from Hellfire
    • The month of patience,
    • The month of forgiveness,
    • The month of generosity,
    • The month of feeding,
    • The month of sacrifices and most importantly the month of du’a!

    And, on top of all these things, He chains up all the whispering troublemakers (i.e., shayateen – devils) so that we can fully focus and successfully graduate from this training camp.

    “When the first night of the month of Ramadan comes, the devils and rebellious Jinn are chained up and the gates of Hell are closed, and not one gate of it is opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and not one gate of it is closed. A caller cries out, ‘O seeker of good, proceed; O seeker of evil, desist.’ Allah saves some people from Hell – and that happens every night.” (Saheeh, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah)

    Missing out on attaining the forgiveness of Allah during this Blessed month is a grave mistake to make. Especially when we are given so, so many opportunities during Ramadan to seek His forgiveness and to be saved from the Hellfire.

    Religious Productivity Needs to be Planned

    So it’s clear, we have got to increase our religious productivity, i.e. our ‘ibadah in the month of Ramadan to achieve real success.

    Religious productivity in this month is certainly at the top of the priority list. Productivity does not just happen; instead, it has to be planned for and definite arrangements have to be made.

    So, if you are really keen on increasing your religious productivity in Ramadan, you have to pay attention to certain things, such as your meals, activity, sleep routine, etc.

    I am not your spiritual coach, so I am going to allow the scholars to play their part in this respect. However, being a Muslim nutrition coach, my goal is to provide the vital nutrition, exercise, sleep and energy management techniques to help you achieve your ultimate religious productivity this Ramadan, bi’idnillah!

    In this regard, I have written a 48-page Ramadan eBook to give you a practical nutrition and exercise guide for Ramadan. I hope this e-book will serve as a reminder of the priorities of Ramadan so that you can make positive food choices to make this Ramadan your best ever!

    Click here to download this FREE eBook:

    Please feel free to send your comments and feedback to me.