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How to prepare for ramadan

How to prepare for ramadan

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Ramadan is coming and will bring a month of daily fasting for Muslims in Birmingham, across the UK and around the world. The ninth month of the Islamic calendar means no food, drink, smoking, sexual activity, or ‘sinful behaviour’ between early morning and sunset for 29 or 30 days.

How to prepare for Ramadan

How are you getting ready for that challenge? Rather than trying to adjust suddenly to a month of fasting, some people plan ahead for the event so it’s not such a shock to the system.

We’ve put together some top tips on how to prepare for Ramadan and get the most out of it.

Do voluntary fasting beforehand

One way to prepare would be to fast voluntarily during part of the preceding month.

During Shaban, the month before Ramadan, it’s said fasting is not permitted in the second half of the month (starting from the 16th day) – except for those who regularly undertake fasting on some days.

So if you already fast habitually – such as on one or two days of the week – it’s a good idea to keep this up in the month prior to Ramadan.

But it’s definitely not advisable for anyone to fast on the last one or two days before Ramadan starts. You need to make sure your body is well-nourished and in good physical and mental condition for the month of fasting.

The Prophet Muhammad fasted voluntarily in Shaban more than in any other month, saying: “That is a month occurring between Rajab and Ramadan that many people neglect. It is a month in which the deeds ascend to the Lord of the Worlds, be He Mighty and Majesty, and I love for my deeds to ascend while I am fasting.”

He also fasted regularly on Mondays and Thursdays, explaining: “Those are two days in which the deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds are presented while I am fasting.”

So it might be a good idea to try this twice-weekly fasting, especially ahead of Ramadan.

Others fast the 13th, 14th and 15th days of every month (these are called Al-Ayaam Al-Beedh, the White Days) so this could be another routine to try getting into.

The Prophet Muhammad fasted voluntarily in Shaban more than in any other month, saying: “That is a month occurring between Rajab and Ramadan that many people neglect. It is a month in which the deeds ascend to the Lord of the Worlds, be He Mighty and Majesty, and I love for my deeds to ascend while I am fasting.”

He also fasted regularly on Mondays and Thursdays, explaining: “Those are two days in which the deeds are presented to the Lord of the Worlds. I love that my deeds are presented while I am fasting.”

So it might be a good idea to try this twice-weekly fasting, especially ahead of Ramadan.

Others fast the 13th, 14th and 15th days of every month (these are called Al-Ayaam Al-Beedh, the White Days) so this could be another routine to try getting into.

Cut down on junk food and eat better

Another way to prepare is to cut down on any excesses beforehand.

Avoid snacks between meals and try to cut out fast food.

By sticking to nutritious meals at regular times, you’ll more easily adapt to the two daily meals (suhoor and iftar) that are allowed during Ramadan.

How to prepare for ramadan


Halal food near you – best supermarkets for halal meat and groceries
Looking to buy halal food? Whether it’s your regular family groceries, a special occasion or a religious celebration, supermarkets have a wide range of products that are labelled as halal, meaning they have been prepared according to Islamic laws.

Tesco has a dedicated section for halal food – shop at Tesco’s online halal food department here

Morrisons also has a dedicated section for halal food – shop at Morrisons’ online halal food department here

Iceland also sells some products that are listed as halal – shop at Iceland’s halal food section here

Asda has a section of halal food items – shop at Asda’s online halal food department here

Sainsbury’s – shop for halal foods at the Sainsbury’s website here

See a doctor
If you have any health conditions or persistent illnesses, see your GP to find out if fasting is advisable.

Fasting during Ramadan is compulsory for all adult Muslims, except those who are sick, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or travelling.

Quit smoking

Fasting during Ramadan applies not only to food and drink but also to smoking.

Smoking is an addiction so it can be really hard to give up.

One way to offset the stress of trying to stop smoking during Ramadan is to cut down or give up beforehand, to ease yourself into the month of fasting more gradually.

Hopefully, the prayers and general focus on spiritual matters during Ramadan will help to make it easy not to think about reaching for a cigarette.

Change your sleep patterns

If you’re not a devout worshipper, the changes to routine during Ramadan can be hard to stick to, especially if you are a late riser because of work patterns.

The first meal of the day before fasting begins- well before sunrise – means getting up especially early.

So you could try to adjust the times when you go to bed and get up before Ramadan begins if your work hours can accommodate that.

Pray and recite the Qur’an more often

Ramadan involves a lot of spiritual reflection – including prayers and recitals of parts of the Qur’an.

You could get into the habit now by reminding yourself of key religious texts and performing some additional prayers.

Those who recite the Qur’an beautifully, smoothly and precisely are said to be in the company of angels.

Those who recite with difficulty, stammering or stumbling through its verses, are said to have twice that reward.

Perform a few extra prayers will enable you to be ready for all the additional worship that takes place during the month of fasting.

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