After a whole year of waiting, Ramadan has finally come upon once again. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and is considered to be one of the holiest months in Islam for it is the month when the Holy Quran was first revealed to our Prophet Muhammad. During this month, every qualified Muslim is obligated to fast from dawn until dusk, while avoiding the things that can lead to nullifying the fast.
In Arabic, Ramadan means scorching hot or dry. Due to its meaning, Muslims expect the usual weather during Ramadan would be sunny and hot. Because of this, it is undeniable that at times, it gets a little hard to fast during the day. Sometimes we might get headaches, dizziness, lethargy, or tired even after doing small tasks, that we can’t help but count the minutes until we can break our fast during iftar.
In this blog, we will share some tips with you on how to fast through Ramadan with ease.
1. Don’t miss suhoor/sahur
Suhoor/sahur is basically a pre-dawn meal, like a very early breakfast. It is important for you not to miss suhoor/sahur as it will help to keep you energized until at least noon. You may have a meal as heavy as your regular breakfast during suhoor/sahur and drink lots of plain water until before the Subh adzan, or the calling for dawn prayer. An extra tip that we figured out is that eating 1-7 dates after your suhoor/sahur meal will actually give you enough energy until iftar. So make sure to set your alarm on time for suhoor/sahur and wake up at least 40 minutes before dawn!
2. Keep yourself busy
Admit it; sometimes, you can’t help but count the minutes down to iftar (first meal in the evening for breaking fast), wondering what food you’re going to have for dinner and longed to feel the cold ABC (air batu campur or ais kacang) down your throat. One way to make time flies and keep your mind off of food is to stay busy. Do your work, study, bake Raya cookies, watch movies or take an afternoon nap if you want! Any activity that requires much of your attention (or none) will effectively make you forget about time and before you know it, it’s a few minutes left until you can break your fast! But be careful not to exhaust yourself!
3. Stay in cool places
Being in warm or hot places can make you sweat and subsequently causes dehydration. While you can go outdoors like to the market or Ramadan bazaar, it is best for you to stay indoors in an air-conditioned place throughout the day.
4. Eat in moderation
I know, I know how tempting it is to get that roasted chicken, that fried kuey teow, fried rice, kebab, Roti John, ABC, or coconut drink for your iftar. But it is important to eat your food in moderation, just in the same amount as you have your regular dinner throughout the rest of the year: in moderation. Make sure to break your fast with a glass of plain water first as to not upset your stomach. Drinking iced drinks immediately may cause indigestion. Also, eating dates can reduce your gluttony and make you feel full faster so you can control the amount of food you eat for iftar.
Ramadan Essential Oils
As always, every essential oil user must be wondering what kind of essential oils may be beneficial to be used during Ramadan. As mentioned before, some of us are prone to a few discomforts when fasting such as headache, nausea, moodiness, hunger pains, etc. The lack of water and food can cause these because our body is too used to scheduled feeding. If you face any of these discomforts, stay strong and push yourself to continue fasting for the rest of the day. However, once it became unbearable, you may break your fast early. But don’t forget to pay it back before next Ramadan!
Below is the list of essential oils that can be helpful during Ramadan.
Grapefruit is known to be beneficial to weight loss. This is because some of the active ingredients in grapefruit work to boost metabolism and reduce appetite. When diffused or applied topically after dilution, grapefruit essential oil is known to lower cravings and hunger due to its natural detoxifying properties.
Sometimes dehydration may cause headaches. By massaging a diluted peppermint to your temple or diffusing it, peppermint essential oil can help to relieve headache, dizziness and nausea. Peppermint essential oil is also known for its ability to stimulate your mind and help you to focus in studying or working as well as stimulating energy, therefore beneficial to be used during the day. This essential oil is also capable of reducing spasms in the colon, relaxes the muscles of your intestines, and help to reduce bloating and gassiness. Just dilute peppermint essential oil with any carrier oil before applying it to yourself. The perfect oil to be used in Ramadan day and night!
Students know that sometimes, it is slightly harder to stay focus and remember what they learn in class during Ramadan. It might be because of the hot weather, the thirst, lack of energy, or maybe just because you were thinking about a table full of food during class. Rosemary has been known to be able to strengthen mental ability. The ancient Greeks often used rosemary on their heads to enhance their memory when taking exams. Simply diffuse rosemary essential oil or dab diluted rosemary oil on your wrists or the back of your ears before going to class and studying.
We all admit that we get a little more moodier when fasting. Hunger does that to someone, that’s why the term ‘hangry’ exists! Lavender essential oil has been put on a pedestal for its well-known ability to treat neurological issues like moodiness, stress, and migraines amongst others. By simply diffusing lavender essential oil, you will be able to feel relaxed throughout the day and fast with ease.
Known as the ‘Happy oil’ in the essential oils community, orange essential oil has been proven to be uplifting and tranquilizing. Having been used as a natural antidepressant for centuries, orange essential oil has anxiolytic properties and reduces anxiety-related symptoms. A study conducted has shown that simply diffusing orange essential for merely five minutes can alter moods, enhance relaxation, motivation, and clarity.
Just like orange essential oil, bergamot essential oil can work as a natural stress reliever and reduces tension. Bergamot essential oil is also known to be able to treat indigestion as it stimulates digestive juices and has soothing properties that can help to aid digestion.
The King of Oils is back at it again! Frankincense is known to be a highly spiritual oil and is always related to religious beliefs. Frankincense is believed to increase spirituality and it is a Sunnah (practice or custom) for a Muslim to use fragrance such as Frankincense before going to the mosque to pray. So you can dab diluted Frankincense oil onto your wrists to act as a natural perfume before going for Taraweeh (prayers).
Juniper berry essential oil has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also a natural diuretic that helps to flush out excess fluid from the urethra and bladder, subsequently reduces bloating. Juniper berry essential oil is also known to treat heartburn and acid reflux. It can be particularly helpful during Ramadan, especially at the beginning of the fasting month where heartburn and acid reflux will be bound to happen more during the early period of fasting. Remember to dilute juniper berry essential oil with any of our favourite carrier oil before applying it on yourself to relieve your discomfort.
Most home spas would choose lemongrass essential oil as their favourite essential oil to diffuse and to be used in their massage oil. Not only because lemongrass essential oil has the ability to promote relaxation and soothes muscle pain or tension, it has also been used to relieve headaches and pain from gas irritation in the stomach that causes bloating. Lemongrass essential oil has also been used to cure stomach distress, gastritis, and gastric ulcers for centuries!
There are more ways to enjoy fasting during Ramadan. One of them would be shopping for Raya clothes, go to Ramadan bazaar, teach the little kids to be patient during their first Ramadan, and many more. It is truly a blessed month for the Muslims as we believed that our deeds would be repaid in double during this holy month. May we not waste this opportunity and have a blessed Ramadan.