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Ramadan, Amanah and the Gift of Health

Ramadan is a deeply spiritual time of year for Muslims, centred around worship and gaining Divine nearness. There is no doubt that, from a spiritual perspective, Ramadan brings with it great ease, blessings and peace of mind.

Fasting for long periods of time can take some adjusting for the body. Many communities have traditions of luxurious Iftars and heavy meals, which can also take their toll on our bodies, leaving us feeling bloated and lethargic.

It’s important to make sure that we make healthy choices to ensure that we have the strength needed to engage in more Dhikr this Ramadan, fulfil our obligations in the best way,  and to make the most of this blessed time of year. 

Ramadan is an important time to reflect on our lifestyles and how we are taking care of our bodies, which are an Amanah, entrusted to us by Allah (SWT). 

It is Allah Who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape - and made your shapes beautiful - and has provided for you Sustenance...

Qu'ran | 40:64

Food – the importance of eating right

The food we eat can help us maintain a good immune system, reduce our stress levels, keep our energy levels up and help us to stay healthy. 

As well as enhancing our physical health, eating well is important for our mental health and cognitive function, helping to maintain good mood, concentration, and mental clarity. 


During Ramadan, make an effort to maintain a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals.

To keep up your strength whilst fasting, eat slow-release carbohydrates such as oats, wholegrain rice and wholemeal bread. These are particularly good food options for Suhur and will help to keep you full and energised throughout the day.

It’s important not to over-indulge and to eat in moderation, as taught by our Prophet (peace be upon him):

A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.

Hadith | Sahih al-Bukhari

Here is a list of some great foods we can begin to incorporate into meals in preparation for Ramadan, and why they are so beneficial for our wellbeing.

  • Yoghurt – This is high in protein, calcium, vitamins, and probiotics, which may boost the immune system.
  • Black Seed, Ginger & Turmeric – These have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Adding them to your meals is a simple way to boost overall health.
  • Honey – This further increases the level of anti-inflammatories in the blood, promoting good heart health.
  • Flaxseeds, Fenugreek and Walnuts – These are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which make up an important portion of our nutritional intake. It is said that they help to fight depression, anxiety, inflammation and are essential for brain development. 
  • Sweet potato – As well as being a great source of fibre, minerals and vitamin, they contain antioxidants that contribute to a healthy gut, and possibly improve eyesight.
  • Eggs – They contain high levels of Vitamin D as well as tryptophan, an amino acid which helps to create serotonin. This will help to regulate mood, sleep, memory, and possibly anxiety. 
  • Avocados – These are very nutritionally rich and are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, and several minerals including iron, copper and potassium.
  • Berries – most berries are high in vitamins, fibres and flavonoids, which have been proven to decrease the risk of heart issues.
  • Dark chocolate – Being a good source of magnesium, dark chocolate is a good alternative to supplement your body with as well as helping to fight depression.

Although it can be difficult to change our eating habits, with a bit of self-discipline and determination, you can begin to see the benefits of eating healthily in your mind, body and soul.

Revive the Sunnah 

During Iftar and Suhur, don’t forget to include some of the Sunnah food and drink into your diet such as water, dates, honey and milk.

Dates contain many nutrients and health benefits including reducing blood pressure, the risk of heart disease and colon cancer and relieving constipation. Dates are a great source of slow-release energy – keeping you energised for longer. Perhaps you could first open your fast with a few dates and a glass of milk or water before taking a break to pray.

Iftar foods

Food and drinks to avoid

Be mindful of how much salt is used while cooking during Ramadan. Too much sodium can lead to bloating, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and heavy in the evenings while praying.

During Suhoor, avoid caffeine, which can cause dehydration. Instead, consider replacing tea and coffee with decaffeinated options such as milk and fresh juice.

It is important to drink plenty of water, and eat foods that have a high water content such as watermelon, to stay hydrated.

Stay active!

Exercising while fasting has great health benefits and can help us maintain higher energy levels, without putting too much strain on the body.

It’s sensible to build up your levels of exercise gradually throughout the month. A brisk walk around your area before Iftar, or home workout might be a good idea. You could even tie this into listening to Qur’an or to an Islamic talk if you want to be really productive! 


Seek advice if you fall unwell

The Qur’an states that:

Whoever is ill or on a journey, then the prescribed period should be made up by days later. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship…

Qur’an | 2:184-5

Consult a doctor and a local scholar if you fall unwell during the month, or if a health condition means you are unsure about whether or not you are exempt from fasting. As a general guide you may be excused if you reasonably fear that the act of fasting will increase your sickness or slow your recovery. If you’re unable to fast due to illness, you must make up these fasts when you are fully recovered.

Allah has also accounted for those with longer-term health conditions who are not able to make up missed fasts by requiring that they pay Fidyah, which is money given to the poor for each fast missed in Ramadan. The amount to pay is the local value of 2kg of wheat per missed fast. You can calculate and pay your Fidyah here

It’s important to remember that health is a gift Allah, Al Mussawir (The Fashioner), created and entrusted to us. We should take good care of our brilliantly designed bodies. Now is a great time to acknowledge how to best optimise your health and keep your mind positive, in order to take complete advantage of the most blessed month.

May Allah bless us with good health this Ramadan and beyond, Ameen!


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