For the healthiest Ramadan ever, be like Muhammad (ﷺ)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was the best of mankind, and we aspire to follow in his footsteps in all aspects of our daily lives, ensuring we move closer to Allah (SWT) and His beautiful messenger at every opportunity. In our pursuit, it is worth remembering our bodies are a trust from Allah (SWT) for which we are responsible and must maintain.

Although cancer and other health issues such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes are on the rise, Ramadan is the ideal time to make changes to our diet and start building positive new habits. Allah (SWT) makes it easier for believers to do good and rewards us tenfold, so if we apply ourselves with sincerity, our new routines will remain with us for the long haul.

Intermittent Fasting

Many of us already know that fasting for four weeks during Ramadan allows our bodies to go through a miraculous process of cleansing and healing but did you know that fasting was a regular part of our Prophet’s (ﷺ) life?

He would fast every Monday and Thursday, and on the 13th, 14th and 15th of the lunar month. On days when he wasn’t fasting, he and his family rarely had more than one meal a day, which presents a strong case that the Prophet (ﷺ) and his companions fasted intermittently:

It was narrated by Aishah (RA): “The family of Muhammad (ﷺ) did not eat two meals in one day but one of them was dates.” (Bukhari)

Prepare Simple Feasts

No doubt, we are all looking forward to the arrival of rich and varied feasts come Iftar time! And yet the only feasts the companions of the Prophet enjoyed were those held at weddings.

We know from the hadith about the wedding banquet that Rasulullah (ﷺ) hosted for his marriage to Safiyyah (RA), and that it comprised of dates, dried yoghurt, butter, and a sweet dish called hais. This was simpler than the starters many of us have today!

Eat Quality

Eating clean and high-quality food is an important aspect of Halal living. But what kind of food did the Prophet (ﷺ) eat on a daily basis? We know from the hadith that the food which made up the Prophet’s (ﷺ) regular diet consisted of the following:

  • Dates
  • Barley Bread
  • Yoghurt
  • Olive oil
  • Cucumber
  • Honey
  • Milk
  • Gourd
  • Meat on occasion and in moderation

The list makes a strong case for avoiding heavily processed foods and relying on too much meat.

Limit Quantity

Moderation is key to a healthy diet, and Ramadan provides us with the perfect opportunity to cultivate this practice. With stomachs rumbling by sunset, it can be tempting to overindulge on the Iftar table.

If we find ourselves in such a situation, we should hit pause and give ourselves 30 minutes to appreciate what we’ve already got in our tummy before making that decision. Oftentimes, we’ll find that we neither need nor want more.

The prophetic tradition highlights the importance of moderation. We can use the opportunity presented by Ramadan to adapt to eating less and avoiding that familiar feeling of remorse and discomfort that follows overindulgence.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “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.” (Ibn Majah)

We take great pleasure in preparing and sharing food in Ramadan. But what if we had the opportunity to extend that joy all the way to a cancer ward in Pakistan?

A small Sadaqah donation of £50 to Imran Khan Cancer Appeal this Ramadan will feed a cancer patient for 10 days. By donating £150, you can share your Iftar with a cancer patient for the entire month.