When it’s time to bid farewell to the month of spiritual enlightenment, the month of extra rewards, it makes us wonder if we had put more Khushu in Ibadah, spent more time doing Dhikr, given more charity, and so on.
Alhumdulillah, Muslims are deeply connected with Ramadan. Every year, Ramadan is surrounded by an aura of excitement, hearts are fluttering with the love of Allah (swt), and lips are getting parched from uttering supplications during fast.
Those of us who take religion seriously only in Jummah prayers are rushing to the mosque before the sunrise, attending the long Taraweeh prayers, compromising our deep sleep, and keeping ourselves from those binge habits of nibbling here and there.
Who made us do so?
We believe that this is the month of immense mercy and our trust that Allah (swt) will surely respond to us. The reality is such that nobody is ever sure he would be able to make it to another Ramadan.
However, the million dollar question is: after a month of disciplined life and timely eating, how many of us will be able to control our desires and temptations over the bowlful of Sheer Khurma or a plate of Biryani? After this spiritual, physical, and mental high, are we in a position to continue the spark lit by Ramadan for the next eleven months?
To continue reaping the blessings of Ramadan, I have highlighted some post-Ramadan goals that will enable us to enjoy the best of health and Iman, Insha’Allah.
- Retain the habit of early rising
The first golden rule that Ramadan teaches us is to wake up at the time of Suhoor, which is also the best time for offering Tahajjud and other supplications. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “O Allah, bless my Ummah in the mornings.” (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah)
This not only gives us a psychological advantage but really is the super productivity tool that can take our life to the next level. It is the time of least distraction, when our energy levels are at the peak. The way we start our day influences how we live our day. There are many success stories based on the Barakah of the early hours.
- Keep your breakfast as healthy as possible
Nobody can deny the importance of a pre-dawn meal in Ramadan as well as the hardships our mothers undergo while preparing a nutritiously rich Suhoor, so that we feel energized for the rest of the day. “Eat Suhoor, for in Suhoor there is a blessing.” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The same goes for breakfast on non-fasting days – it is essential for supplying nutrients to the body for the day ahead. Studies show that people who eat breakfast are less likely to give in to binge eating and unhealthy cravings.
- Catch up with low-intensity workout
After the drill of controlling hunger and desires in Ramadan and then overtaxing our digestive system by platefuls, we must work on an adjustment and optimization to our workout regimen.
If the workout schedule before Ramadan was an hour of brisk walk, begin with 20-minute walk post-Ramadan to gain momentum. Once the body gets adjusted, increase the dose to 45 minutes or more. Aim to be on the same track as pre-Ramadan as soon as possible.
- Continue to fuel your spirituality
During the fast, we are aware of every split second and prohibit ourselves from indulging into foul language, backbiting, and other spiritual diseases. Ramadan provides the opportunity to realign our spiritual needs and strengthen our relationship with the Creator. But after this booster dose of enlightenment, can we dump ourselves back to the same daily chaos of life?
To avoid this, we must not give up our daily ritual of reading a Juz of the Quran, performing Dhikr to feed our soul, and feel the blessings of Qiyam-ul-Lail. “Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad 13:28)
- Retain the habit of fast occasionally
After enjoying the Eid festivities, continue to master the skills learnt in Ramadan with the fast of six days of Shawwal and occasionally on Mondays and Thursdays. Fasting holds enormous benefits, the greatest of which is obedience to Allah (swt). Fasting rejuvenates and repairs our body and prevents us from such chronic disorders as Diabetes Mellitus, hypertension, and cancer.
It is a vacation for our overused, under-appreciated body and brain. It is the rebalancing of our physical, mental, and emotional health. For obesity syndrome victims, fasting is the reset button. By using this fasting button, you can work on attaining the silhouette you wish for.
- Stick to homemade food
The sight of deep-fried crispy drumsticks and tender mutton Qorma pieces layered in an inch-deep red grease at the Eid Milan celebrations are inviting but…
Are they healthy and hearty for you?
Health and wellness are not just the absence of disease, but it is actually optimizing your body and mind to have the peak performance. You don’t need miracle pills or expensive supplements to enjoy good health – all you need is a few small and simple habits.
Stick to the habit of simple, quick homemade recipes to get a lighter body and a clear mind.
After a heavy meal, 65 % of the body’s energy is directed to the digestive system, resulting in post-meal fatigue and lethargy.
The Messenger of Allah (sa) 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 is for food, one third for drink, and one third for air.” (Ibn Majah)
- Rehydrate, rehydrate, rehydrate
After a day of fasting in the summer heat, a simple glass of water is the most sought-after drink at Iftar.
After Ramadan, we can take the advantage of drinking anytime. Don’t wait for the thirst to drink water, as by that time the body is dangerously low in fluids. So grab a glass of water, for it is the healthiest beverage for the human body.
- Let the discipline flow
When fasting is over, there is no restriction of eating and drinking; however, be mindful of what you are gulping down and how much. Augment this with regular exercise and a fit lifestyle. To maintain good health, we do not need a gigantic leap – it is the small decisions which revolve around conscious and unconscious habits.
Our body is an Amanah, and we can only deliver 100%, if we take good care of it. “No supplication is more pleasing to Allah (swt) than a request for good health.” (Tirmidhi) Being a strong Muslim does not mean to show off bulky muscles in a half ripped shirt; it means to be tough at the spiritual level, so that we can return the Amanah to the Creator in the best possible state. Surely, today is the best time to start the journey.