Special Ramadan

Every year, more than one billion Muslims around the globe observe the importance of the month of Ramadan. This time of the year is a time for reflection, devotion to God, and self-control.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims show their devotion to God by fasting, or abstaining from food.
Many religions encourage some kind of fasting for religious purposes. For instance, Catholics give up meat for Lent and Jews fast during the holiday of Yom Kippur.. 
For Muslims, fasting is a very important component of Islam , as the benefits of fasting for Ramadan are numerous. The most important, though, is the idea that through the self-control of fasting one can pay special attention to his spiritual nature.
Ramadan is an important time for Muslims, not simply because it helps develop a closer relationship with God, but also because Ramadan is a time to think about those who are less fortunate. Another goal of fasting for Ramadan is to experience hunger in sympathy for those without food. It is a way that many Muslims learn thankfulness and appreciation for what they have..
I thought reserving the whole Page for the Holy month of Ramadan will be very Helpful for some and interesting for others specially that a lot of New Muslims find it very hard task to maintain , NOT because of Ramadan IT SELF but it's because the way some see it to the way some prepare or not prepare themselves to it.
to make your fasting succeed it's very easy you Just need to know a lot of things about this Holly month Benefits for you  & switch your eating time Plans with no fear and before all have the will-power to do it:

What is Ramadan:
Ramadan is a month of blessing that includes prayer, fasting and charity.It is also known and recognised as the month of the Qur'an Allah (SW) says:
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
when This blessed and challenging month is just around the corner. Once more, our patience is put to the test as we place Allah's command to fast above our desire for comfort.
It can be difficult for many reasons: athletes may find their training routines completely disrupted as their bodies weaken, students may find their studying habits disturbed by headaches, 
husbands and wives must limit their relations, etc. It is a month that forces all our activities to come to a standstill so that we will stop what we are doing and put Allah's (arabic word that means God) command as our top priority.
 Moreover, the timing of the month is constantly changing, reflecting its stirring and provocative nature.
It is always changing, always catching us at different times of the year, always challenging us when perhaps we least expect it to be our best when we might feel our worst.
According to the Qur'an and narrations of the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them), the month of Ramadan is meant to increase our piety (God-consciousness), and to serve as a guidance for mankind. We seek this guidance through prayers and supplications, as well as through awareness and mindful actions. Below we have listed a few suggestions to help prepare ourselves for Ramadan on multiple levels, from the stomach to the mind, since Ramadan touches us on so many levels:  

Prepare Your Stomach:

1-How to Break your Fast ( Iftar):
after long hours fasting you should brake your fast with Water or Dates..Breaking one's fast with dates, as well as praying before iftar , are both mentioned in the Hadith literature: "The Messenger of Allah would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water." 
One of the many physical benefits of breaking the fast with dates is that our body benefits from the date's high level of natural sugars. 
Sugars travel most quickly to the liver, where they are converted into energy more quickly than any other nutrient. Muslims have an immediate need for this energy when they break their fast, for they need energy to perform their sunset prayers. Ironically, one also needs this energy to consume the iftar meal. 
When a person eats, the body uses energy to digest the food. Eating large quantities of food immediately after fasting is not healthy for the body, which is in a weakened condition. Eating a date first helps the body start its digestive process and gives it the energy to deal with the secondary, more complex foods, eaten during iftar.
Dates are also high in vitamins A and B6, folic acid, potassium, natural sodium, iron, and magnesium. Thus, eating dates daily during Ramadan is like taking a daily multivitamin.
This daily multivitamin can create a stronger and healthier body, one more fit for fasting. Dates also contain large amounts of dietary fiber, which can prevent any constipation that might result from eating the traditionally rich foods served during Ramadan. Additionally, dates protect the stomach and intestinal tract from parasites and bacteria, and thus is a good preventative medicine when eating iftar at unfamiliar locations.
Dates also have a special place in Islam. In fact, they were one of the Prophet's (SAW) most frequently consumed foods. For this reason, their benefit is most likely spiritual as well as physical.
If their benefit were purely physical, one could perhaps consume any fruit high in natural sugars before iftar to gain similar benefits. However, the act of following the Prophet's (SAW) tradition is one way of connecting and remembering him, which is spiritually beneficial for Muslims.
One should pray after eating dates and before eating the main meal, because this short break gives the body time to metabolize the dates and water that have been consumed and to start the body's digestive processes, which have been resting all day. Eating large amounts of food immediately after breaking the fast resembles starting a car and the driving it without giving it enough time to warm up. As we know, this can damage the engine's internal mechanics. 
The same is true with the body, for jumpstarting the body's digestive processes can shock the entire organ system. In some cases, this shock could be dangerous. In most cases, however, it is simply an unhealthy way 
to break the fast. The immediate dangers are apparent in the increased need to sleep after the iftar. This sleepy feeling comes about because the body has expended so much energy on the digestive system that it needs to lower its other bodily functions in order to perform its digestive duties properly. Over time, this habit can cause long-term damage to the body.

What to eat after fasting for many hours:
well before all Choices in your menu condider to always have Soups , then Meat ,Bread or rice or Pasta (Complex carbohydrates source) , Mixed vegetable salad ,  Eat fruits as the last item of the dinner or soon after dinner, to facilitate digestion and prevent many gastrointestinal problems. Citrus fruits provide vitamin C. Fruits are a good source of dietary fiber, Fruits and mixed nuts may be eaten as a snack after dinner before sleep or night Prayers.

Pre-dawn Meal ( sahur):
Suhur meal (taken before Fjar (Sunrise)Time is one of the most important meals to consume during Ramadan to keep your energy levels up during the day. Do not skip this meal as it will provide you with important nutrients and the energy you need to get through the day. It will also decrease hunger symptoms, such as headache and sleepiness. 

Your healthy Suhur meal could include: 

• Whole-wheat bread and low-fat cheese or labneh 

• Bran or high-fibre cereal with low-fat or skimmed milk 

• Fruit, including dates and bananas. 

Avoid drinking too much tea at this time, it can dehydrate you. 

Ramadan is a time when your activity level tends to decrease, and in pregnancy it may mean you may become more tired. 
To follow a healthy fast, keep in mind the above tips when eating and: 
1-Drink sufficient water between Iftar and sleep to avoid dehydration.
2-Consume sufficient vegetables at meals. Eat fruits at the end of the meal.
3-Avoid intake of high sugar (table sugar, sucrose) foods through sweets or other forms.
4-Avoid spicy foods.
5-Avoid caffeine drinks such as coke, coffee or tea. Caffeine is a diuretic. Three days to five days before Ramadan gradually reduce the intake of these drinks. A sudden decrease in caffeine prompts headaches, mood swings and irritability.
Smoking is a health risk factor. Avoid smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadan. Smoking negatively affects utilization of various vitamins, metabolites and enzyme systems in the body.
6-Do not forget to brush or Miswak (tender neem tree branch, Azhardicta indica or other appropriate plant in a country, about 1/4-1/2 inch diameter and 6-8 inches length, tip partially chewed and made brush like). Brush your teeth before sleep and after sahur. Brush more than two times or as many times as practicable.

Normal or overweight people should not gain weight ,For overweight people as Ramadan is an excellent opportunity to lose weight. Underweight or marginally normal weight people are discouraged from losing weight. Analyzing a diet's energy and nutritional component, using food composition tables or computer software, will be useful in planning an appropriate diet.
It is recommended that everyone engage in some kind of light exercise, such as stretching or walking. It's important to follow good time management practices for Ibada (prayer and other religious activities), sleep, studies, job, 
and physical activities or exercise.

Fasting in Ramadan: Lessons & Moralities:

the Messenger of Allah Muhammed (Peace be upon him, Pbuh) Says: "He who does not desist from obscene language and acting obscenely (during the period of fasting), Allah has no need that he didn't eat or drink." (Bukhari, Muslim).
& he said :"Fasting is not only from food and drink, fasting is to refrain from obscene (acts). If someone verbally abuses you or acts ignorantly toward you, say (to them) 'I am fasting; I am fasting." (Ibn Khuzaoinah).
Restraint from food, water, and undesirable behavior makes a person more mentally disciplined and less prone to unhealthy behavior. In an investigation in Jordan , a significant reduction of parasuicidal cases was noted during the month of Ramadan. In the United Kingdom, the Ramadan model has been used by various health departments and organizations to reduce cigarette smoking among the masses, especially among Africans and Asians.

God, Most High, says, “Blessed be He in whose hand is the Sovereignty, and He is able to do all things. He created death and life that He may try which of you is best in deed. He is the Exalted in Might, oft Forgiving.” (Al-Mulk: 1-2)

Also, He says, “It is He who made the night and day to follow each other for such as have the will to celebrate His praises or to show their gratitude.” (Al-Furqan: 62)

Life and death and the succession of nights and day have a purpose and that is to test us and to give us an opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to our Creator and Sustainer. The month of Ramadan comes and goes. We must examine ourselves now and see what we have learned and achieved during this month. The test of success of this month lies in the effects it has left upon us as follows:

1. Discipline: We learn in this month how to discipline ourselves for the sake of Allah. In our morning and evening, we follow a strict schedule of eating and drinking. We are constantly aware that even in our such 
mundane activities as eating and drinking, we must remain under divine injunctions. We change our habits in our daily routines because we learn that we are not the servants and slaves to our habits, but always the servants of Allah. Then after Ramadan, we have to keep this spirit of discipline in other modes of our life and must continue with our submission to the commands of Allah.

2. Renewal of Devotional Life: Ramadan renews our enthusiasm for worship and devotion to Allah. In this month we are more careful of our daily prayers and have special prayers at night. There is no religion without prayer and Muslims learn in this month how to strengthen and deepen their religious life.

3. Renewal of Contact with the Qur’an: Ramadan and the Qur’an are linked together from the beginning. It was in this month that this divine message was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. We are told that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was fasting when he received the first revelation. Fasting prepares the believers' hearts to learn the Word of Allah. It is the most suitable condition for our spiritual and mental communication with the Qur’an. The Muslim Ummah pays more attention to the Qur’an in this month. This renewed contact with the Qur’an must help us in following its message and all prophets and messengers before him.

4. Renewal of Identity: Ramadan is not an individual experience only, but it is an experience in community. The whole Muslim Nation fasts together in one and the same month. We identify with one another in our obedience to Allah. This gives us a new sense of togetherness and association. Ramadan teaches us that the Muslim Nation is the community of piety and devotion to Allah and its members derive their strength from 
each other in deeds of piety and virtue. The bonds that are based on piety and virtue are the strongest bonds and it is these bonds that prove good for mankind. The strength of the Muslim community lies in its commitment to the values of goodness, morality and piety. Ramadan leaves an imprint of all these values upon the Muslim Nation.

5. A Fresh Sense of Care and Sympathy: Fasting in the month of Ramadan helps us to understand the suffering and the pains of the poor and needy. By our voluntary hunger and thirst we realize what it means to be deprived of basic necessities of life. Ramadan is called the month of charity and sympathy. We learn how to be more kind and generous in this month. Many Muslims also pay their Zakah in the month of Ramadan.

6. Fasting is Struggle That make you Stronger: Fasting in Ramadan and Struggle both of them related , it prepares for hardships and sacrifice. These are two important things without which Struggle is not possible. Muslims learn in Ramadan how to struggle against the forces of evil in their own selves, in the society around them, and in the world at large.

7. the Islamic concept of self-awareness & God-consciousness (Taqwa) : To summarize all the moral and spiritual gifts of Ramadan, we can say that Ramadan gives us the great gift of  God-consciousness . Taqwa (God-consciousness) is the sum total of Islamic life. It is the highest of all virtues in the Islamic scheme of things. It means, God-consciousness, piety, fear and awe of Allah and it signifies submission to Allah and total commitment to all that is good and rejection of all that is evil and bad.

Muslim Kids & Ramadan:
Muslim children are not required to fast for Ramadan until they reach the age of maturity (puberty). However, in many families, younger children enjoy participating and are encouraged to practice their fasting.
It is common for a younger child to fast for part of a day, or for one day on the weekend. This way, they enjoy the "grown-up" feeling that they are participating in the special events of the family and community & learning different Morals and Lessons of it.
It is also common for children to participate in Ramadan in other ways, aside from the daily fast. They may collect coins or money to donate to the needy, help cook meals for breaking the day's fast, or read Quran with the family in the evening. At the end of Ramadan, children are often indulged with gifts, sweets and money on the day of Eid al-Fitr.

 Al Fitr Charity:

Zakat (Charity) al-Fitr is a small amount that Muslims are obliged to pay as Charity at the end of Ramadan. Zakat al-Fitr is often referred to as Sadaqah al-Fitr (voluntary charity). The word Fitr means the same as Iftaar, breaking a fast and it comes from the same root word as Futoor which means breakfast. Thus, Islamically, Zakat al-Fitr is the name given to charity which is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadan.

is dependant on the major item of food consumed by a person during the year. These may be rice, wheat, barley, dates, etc. In weight Fitr should be three Kilograms per person. It is also permissible to pay cash to the value of three Kilograms food grains.
It is obligatory on the head of the family to give Fitr of all persons (including servants of both sexes of any cast or creed) that take food in his house.
If a guest Muslim or non-Muslim arrives at one's house before the night of Eid al-Fitr and dines with his host, it is incumbent on the latter to give the former's Fitr. If the guest arrives after sunset of the night of Eid al-Fitr. Fitr is not obligatory even if he dines with his host. Even when the guest arriving before sunset does not dine, Fitr is obligatory on the host. In this it is better if both the host and the guest give Fitr.
If one's wife is at her parent's on the night of Eid al-Fitr, her parents should take out her Fitr.

Fitr is compulsory on those who can afford it, and it is a sin not to give it.

Some Prayers:
In the time of breaking one's fast:

O my Allah, for Thee, I fast, and with the food Thou gives me I break the fast, and I rely on Thee.

In the name of Allah, O Allah, we fast, and with the food Thou gives us we break the fast, an obligation we fulfill, and Thou art Hearer, Knower.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, O He whose indulgence is boundless, forgive me.

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The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Knowledge is only through study."

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