16 Steps How to do Ramadan Fasting for the First Time
Fasting in Islam is known as sawm or siyam, which means eating and drinking abstain. There are some fasting types in Islam but fasting in Ramadan months is including in five pillars of Islam, and exactly fourth of five pillar of Islam. Ramadan is as well the months in which the Quran firstly sent down as a guidance and judgement for human eventually. Ramadan fasting is quoted in Quran 2:183 (Al-Baqara) :
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous“
The Prophet as well said about Ramadhan month:
“Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted” [ImamTabarani]
It is such a challenge to a person who Ramadan fasting for the first time, it is including children who learning fasting and new moslems (muallaf). For the children who come from moslem family, they have learnt fasting from their parent’s habit so it does not matter for them to do it for the first time. It will be different for the one who come from non-moslem family or new moslem (muallaf).
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Based on true story according to Tracy Charles , a new moslem, she was so worried about without food, but everytime she got starving, she remember why she did this and it made her aware.
The Right Way To Do
Ramadan fasting for the first time to who perform the first fasting is kind of challenging and sometimes it is really hard to do to one who does not familiar to fasting in Islam (no food and no drink during the daytime). The following are 17 how to do ramadan fasting for the first time.
- Talk and Make a Consultation with Other Moslem about Fasting
It is recommended when a moslem / a new moslem who would have the first fasting talk to other moslem about how to do fasting as well preparing before ramadan fasting. They can share their experience for their yearly ramadan fasting, about how to hold back theirselves from food and drink temptation, sexual arouse, bad tamper, etc. Also, they make a lot of recitation (doa) as well salat sunnah (non obligatory) such as taraweh pray, and read the Quran 1 jooz each day.
2. Read Some Informations about Ramadan
You may browse either via internet or google information about Ramadan, some ramadan’s duas, food that should consume or should not consume during ramadan fasting. You also may search the information in the books such as Ramadan authored by Suhaib Hamid Ghazi.
3. Listen to Discussion about Ramadhan
A moslem especially new moslem should join the discussion in Islamic community, and if the months of ramadan will come, the community usually held a discussion about ramadan fasting. We can find the discussion through local mosque, at the Islamic society in every college / institution, at islamic center. You may find on Halal Tube which provide various discussion about ramadan.
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4. Free the Schedule During Ramadan
Since ramadan fasting for the first time you will feel like you are lack of energy, then it is recommended if you minimize your activity during ramadan. Don’t accept much project during ramadan.
5. Consult the Doctor for Health Issues
When a new moslem is in a doubt to plan ramadan fasting for the first time, it is to be advised that he / she consult the doctor before. The doctor will check the health of the person and make sure that there are not any problems if the patient perform fasting. If doctor agree that you can do fasting, then just continue as well as you can.
6. Start Adjust Your Sleep Routine
Since suhur time is about 10 minute before Fajr pray, it is recommended if you adjust your sleep time and try to getting up before Fajr time. So when your body rhythm has a routine dawn wake up, then you have no difficult when you have to wake up before fajr and have breakfast. It could be better if you do night prayer at 3 am everyday so that you have no problem in waking up in the middle of the night.
7. Start Having Early Breakfast
As moslems must have breakfast early morning then no food intake during the day, it is advised starting breakfast early morning even when you just get up. Before ramadan begins, try to have breakfast as early as the cock make cock-a-doodle-doo in the morning dawn. Eat the food which containing high fiber, high protein, and vitamin. It is for routine purpose so that when a new moslem ready for the first ramadan fasting, they can perform without a problem.
8. Avoid Sun and Staying Indoor
When most moslems do ramadan fasting, it means there is no food or no drink to take. So when a moslem do not drink at all even in the daytime, then their body start low level dehydration. Avoid the severe dehydration by staying indoor all the time and avoid sunlight at midday. Stay indoor all the time during ramadan months to save your energy and and multiply the Quran recitation.
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9. Reduce the Caffeine Intake
Caffein has diuretic character found in coffee, tea and chocolate which can produce much urine and waste much of your body’s liquid. So it will get dehydrated during ramadan since there is limited liquid intake into your body. Lack of liquid causing headache. If you have habit of drinking coffee or tea 2-3 cups day, then reduce it into 1 cups a day or no caffein at all before ramadan.
10. Get Rid Bad Habit for Days Advance
Since Ramadan months is the month of blessing and the holy month, then moslems have to get rid some of a bad habit, such as smoking and chewing gum. Because smoking and even chewing gum is not allowed when moslems do ramadan fasting. If a moslem smoking in the midday, then he/she cannot continue their fasting because smoking and chewing gum can canceling the siyam.
11. Begin Practicing Fasting
By practicing fasting in everyday habit, then a moslem do not feel exhausted and suffering for ramadan fasting in 3 day first. As you have never fasting in a full day before, let your body in 18 hours doing fasting, so it will help you to do some practice fasting before ramadan month. You can do fasting practice by not taking food and drink during the half day, and it should gradually increase the time of break the fast, until you can reach iftar (break the fast after Magrib pray call). If you success performing one day fasting, then start fasting in Moday and Thursday fasting as suggested by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
12. Avoid Oily Food and Do Not Over Eating
Too much greasy and oily food can make your throat dry all the daytime during fasting. Moslem should avoid it and substitute with steamed method cooking food. Besides, fried food that contains cooking oil make it hard to digest. A moslem must not overeat during breakfast. Stomach ulcers and other gastro complications caused by overeating are more common during Ramadan. Overeating after iftar and suhoor can not only harm the body, but it may also interfere with a person’s spiritual growth during the month, causing fatigue, sleepiness and lethargy. As the messenger of Allah, Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said about overeat:
“O Children of Adam! Put on your adornment (decent proper dress) when you attend your Masjid at the time of every prayer. Eat and drink, but do not be extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant” (Qur’an 7:31)
see also : Eating Habits in Islam
13. Focus of Your Prayer and Much Praying
In Ramadhan months it is recommended that most moslems multiply their praying besides 5 time obligatory praying (salat fardh). Besides routin 5 times praying, a moslem should perform salat at-taraweh which is held by local mosque, so they have to attend to the mosque for Isha’ pray then be continued with taraweh pray. It is as welll recommended pray for forgiveness, zikr (recited over and over againin rememberance in the name of Allah), lailatul qadr praying, and private praying as much as possible.
14. Spending Time Reciting Quran
Beside taraweh praying, in ramadan month, a moslem should reciting the Quran at least one juz per-day. Even if a new moslem cannot read the arabic, at least they have to try the best in reading the Qur’an (it could be alphabetical if they do not literate arabic at all).
15. Learn for Ramadan Dua (recitation)
There are some ramadhan dua which is usually said. It is consisting of:
- Fasting intention prayer
- Breaking the fast prayer “Allahuma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa ‘alayka tawakkaltu wa ‘ala rizq-ika aftarthu”
- First 10 day “Rabbigh fir war hum wa anta khair ur rahimeen“
- Second 10 day “Allahumma innaka afuwun tuhibbul afuwa faafu anna“
- Third 10 day / last “Astaghfirullaha rabbi min kulli zambin wa atabu ilaih“
16. Learn to be Patience with Family and Friends
There must be any conflicts to the internal family as well friends when a new moslem decide to convert into moslem. Morever, a family won’t accept if you start do fasing in ramadan month. In this case, try to reassure your family if fasting won’t be harm to your body. If everything does not work, then you must be patient with all of the family and friend.
Thus, the article for 16 how to do Ramadan fasting for the first time. Hopefully the article will give any benefits.