Assalamualaikum my friends,
Ramadan always comes and passes so fast. T-26 days!
I attended a lecture once, long ago on Ramadan (over 10 years ago) and the speaker mentioned that sometimes we boast about our fasts being so easy and not feeling hungry at all during the day. He said this was kinda sorta missing the point. He said sometimes the Prophet (s) would start his fast on 3 dates and end his fast on 3 dates and that was all he had.
There are countless narrations on how little food the Prophet (s) had access to and how sometimes he only had something to eat because his neighbor gave his family milk.
SubhanAllah – that’s hunger. The speaker encouraged us to try this fast of just eating 3 dates for suhoor and 3 for iftar. I was in college, so I said why not – let me try it. And it is truly a different experience. Hunger affects not only physical strength and weakness but you are also unable to focus, you genuinely feel like you don’t have the capacity to do…anything, even just think or plan.
I’m not telling anyone to try this but it was a very valuable experience and there is value in reflecting on the true essence of hunger and how it extends well beyond just tiredness.
I’m still struggling with staying on top of my goals this Ramadan but alhamdulilah it’s helpful to know there are also lots of small steps we can take to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet (s) like these simple steps at iftar time.
Try these five simple steps for a sunnah iftar this Ramadan:
- Make a personal special dua as you’re breaking your fast
- إِنَّ لِلصَّائِمِ عِنْدَ فِطْرِهِ لَدَعْوَةً مَا تُرَدُّ
- “Verily the fasting person has a prayer at the time of iftar which is not rejected.” [Ibn Majah]
- Break your fast on Prophetic duas
- اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ صُمْتُ وَعَلَى رِزْقِكَ أَفْطَرْتُ ذَهَبَ الظَّمَأُ وَابْتَلَّتِ الْعُرُوقُ وَثَبَتَ الأَجْرُ إِنْ شَاءَ اللّهُ
- “O Allah I fasted for you and with your provisions, I break my fast. The thirst has gone, the veins have become moist, and by the will of Allah, the reward has been established.” [AbuDawud]
- Break your fast on dates
- إِذَا أَفْطَرَ أَحَدُكُمْ فَلْيُفْطِرْ عَلَى تَمْرٍ فَإِنَّهُ بَرَكَةٌ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَلْيُفْطِرْ عَلَى مَاءٍ فَإِنَّهُ طَهُورٌ
- “When one of you opens your fast, he or she should open it with dried dates, if he or she does not find any, then they should open it with water, for water is purifying.” [Tirmidhi]
- Pause to pray Maghrib
- “After iftar, the Maghrib prayer would be performed without delay. If there was more food to be had, it was consumed after Maghrib.” [A Ramadan With the Prophet]
- Return for food and feed others
- مَنْ كَانَ عِنْدَهُ طَعَامُ اثْنَيْنِ فَلْيَذْهَبْ بِثَالِثٍ، وَإِنْ أَرْبَعٌ فَخَامِسٌ أَوْ سَادِسٌ
- “Whoever has food for two people, should take with him a third person. Whoever has food for four people, should take a fifth or even a sixth person.” [Bukhari]
What’s your favorite iftar ever?
I love me the simple hodge podge iftar of yogurt drink, egg rolls, and a lentil soup. Here are some of my other favorite recipes.
PS. If you’re looking to take your eating in Ramadan from necessity to Eat to Worship, join me in Eat to Worship this Ramadan.