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How to prepare for Ramadan?

(43 Posts)
MOZZEE Sat 11-Jun-11 02:11:17

Salaams to you all. This will be my first proper hot summer Ramadan since converting and was wondering what tips you all have for coping with the hot weather, the household chores and caring for the kids (I have 2 under 6). Do you recommend keeping the children awake until really late (ie midnight) so they can sleep longer during the day? They are normally in bed at 7pm and awake at 6.30am. I take medicine that requires for me not to get dehydrated, so I have been advised by my nurse specialist to drink 2 litres between iftar and sehri time - which means staying awake to do this! My DH won't be able to take annual leave and as it will be the summer holidays and it's just me and the kids the whole day by ourselves, I'm starting to feel a little nervous! So all advice greatly received please!

threadsoffeeling Sat 11-Jun-11 22:32:47

i had to give up fasting when my kids were that age as i just couldnt cope with being hungry and thristy and caring for them without shouting at them. since fasting isnt only about absatining from food, i made the decision that there was no point in starving and being a bitch to my kids coz they were just being kids. My parents supported me in this.
ds loves fasting now. the only times he didnt last ramadhan were when i made him stop because i thought he wasnt getting enough food for a growing lad, but inshallah i wont do that this year. If he wants to do all rthirty days, then inshallah. it will help that he wont be expected to play sports as it isduring the school holidays.
if you have medical reasons, then be careful. If it makes you sick and unable to care for your babies, you will need to think about it very seriously.

MOZZEE Fri 17-Jun-11 14:27:25

Thanks threadsoffeelings for your comments. I totally agree with you, I'll just end up shouting at the kids and it isn't their fault. A 6 year old and a 3 year old need entertaining during summer holidays, I can't just lay around the house resting! But Allah is All Seeing and All Knowing, and there is nothing mentioned in the Quran or Hadiths that say we can miss fasting because we feel we can't cope ... (that's not an insult to you by the way) ... but I sometimes do think that I would rather spend a month in the Fire than spend a month screaming at my children and making their life miserable! None of my husbands family would understand that and would absolutely berate me for it, they couldn't even understand not fasting whilst pregnant/breastfeeding! As for my medicine - I have emailed my consultant asking for more advice as you're right, I won't do anything intentionally that makes me sick!

oukhty Sun 19-Jun-11 11:16:29

Assalam Alaykoum dear sis,
I don't have much experience of Ramadan with kids as I only have a baby at the moment, but from what I have observed other families do, I think it's a good idea to put the children to bed a bit later. Midnight might be a bit late for them, but it will definitely be a nice experience for them to have iftar with the adults, see them break their fast, and you can explain the meaning of fasting and everything. Also try to prepare and freeze some food before hand so you don't have to cook too much during Ramadan, especially for days when you will be tired, try to get a nap between iftar and suhur, and take it easy!! If you feel too tired with the kids, maybe take them to the park and get yourself a nice coffee, or to the mosque where insha allah there will be other kids to play with and you can have a chat with sisters to relax?? Also there might be specific activities for Ramadan in your community that you can drop them at, or do together?? I'm also a bit apprehensive as I'm breastfeeding this year, and I'm also a recent convert, but insha Allah it will all go well- it always does! Have a blessed Ramadan

Riveninside Wed 22-Jun-11 13:37:38

It is haram to fast if you have a medical condition.
And you dont need to fast when pregnant or breastfeeding.

amirah85 Wed 22-Jun-11 18:06:10

pls can you post proof when saying something is haraam?if doctor says its fine to fast why is that haram?and sorry,but not to fast so you dont end up shouting to your kids???really???would it not be better to try and learn patience even when fasting?icant understand why some try to find excuses,you dont wanna fast fine,your decision,but at least say it as it is!
OP do your kids still have a nap?you could try to keep them up later,maybe not midnight more like 10 ish and let them nap after lunch? as well you could include food like soups to the iftar,to get extra liquids.
Oukhty how old will the baby be in ramadan insha'Allah?even breastfeeding should be fine insha'Allah drink lots before sohoor and maybe take the baby to weight weekly just to make sure hes growing properly insha'Allah?done it last year it was fine alhamdulillah

Riveninside Wed 22-Jun-11 18:21:34

here
here

The OP sounded like she had something where fasting would make her sicker. The medicine requires hat she doesnt become dehydrated. Now a 16 hour fast during summer will lead to dehydration so it means the medicine wont work im guessing.
I spent a while researching this as i have 2 medical conditions which sadly mean i cannot fast. I did do it one year and ended up very ill so i spoke to Amra Bone. She explained it all very well.

amirah85 Wed 22-Jun-11 20:22:34

i tho that her nursespecialistallowed her to fast?obviously if sickness prevents you to fast ,then you dont fast,you dont want to kill yourself by fasting!what i meant is that having a medical condition doesnt automatically means you cant fast it depends on the condition.

threadsoffeeling Wed 22-Jun-11 23:18:26

amirah, you think that because you are capable of doing somthing, everyone else should be to? and if they are not, then they are making excuses? I suggest you use Ramadan to teach yourself about not judging people and not calling them as excuse makers, just because it would be an excuse for you in your personal circumstances.
Allah knows what is in our hearts, and will decide according to what is in our hearts. I could go on and say more, but really cant be bothered. I hope the op finds a solution for herself that she is happy with.

Riven, i understand why you would want to say that something is haram, but, please dont. Most definately without quoting chapter and verse. What we are generally forbidden from doing, is harming ourselves, so suicide is forbidden etc. fasting whilst breastfeeding or pregnant, may harm the baby, and in such instances becomes forbidden, but even so, i would hesitate to put a blanket fatwa on it.

amirah85 Wed 22-Jun-11 23:25:41

think is fasting is hard for everyone,you do what you want but not fasting not to be nervous with the kids...then men shouldnt fast not to be nervous with their wives?then nobody would fast.fasting whilst bf or pg isnt necessarily haram depends on mother/baby health etc,i fasted whilst bf my second,with my first i tryed but couldnt do all 30 days

threadsoffeeling Wed 22-Jun-11 23:37:17

again, you are reading what YOU want to read into my posts. 'nervous' around kids? really. is that all you think happens during fasting in the lives of some of us.

think of a mother, alone with three children. suffering horrendous emotional and financial abuse at the hand of her 'd'H. alone, because she has no family and no friends closeby. I could go on about this situation for a long time, but i wont as i dont have the energy to describe it, but this woman is just barely keeping her own head and that of her babies above water. Its her own personal Jihaad. To the battles she does every day, add on complete lack of food and water coupled with complete lack of the emotional bonding and support that happens within a muslim community, because there isnt one there. If she fasts, then she simply cant care for her babies. she cant be patient with them, as you so blithely suggest she be. Allah has given her an option. Who are you to give her a guilt trip about it, adding guilt on top of all the other problems she already has. What gives you that right?

Allah is All forgiving, and all knowing. those arent just words. They actually mean something. yes, we are expected to try our hardest, but we arent expected to kill ourselves and our children to perform to some ideal of someone else. Allah knows what is going on inside us. Have faith. Proper, real FAITH. not just a blind following of laws that have been laid down.

amirah85 Thu 23-Jun-11 13:46:48

laws laid down by who?Allah!sorry about your situation but that does not change that fast its not optional.what you mean Allah is giving you an option?what you mean we arent expected to kill ourselves and our children to perform to some ideal of someone else?someone else who?how is fasting going to kill you and your children? not giving a guilt trip but i believe if you think something is wrong you should say it,thats it,in the end you do what you want and we ll have to answer for ourselves

Riveninside Thu 23-Jun-11 15:35:23

Eh?

amirah85 Thu 23-Jun-11 20:49:58

erm...eh what?

amirah85 Thu 23-Jun-11 20:50:45

excuse if my post is not clear,english my second language..

MOZZEE Sat 25-Jun-11 23:09:44

Oh my goodness! I really didn't want to cause any problems with this thread! I'm a natural born worrier and I worry about anything and everything, which is why I'm worrying about Ramadan at the moment. But like anything you worry about, it never is as bad as you think it's going to be and so I am trying to focus on today and not worry too much about tomorrow. I will take each day as it comes in Ramadan, I will use your ideas like having soups for iftar (does anyone have a nice soup recipe?)and encouraging the kids to have naps.

I'm still waiting for my consultant to come back to me regarding my medication. I have ulcerative pancolitis (currently in remission) and take Pentasa tablets 1g BD (that's four tablets daily) so if Riveninside knows more about this particular condition and meds with regards to fasting, please do tell!

>> >>> >> What does OP mean?

MOZZEE Sat 25-Jun-11 23:17:44

Oh and in my experience with the healthcare profession, they are very cautious not to advise anything against religious beliefs, to avoid being judgemental. What I was asking my nurse specialist was to give me the facts so I could make an informed decision but she just kept saying that she couldn't tell me what to do, I have to follow my religion. This was frustrating as she didn't understand there are exemptions but I needed the facts!

threadsoffeeling Mon 27-Jun-11 20:14:12

Inshallah it will work well for you.

I described a situation that existed. I did not go into a great deal of detail because this isnt the place, but i felt that it is necessary to give the flip side of the arguement. Its not always ok, it doesnt always work out. But, the beauty is that Allah is forgiving and will understand when we cannot do all that we feel is needed. It is far and away more important to be a good mother and care for our children, and that includes emotional needs as well as physical needs, than it is to follow the letter of the law. If you cannot fast, then remember that Allah knows what is in your heart, and He is the one who will forgive. Be kind to yourself and your children and make itup at a later time. Dont allow others to guilt you into feeling a failure. Only Allah can judge us.

OpusProSerenus Mon 27-Jun-11 20:22:30

MOZZEE My experience is that GPs in areas with sizeable muslim populations are often very knowledgeable about which conditions need special arrangements in Ramadan. Have you asked at your GP surgery? I met a GP recently who, although not muslim himself, was very well educated regarding fasting and contents of medicines that were suitable or not for his patients.

MOZZEE Mon 04-Jul-11 09:43:09

Thanks OPS, except for I don't live in a predominately Muslim area so I wouldn't expect my GP to have any specialist information. I've even had to explain to my DS's primary school teacher what "halal" was!

TOF, I'm not judging you, please don't worry smile

If anyone is interested, I have found an article online about fasting and IBD:

www.indianjgastro.com/IJG_pdf/nov2008/nov08_SR2_pg239_acknowledge241.pdf

MOZZEE Mon 04-Jul-11 10:08:41

And this article as well:

journals.sfu.ca/ijmbs/index.php/ijmbs/article/view/137/243

I found the part recommending having a strong coffee at sehri time to prevent having a fasting headache particularly helpful wink

Each time I've been pregnant during the fasting month, I've chosen not to fast and to replace the days later. I knew I couldnt do fast as I suffered from hyperemesis but I was comfortable in my decision and I believe Allah understands. I will be breastfeeding during the fasting month this year and while I would like to fast, I'm not going to beat myself up if I can't do all the days. In a nutshell, fasting is obligatory as a pillar of Islam. However, certain conditions, (medical/pregnant/breastfeeding/travelling) means that you can choose not to do so. It's your decision and I've always firmly believed that Allah is understanding and compassionate when the right reasons occur.

I think that what Riven could have meant in terms of 'haram' could be forcing yourself to fast if you have a serious medical condition that could lead to harm. While it's always admirable to fast, if this leads to being seriously ill and landing in hospital when you have a young family to look after, well, I don't think that fasting is the right thing to do. Of course, if you just have a mild flu and use any old excuse to choose not to fast, then that is not right at all.

MOZZEE - OP means original post ie. this thread/topic that you started.

Labradorlover Fri 15-Jul-11 21:33:02

Hope you don't think this is a daft or cheeky question.....When I was talking about Ramadan with a Muslim pal I asked how she would fast when Ramadan coincided with Mid-summer in Scotland. This year is a very long stretch between dawn and dusk. But isn't as extreme as in a couple of years time. Her answer was to go and stay with relatives much further South.
WWYD if you were living in the North of Scotland?

mariamagdalena Sat 16-Jul-11 00:19:56

MOZZEE, you might want to show the indianjgastro article to your nurse and / or consultant. Bear in mind that it would only include patients who felt able to fast, plus for ethical reasons if people had tried to enrol for the study but obviously been in terrible shape, the researchers would have had to turn them down for ethical reasons.

This sort of study is mostly on pretty small numbers of patients, and so if serious harm does sometimes occur but fairly rarely, it wouldn't necessarily show up unless there was a large study. That said, it looks pretty promising.

full text

You might also be interested in this:
summary of fasting in various illnesses

and if your nurse / consultant / GP wants more information about your particular medication in fasting, the kind people at these
professional helplines would be pleased to assist them.

hth

Labrador - my husband and I sometimes joke that we should move to a country that is experiencing winter in Aug (ie somewhere in the souther hemisphere!) so that fasting is easier rather than stay in the UK, and not just necessarily north Scotland. There is no easy answer as for the next few years, fasting will be long, hard hours until it moves in spring and eventually winter.

For us, we just keep trying. It's easier for me as I have been doing this since I was a child but harder for my husband as he converted in the years when fasting was in mid-winter and thus has never been doing it during the summer months. So far, he gets through it but on the days when it gets too much, he breaks his fast. Now I'm sure many people could argue that this is wrong but I believe that effort is as equally important as the net result. He always replaces the days that misses (admittedly he replaces them in winter when it's much easier).

sometimes its not just the duration that you fast - think of people in hot tropical countries who fast while working in manual labour jobs e.g agricultural fields. Their hours of fasting are generally less than the UK in summer but it must be really tough and yet many do it. That does spur my husband on when he thinks about it, although every now and then he does give in.

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