Iftar - the evening meal during fasting is perhaps the most anticipated time of day for Muslims. This is an opportunity not only to get together with family, friends at one table, but also a whole holiday that is arranged almost every day during the entire Holy month of Ramadan. It is the events that unite the entire ummah, which make it possible to feel the festive atmosphere, that make Ramadan a special month.
When fasting comes up on summer days, the fasting time increases. Accordingly, the value of the evening meal also increases. At such moments, it seems that the time before Iftar goes by very slow, and after it — too quickly. Therefore, the evening meal becomes long-awaited, because of which, at times, the reverse side of the situation appears. During Iftar, some fasting people may overeat, literally pouncing on food. It is hard to resist,thus, allowing yourself to eat everything that you see on the table is fraught with negative health consequences.
How not to overeat on Iftar?
According to the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, it is advisable to start breaking the fast by drinking a glass of water (water with honey can be used) and eating an odd number of dates. The latter can be replaced with another sweetness or simply limited to water. According to a reliable hadith, the Messenger of Allah, before performing the evening prayer, would break the fast with fresh or dried dates, and if they were not any, with still water. He said that water for trully cleans.
Then the fasting person should read the dua iftar:
ALLAHUMMA LAKYA SUMTU UA BIKYA AMANTU UA ALAYKYA TAVAKKYALTU UA ‘ALYA RIZKYKYA AFTARTU FAG’FIRLI YA GAFFARU MA KADDYAMTU UA MA AHKHARTU
“O, Allah! For the sake of you, I kept the fast, I believed in you and I only trust in you, break the fast with what you have sent me. Forgive me, Forgive my sins, the past and the future!»
You should not start eating right away. This will be stressful for the stomach, so it is recommended that you first go to the evening prayer, slowly perform it, and only then start your meal. In 5-7 minutes, the body will have time to prepare for eating, so there will be no heaviness in the stomach after eating.
Where to start breaking the fast?
Sitting down at the table, there are a lot of varied and delicious food. Even if not much is cooked, the desire to “eat the whole cow” remains. Eating reasonably during Iftar will help you to eat and feel well on Suhoor. After all, the stomach must have time to digest everything eaten in a few hours and be ready for a new meal. Only then will the Suhoor be complete and correct. Accordingly, for Iftar, you need to choose products that are quickly processed by the body and saturate it with moisture. Vegetables and fruits are perfect for this.
Don’t start iftar with a glass of fermented dairies. It will be hard for the stomach. In Islam, there are no prohibitions on eating while breaking the fast, except for the canonically forbidden foods. However, the religion of the Creator abides to the principle “do no harm to yourself”, therefore, you can eat everything that will not negatively affect your health. So, you should exclude fried, fat and, if possible, spicy food. Some smoked meat and canned food contribute to the leaching of salts and minerals, and they also increase thirst.
It is ideal to eat dietary products for Iftar: low-fat soup with chicken broth and stews.
You should limit the flour products and fizzy drinks. It is recommended to drink water some time after eating, otherwise it will dilute the gastric juice and complicate the digestion of food.
It is best to drink water in portions when performing taraweeh prayer. Each time between rest in prayer, you can drink half a glass or a glass of pure still water. This will help to gradually absorb fluids and normalize the water balance in the body before the onset of suhoor, relieve thirst for the coming day.
Of course, a person after a long fast wants to try different food. But it is worth remembering that these dishes can be eaten even after the month of Ramadan, and now the main thing is not food, but the atmosphere itself, the process itself. It is necessary to realize that on the days of fasting it is important to be able to control oneself not only during daylight hours (refusing to eat and drink, watching one’s speech, thoughts and deeds), but also after breaking the fast, i.e. self-control continues at night. The ability not to overeat, in other words, not to take in excess of what the body needs, is a good habit for the future, and Ramadan is a great way to practice.
Healthy nutrition allows you to both ease the fast and get moral and physical benefit from it, and most importantly — the satisfaction of the Almighty.