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5 Motivations to Avoid Heavy Iftaar

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Do you know, many sins originate from the stomach? Overeating increases one’s sexual desires, laziness and desire to sleep excessively, leading to difficulty in praying, doing good deeds, maintaining good ties and avoiding satanic whispers amongst others. This could also lead to increased desire to earn haram money and indulge in uncontrolled desires. You might experience difficulty at your workplace as well.

Moderation is hardly seen today. In fact, it’s a challenge to motivate people to tread the path of moderation in contrast to our Prophet saw who practiced ‎1 and advised moderation ‎2. People get motivated in two ways: positively (looking at benefits of the task to do) and negatively (looking at the loss in not doing the task). One should know which category he/she may fall into and try to list down the reasons to motivate accordingly.

The Deal: In order to feel the ripple effect of a light belly, please give me one iftaar and I will show you what you deserve of ibaadah. Let’s make a resolution of having less quantity of iftaar for once. The following consequences (motivation) depend solely on this assumption/resolution.

  1. Less means high quality:
    Iftaar with high quality food in less quantity is far better than having high calorie food in huge quantities. When there is less to eat, obviously we tend to focus on its quality (nutritional levels). We humans are of two kinds: those who see quality and those who see quantity. The sunnah has always preferred quality. Prophet saw set a maximum limit of filling one-third stomach ‎3 if needed (Yes, the hadith is also applicable in Ramadan). So, what’s a high quality iftaar? Few dates or some water ‎4: both high in terms of nutrition and less in quantity. Don’t worry, just stick to the resolution; there’s more to come. Blog Post-Inside poster -Five Motivations to avoid heavy iftaar copy
  2. Early to maghrib prayer:
    Irrespective of the madhab your locality follows, there is always some time given to eat before the prayer is established (iqamah). I remember the days when I used to rush to the mosque with my mouth filled with iftaar food trying to catch both my desires (eating) and obligation (Salah). We know that best times for dua are just before breaking your fast ‎5 and between the adhaan and iqamah6. We lose these precious moments to make dua because we are busy in stuffing the worst vessel a man can fill: his stomach! 7. A light stomach will let you reach the mosque swiftly, helping you pray two units of prayer and allowing you enough time to make some dua before maghrib prayer starts. Believe me, this is 100% possible (tried and tested by me) only if you carry a light belly. Praying in the first row is another huge benefit we wouldn’t want to miss out on.
  3. No Trace of laziness:
    It is obvious that after a tiring hot day and full meal (iftaar), the body asks for rest. We feel sleepy and become lazy as soon as the discomfort of shortness of breath (due to overeating) vanishes. With a light iftaar, we end up making a good start mentioned in point #2. We can perform our obligatory prayer with complete attention and physical activeness, insha Allah. Not only this, the satiating and comfortable energetic feeling compells us to make shukr (thanks) to Allah SWT, helping us realize how He SWT changed  and charged our physical condition in a matter of a few minutes. (For me, it feels like one of those non-Ramadan days when I suddenly feel an imaan boost, leading to an overwhelming feeling of thanks and gratitude, making me pray and praise Allah SWT.) A feeling of extra attention and patience to pray 2 more units of sunnah should ideally occur. Going home for early dinner and spending some quality time with family will cheer you even more, insha Allah.
  1. Less work at home:
    Obviously, those who like eating want high quality homemade food. This needs some serious efforts on the cooking front. The time after asr prayer is mostly consumed by your wife/mother/maid standing for long hours in front of a heat radiating stove and breaking their backs to cook a meal, when their hunger dominates just as yours. Ramadan is a physical test to boost imaan levels, not cooking skills. Imagine how peaceful a house would be when a family gets busy doing ibaadah in peak moments of hunger to please Allah SWT. How impressed would Allah SWTbe, rather than a family which is busy preparing to end the fast in a grand manner with a lavish meal.
  2. Light meal habit:
    The theory of Maxwell Maltz (in 1950) that it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a habit is a myth. In reality, research shows that it takes about 66 days or more to form a habit. Ramadan teaches us self-control, to keep away from food and also inculcates habits in us. In our case, the habit we need is eating how much ever is necessary, ‎8, praying on time, reading Quran, avoiding false talk/gaze among others. Having the right intention while fasting will help us adopt good changes in us, which eventually lead to piety. Experts have given some tips to stop ourselves while eating when comfortable, but what really motivates a believer is the love to follow the Sunnah. ‎9

What tips do you have to maintain and follow a light iftaar? Please share with us in the comments section below. 🙂

References

  1.   Jabir bin Samurah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: I used to perform prayer with the Prophet (ﷺ) and his Salat was of a moderate length and his Khutbah too was moderate in length. Saheeh Muslim, Hadith 148
  2.   Muhammad bin Sirin narrated from Abu Hurairah – and I think he (narrated it from the Prophet) who said: “Love your beloved moderately, perhaps he becomes hated to you someday. And hate whom you hate moderately, perhaps he becomes your beloved someday.” Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1997, Classed Hasan
  3.   Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’” Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith 3349
  4.   The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “When you break fast, you should do it with a date-fruit for there is blessing in it, and if you do not find a date- fruit, break it with water for it is pure.” Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) added: “Charity towards a poor person is charity, and towards a relation is both charity and maintaining the ties (of kinship)” Tirmidhi, 332, Hasan
  5.   Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:“When the fasting person breaks his fast, his supplication is not turned back.” Sunan Ibn Majah , 1753, Hasan
  6.   It was narrated that Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Du’a is not rejected between the adhan and iqamah, so engage in du’a (supplication).” al-Tirmidhi, 212; Abu Dawood, 437; Ahmad, 12174, Classed Sahih by al-Albani
  7.   The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (S.a.w) saying: ‘The human does not fill any container that is worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat what will support his back. If this is not possible, then a third for food, a third for drink, and third for his breath.” Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2380, Sahih
  8.   Narrated Abu Huraira:A man used to eat much, but when he embraced Islam, he started eating less. That was mentioned to the Prophet (ﷺ) who then said, “A believer eats in one intestine (is satisfied with a little food) and a Kafir eats in seven intestines (eats much). ” Sahih al-Bukhari 5397
  9.   Quran: Al-‘Aĥzāb 33:21

Comments

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If you liked the article, do leave a comment down below

68 Responses

  1. tahirballikaya@gmail.com'
    Tahir

    Another method to eat less ist counting your morsels (works for me). For example if you are not the person who prepares the table, its likely there is more food in front of you than you actually want to eat. So you might eat 10 morsels + no more than 1 big glass of water (1 date is a morsel). And stick to it!! That’s the hardest part. You can start with 15 morsels today if you usually eat a lot. Then remove 1 each day until you feel you could still be able to eat a heavy dessert (but you shouldn’t…)

    If you can do it you will feel great when standing in prayer with ease and having achieved a sunnah on top of it (filling 1/3 of stomache with food). Try it out today!!

  2. khanquerer5pg@gmail.com'
    Dr. Nawazish Ali khan

    S. A. I just eat few dates with water and then a glass of glucose in iftar and I feel supercharged toll taraweeh is over, dinner I eat 1hr after taraweeh

  3. mxp_87@hotmail.de'
    Umm Azad

    Salaam alaykum wr wb, Today while eating Iftaar the thought of becoming lazy and sleepy stopped me from overeating. we cant fool ourselves- if u dont stop, you end up like a bag of potatoes
    unable to move.

  4. shamayunus94@gmail.com'
    Shama Yunus

    Assalamu alaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakatuh… i m. very foodie. and spend my most time in kitchen after asr prayer.. . bt after reading this article i vil make sure to control my desire.and vil share it. . Jazak allahu khair..

  5. maryam.unus@yahoo.com'
    Maryam

    Assalamu alaikum,
    JazakAllah khair for these helpful advices.
    Sometimes when the men go to the mosques for maghrib, the ladies continue eating and then start cleaning up the dishes and the table, etc. They should eat little and pray first then do all that.

  6. musahfatawu@yahoo.com'

    food is good for the soul but what is more precious then eeman? sunnah of the nabii(s.a.w)? let us inculcate the habit of eating less and leave the stomach to filled by the words of Allah and the sunnah of the noble messenger of Allah(s.a.w). salaaaam

  7. hedayatenrita@gmail.com'

    Salaam Aleikum, what a great article. As a convert I am blessed with a husband who espect only “normal” meals in ramadan, such as it is any other day. We do however takes a light soup or some salade extra next to that…but that’s it.
    Only thing as we live in Europe and time between iftar and suhoor is very short, we face that we eat to much in to short time. It’s difficult to extend the meal after Tharaweed as suhoor is nearly right behind it…. It’s a bit difficult to find a goood balance in that…

  8. jmnaleef@yahoo.com'
    Naleef

    This is really true, this Ramadan with light Iftar and sahar has made my tharawee easy and even waking up in morning is an easy task too.

  9. rukey137@gmail.com'
    Rukayat

    May Allah bless u abundantly for this article. For anyone who loves food, it will be difficult to adhere but In Sha Allah when we change our intention towards good deeds with determination, it’s highly achievable.

  10. omotayomog@yahoo.com'
    Maryam

    Jazakumllahkharan.for d useful tips.since av started reducing my food intake,av being myself n much more comfortable n also pray salah with ease.Masha Allah.

  11. cynthiaclouser@yahoo.com'
    Haleemah

    I am a revert, 4 years. This is my third Ramadan. My.understanding, was, besides refraining from worldly pleasures, give charity ( I do year round )..that will better understand the hunger, going without the necessities, our sisters and brothers endure. It stands to reason, that, having a light iftar..or light meals daily, are in.better respect to these brothers and sisters, children. Please, correct me if I am mistaken.

  12. jibrilaamuu@gmail.com'
    JEBRIL AHMED

    great! article ! it benefit me more than no one ! in this ramadhan i have eaten too much at fats breaking (iftaar) and a lot of days stop going to the masjid for praying ! from today on wards i follow this path ! and test this article on my self! shukran !!!!!

  13. hamza17munir17@gmail.com'
    Hamza

    #5 is good in last,,,,.im not a good muslim now a days only which is matter to me is like or unlike of Allah & Muhammad S.AW. ….he dont like to overeat so i will not overeat…..thast all

  14. mikaela.lundahl@gmail.com'
    Salimah Lundahl

    This is very true subhan allah. Me and my husband break out fast with dates, some yoghurt and a lite bit of soup, maybe a fruit, and then eat a normal warm meal, nothing fancy at su7ur and it works perfectly alhamdulillah even though we fast for 20 hours.

  15. omobalogun22@gmail.com'
    Sadiq Ahmad Omokayode

    Well nourishing message for all us but the most important part of it is that may ALLAH grant us all abilities to Make use of them all in a manner wa

    1. Tarrannummqureshii@gmail.com'
      Juwayriah

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmath ullahi Wa barakatahu
      I follow the sunnah of prophet (pbuh) I.e
      2-4 dates a glass of water if available milk or lemon juice.
      Alhumdulillahhhh I’ll be very active for my prayers and also for tilawat of quran I can be awk for long time nd take a nap for tahajjud then Seher? Even in Seher not more than 2 rotis and ofcourse 2 glasses of water and last but not the least yummy dates. I love dates all kinds of dates
      Jazakallahh

  16. victorrotlsp@hotmail.com'
    Victor Sorin Popaliciu

    Salam Aleikum Waramatullahi Wabarakatuhu
    I am a new muslim i do not know much it is my fist Ramadan but i know what all people know -food is nutrition but easly can become a vice and food easly can become a sick pleasure who destroyes the soul,the boody and the mind becose there are people who praise food and there are actlualy people who say that they will die if they do not eat some despicable junk food…there are people so lost that live only for the food..
    All of us we have experience the vice of food and this is happening becose food is a way of the evil to trick us. I could read in the Qur’an sura 18-the Cave and in this sura Moses-Musa confronts a trick od the evil who has solen the fish wich is a healthy food.
    So evil seeks to take away from us the healthy food and trick us to eat unhealthy food. Many of the ilnesses from the world like cancer for example are gnerated by the unhealthy food.
    In the Qur’an it is written -The Torah is a Light from God,the Gospel is a Light from God ‘ and all the Prophets Moses-Musa,Jesus Christ ,and the Last Propehet Muhammad (Peace be Upon All Prophets) teach us to eat good healthy food,to fast and so we will be healthy and strong to Praise God,Allah,Al Malik and live healthy in this life and happy free from all ilnesses and make it to Hevean in the next one.
    The ones who praise food are lost and live in ilnessed.
    Food is nutrition and Ramadan is our chance to defeat the vice of food,to make food just a healthy nutrition .Sbuhaana Rabbeyaal Azeem Waal Bee Hamdee!
    In the Qur’an it is writen what is the healthy food -honey -Sura the Bees, fish -sura 18-the Cave ,fruits .
    Personaly i do sports since i was 7-8 years old when after the a dificult childhood i started to play voleyball in a team for kids. I played for many years and since then i like to do sports and for many years now i eat mostly a vegetarian diet ,fish from time to time .
    I have serched a healthy nutrition to void to get fat but the healthy nutrition can be learned from the Qur’an and praying to God,Allah,Al Malik puts an end to all the triks of the evil.
    We all know what is good for health and after the prayer and the sunset when we look at the Angels and we say -Salam Alaikum Waramatulahi Wabarakatuhu the Angels we can imagine that they write all we do and eat and this life pass fast ,10-20-30-40 years if we look back seems to pass in a blink of the eyes and in 2-3 seconds we all will be in front of Allah,Al Malik to be juged.
    I pray to Allah,Al Malik that in His Eternal Mercy will give to us all people the strenght we need to walk of His Path in this life and in the next one!
    Subhanak Allahuma
    Wa bee Hamdika
    Watabarakasmuka
    Wataala
    Juduka Wala Ilaha Gayruk!
    Alhamdulillah!

  17. gustiannah@gmail.com'
    gustiannah

    ❦السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ❦
    جزاك الله خيرا for highlighting the usually-ignored-issue face by the women when it comes to spending too much time in the kitchen. we oftenly sandwiched between our habits of to always serve the best to our family yet we are also aware that we actually must spare our energy n time for ibadaah esp. throughout the 10final nights of Ramadan.I am lucky bcos i havemy mom to always remind me to reap Allah rewards 1st.i’m struggling n at the same time trying to make my family members understand.u know..old habit die hard.neway, thank you very much for the tips.Fantastic! may Allah swt grants us LailatulQadr.
    ﺁﻣــﻴﻦ ﺍَﻟﻠّﻬُﻢَّ ﺁﻣــﻴﻦ

  18. aar0103cool@gmail.com'
    norakmar

    …jazakallahu khairon kasiro…this has made me go straight to kitchen n do juicing…carrot jus ! + honey + warm milk !..and half bowl walnut n pumpkin seed n raisins n banana. Insha allah ..this will help our qiam be energize n fajr refreshed.

  19. yas.laidi@yahoo.fr'
    Yasmina

    I always tried to have healthy meals at iftaar but O realiszd that I was like eating two meals in one ! All homemade (I cooked loads to spare time) and just reheated. I thought it would jave been correct and I would be like sleepy all night, even when I began to drink a bit of coffee after the meal to stay awake – I stay awake the whole night – but it was very hard ! Yesterday, I tried out to almost eat nothing at iftaar (1 date do break the fast – curiously, this date was the MOST TASTEFUL DATE I HAVE EVER EATEN !!) and a small glass of water. I was not really hungry. I had a very small cup of coffee. I ate after taraweeh a few fruits and yogurt. The thing was that I was so awake for taraweeh that I prayed extra rak’aats, I was short of surats to use. O was still not hungry for suhur but I ate a bit.
    The article has good advice, shame I did not see it earlier ! May Allah bless you for this very useful information and may HE bless us all for this month and the following ones. May we achieve Laylatul-Qadr and the huge reward in it. Ameen,

  20. freemanm457@gmail.com'

    asalaam alaikum

    JazakaAllah Khair for the article very informative sorry to get to this mail so late after all I wish all my Muslim Brothers and Sisters Eid Mubarak,i was eating samoosas and roti with curry and yoghurt and pakistani prepared tea now i feel like i overate myself sorry.

    I love Allah,and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayi Wassalam) and Islam as my Religion,am a new convert embraced Islam 17 May 2014 through online course, did my Shahada online,( Ashadu Ala Illalaha wa Ashadu ana Muhamadan Abduhu wa Rasullulah).

    Ama a born Christian, African and find my newly found religion interesting teaching about habits and morals and manners. Thank God for leading me to this pure religion and thanking blogs like this one which strnghtens our imaan.

    May God bless you abundantly and grant you peace and more wisdom

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