Ramadan is the time of year where people go crazy with food! We have soups, samosas, cakes, sweets, juices, tea, coffee, dates, you name it! The list could go on all day! However, we must have self control and understand that our body has rights over us, we should be careful what we put in it, not only the food, but the amount!
Miqdam ibn Ma’d reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The son of Adam cannot fill a vessel worse than his stomach, as it is enough for him to take a few bites to straighten his back. If he cannot do it, then he may fill it with a third of his food, a third of his drink, and a third of his breath.” Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2380
That being said, I understand that it is very tempting to overeat, especially at iftaar. However, if you plan ahead then you can really decide and control what you are going to eat and how. An excellent thing that many families do, including myself, is that we break fast with dates, water and a bowl of soup. Then we go to pray salat ul Maghrib, come home and have a nice light dinner. Go pray taraweeh, come home and have dessert with tea or coffee etc.
Even if you haven’t been doing good so far, plan and prepare now, it’s never too late to start. In the past my typical Ramadan would be to break fast with dates, water, soup, samosas, some sweet treats (not all the time) go off to play (sometime we would just have dates and water, pray first and come back) and then we would chill for a few hours, pray taraweeh and have dinner. It was like having two dinners a couple hours apart from each other. So we ended up eating far too much, being crazy full and also having no energy. As you might not know, carbs makes us crash, and we have a lot of carbs during Ramadan which is why we feel so tired and have no energy at Taraweeh.
Luqmân said to his son: “O my son! If the stomach is full, one’s mental processes go to sleep, one’s wisdom is dulled, and one’s limbs refrain from worship.”
Something that I also want to correct this year is my sleeping schedule, and my eating schedule can interfere with that. If you are having dinner at say ten o clock or eleven, you are going to be too full to sleep and end up staying up for suhoor, which is what I ended up doing almost every night last year. And that way you end up not eating much for suhoor either because you are not hungry.
Allah says: “O children of Adam, take your adornment to every mosque. Eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess.” [Sûrah al-A`râf: 31]
Umar observed: “Whoever eats a lot finds no pleasure in the remembrance of Allah.”
Use this blessed month as a training ground to exercise your self control and make a plan, even though Ramadan has already commenced, and strive to get your eating and sleeping habits in order.