Subhan’Allah this year I have missed the first week of Ramadan for reasons that are very obvious to my Muslim sisters reading this. I was really excited before Ramadan started but sadly I couldn’t finish the first day. So below are a few pieces of advise based on my ‘fasting on hold’ week.
1. Stick to your Routine
Unfortunately I wasn’t successful with this but I would really advise sticking with the routine that you would have had if you were fasting. Make note of prayer times and make dua for 2 – 5 minutes during those moments. You can also wake up during Sehri time. All of this is so that when you start fasting again it’s not a shock to your body and you’re just continuing a routine that you’re used to. During the year I’m really bad on days when I can’t pray to the extent of losing track of prayer times (don’t be like me.)
2. Help around the house
On days when I wasn’t fasting I was more energetic than everyone else in my house including my mum which presented me with an opportunity to get those extra rewards by lending a hand wherever I could. Which leads to my next point,
3. Engage in other acts of Ibaadah
So yes you can’t fast, pray and depending on the opinion that you follow you probably can’t read the Qur’an either. But there are other acts of Ibaadah that you can engage in: Listen to recitations of the Quran, read the English translation of the Qur’an, choose ayahs and ponder over their meanings, watch beneficial lectures (Absolutely loving Nouman Ali Khan’s Ramadan Baqarah series right now), read beneficial books, volunteer somewhere, the list is endless depending on your lifestyle and time schedule.
4. Don’t feel guilty
Don’t feel guilty that you’re unable to fast, this in itself is an act of Ibaadah. I was actually contemplating take one of those pills that would help me fast throughout the month (in hindsight I don’t think I would have gone through with it) until my uncle gave a pre-Ramadan lecture and mentioned that for women it’s an act of Ibaadah and one that we’re receiving rewards for and it’s also a sign of mercy from Allah. This was the day before Ramadan so I needed to hear that!
In addition beware of your public eating habits. At several points last week oblivious to the fact that we were in Ramadan because I wasn’t fasting I might have opened bottles of water publicly while walking on the road. On that note do not let people food shame you, luckily I haven’t had that experience but I’ve heard stories from people who have. You’ll have to repay that fast at a later date so you might as well not starve yourself.
5. Don’t starve yourself
No joke, but there were certain days last week that I probably would have eaten more if I was fasting. I’ve been out of my house a lot this week and even though point number 4 was about not letting people food shame you I felt so weird going to shops to buy food. Instead, I prolonged eating till I got home which majority of the time was an hour before Maghrib.
Lastly, what doesn’t help is when your younger brother doesn’t understand why you’re not fasting and thinks you’re cheating / too lazy to fast. One day he’ll get it.