Spying or Working Against Muslims for a Muslim is Prohibited

It has come to our attention once again that the some non muslim  governments and regimes are trying hard to recruit Muslims to spy on their fellow brethren. Obviously, they will give it other names so as to justify the spying and offer bountiful of rewards for such actions.

Islam forbids a Muslim to spy on another Muslim or on the people of Dhimmah whether to benefit himself or others In the Quran is general, Allah (SWT) says: “O you who Believe avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicion is a sin. And spy not on one an other neither backbite one another.” [ 49:12]

It is reported by Abu Daoud and Imam Ahmad upon the authority of Al-Misswar Bin Makhrama that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said: “Whoever earns and eats from exposing any secret of a Muslim, Allah will put fire in his mouth in Jahannam and whoever earns and clothes himself from exposing any
secret of a Muslim Allah will cloth him with clothes of fire in Jahannam.

In the same way that Islam forbids Muslims from spying on Muslims it also forbids Muslims from spying on non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic State (a State which we do not have today) because they are citizens having the same rights and duties as Muslims as far as religion, welfare and security are concerned. It is reported that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) said: “Whosoever harms a Dhimmi he harms me (i.e. the Prophet)”. And it is reported in Abu Daoud that the Messenger Muhammad (saw) also said: “Whoever oppresses a person who has a covenant with the State or designates responsibility for him beyond his limit, I will stand against him on the day of Judgement.” Consequently, Islam has made working with such spying services one of the biggest sins.

In conclusion: it is prohibited and a SIN for a Muslim to spy on a Muslim or a non-Muslim citizen.

Real difference between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims

Real difference between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims
The following is a response by Sayyed Mohammad Musawi to a queation from a Sunni brother :What are the differences between Shias and Sunnis ?
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1- One Religion:
Islam is One religion sent from Allah (swt) to all human beings as the last and final massege. It was never divided into different sects like Hanafi, Shafi’ee, Maliki , Hanbali,Wahabi, Sufi etc, but only because of people’s interference in the religion which is the word of Allah(swt). All previous religions suffered from the same problem of divisions upto the extent of loosing the real massege.Islam being the last and final massege from Allah(swt), was perserved by Allah (swt),so, Real Islam was kept and still remains and will remain intact, inspite of many divisions existing and even governing many Muslim countries.

2- The Prophetic Islam:
 The Real Islam is the Prophetic Islam which was preached and practiced by the Prophet Mohammad (sawa) and His noble progeny (Ahlul Bayt a.s.) , and not any other Islamic sect, though Islamic sects have many Islamic practices, but The Complete Real Islam is non but the Islam of the Prophet (sawa) and Ahlul Bayt which existed originally from the begenning of Islam before any Islamic sect came to existance, and contineued till now through Ahlul-Bayt .

3-Who Leads Islam?:
 The leadership of Islam after the Prophet (sawa) was the main subject on which division started.The question is : Who appoints the successor of the Prophet to lead the Ummah ? Is it Allah who appoints ? or anybody from the people?Those who believed in Allah (swt) as the source and authority to appoint the divine leaders are the followers of Ahlul-Bayt , while Sunnis believed that Islamic leadership can come through group of individuals as what happened in Saqeefa, or one individual, as when Abu Bakr appointed Umar as a Khalifah after him,or just six individuals from the whole Ummah as Umar appointed six to select one of them, or to be killed if they were unable to select one. Majority of Sunnis believe that any person can be a Khlifah as far as he is able to get the power by any way even by killing the previous Khalifah and sitting in his place.

4-Divine Leadership (Imamah):

There are plenty of very authentic evidences from Quran and authentic Sunnah that the Prophet (sawa) has not left the Ummah without perfect leadership after him. He has said many times in accordance to Allah’s orders that the leader after him will be Imam Ali followed by the infallible Imams from Ahlul Bayt . These evidences are mentioned even in famous Sunni books where they narrated the Prophetic Hadeeth stating that ( The Khalifas after me will be twelve all of them from Quraish) or ( The Imams after me will be twelve, all of them from Quraish).(Saheeh Al-Bukhari vol.9 p.541 and Saheeh Muslim vol.3 p. 1452 ).They also admitted Hadeeth Al-Thaqalain stating (I am leaving behind two greatest things, that you will never go astray as far as you keep following both of them; The book of Allah, And my Ahlul Bayt)Saheeh Muslim vol.4, p.1874, Sunan Al-Tirmithi vol.5, p.662, al-Mustadrak by Al-Haakim vol.3, p.109, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal vol.3, p.14,Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.4, p.114, Tafseer Al-Durr Al- Manthoor by Soyooti vol.5, p.702 and many others.

Following Quran and Ahlul-Bayt who teach the real Sunnah and have the real Tafseer of Qur’an, is the belief and practice of the followers of Ahlul-Bayt(as) who are known by Shia Muslims.They are in fact following Allah’s orders by following the ligitimate Islamic leadership, and getting themselves saved from going astray.

5-Saqeefa followers:

Other Muslims who are known as Sunni Muslims do not believe in the immediate leadership of Ahlul-Bayt(as) after the Prophet(sawa) and claim that the Prophet (sawa) has left the Ummah without any specific sytem for leadership, though many of them claim it as Shoora(election).Shoora in fact is applicable in managing wordly affairs, but never in religious affairs, as no Prophet came through election,so how Prophet’s successor can come through election?. It is only Allah(swt) who knows who is the best to lead mankind, and He appoints him.

Shoora was an excuse to justify bypassing the Quranic and Prophetic orders stating the leadership of Imam Ali .Those who claimed Shoora were trying to ligitimize the incident of Saqeefa which brought Abu Bakr’s government, but such claim can not justify why Abu Bakr himself appointed Umar as a Khalifa after him and did not leave the Muslims to elect a khalifa by Shoora as it was claimed by Sunnis as if it was done by the Prophet (sawa). Why they accept Abu Bakr appointing Umar After him and do not accept the Prophet(sawa) appointing Ali after Him? Knowing that the Prophet’s statements are from Allah(swt), while Abu Bakr’s statements were from himself.

In Saqeefa few people from Quraish led by Umar Bin al-khattab and Abu Bakr Bin Abi Quhafa along with few from Ansaar, gathered and argued and even quarelled, then Umar proposed the name of Abu Bakr to be Khalifa, in the absence of Imam Ali who was busy in the preparation of the funeral of the Prophet (sawa). Ahlul-Bayt and leading Sahaba like Imam Ali ,Salman Al-Farisi,Ammaar Bin Yaser, Abu Thar Al-Ghifari,Al-Miqdaad Bin Al-Aswad, Al-Abbas Bin Abdul-Muttalib uncle of the Prophet(sawa) and others refused the outcome of Saqeefa which was against the orders of the Prophet (sawa) who told the Ummah in many occasions that Ali is the leader after Him.Those who accepted Saqeefa are called now Sunni Muslims, where those who followed the divine leadership of Ahlul-Bayt(as) are called Shia Muslims.

6-Prophetic Statements on The Real Leaders after him:

The Prophetic statements and Hadeeths support the fact of the leadership of Imam Ali(as) and Ahlul-Bayt after the Prophet(sawa). Many of these Hadeeths are narrated in main Sunni references, so must be accepted by all Muslims.Here are Just few examples:-

A) The Prophetic Hadeeth stating: (O Ali, you are the leader who will lead my Ummah to the right path when they differ after me)(Al-Mustadrak Alal Saheehain by Al-Haakim Al-Neesaboori vol.3 page 122, Kanz Al-Ummaal vol.6 page 156, Tareekh Dimishq ,Biography of Imam Ali, vol.2, p.488).

B)The Prophetic Hadeeth:(O Ali, your status from me is as the status of Haroon from Moosa, but there will be no prophet after me).Quran states that Haroon was always the Khalifa and deputy of Moosa till the end of Haroon’s life. This Hadeeth was narrated in many Sunni sources such as Saheeh Al-Bukhari vol.5, p.280, Saheeh Muslim vol.4, p.1870,Sunan Al-Tirmithi vol.5, p.638, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal vol.1, p.170, Al-Mustadrak by Al-Haakim vol.3, p.109, Sunan Ibn Maajah vol.1, p.42 and many others.This Hadeeth is well known in the Islamic books as Hadeeth Al-Manzilah.(The Hadeeth of The Status).

C)The Prophetic Hadeeth This,Ali, is my brother,my trustee,and my Khalifa(deputy) on you, so listen to him and obey him.)(Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal vol.1, p.111, Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.3, p.352, Tareekh Dimishq by Ibn Asaakir Imam Ali biography vol.1, p.99, Shawaahid Al-Tanzeel by Al-Hasakaani vol.1, p.371, Al–Khasaa’is by Al-Nisaa’ee p.24, Al-Kaamil Fil Taareekh by Ibn Al-Atheer vol.2 p.41,and many others.This Haddeth is well known as Hadeeth Al-Daar.(The Hadeeth of the House).

D)Hadeeth Al-Ghadeer when the Prophet (sawa) said infront of thousands of Sahaba after asking them whether they accept him as a master on them more than themselves on themselves, and their reply as : Yes, then he announced that: (For whomsoever I am the master(leader), Ali is his master(leader), O Allah,support him who follows Ali and be enemy of him who becomes enemy of Ali).Sunan Ibn Maajah vol.1, p.43, Sunan Al-Tirmithi vol.5, p.633, Musnad Ahmad Bin Hanbal vol.1, p.84, Al-Mustadrak by Al-Haakim vol.3, p.109,Al-Bidayah Wal-Nihaayah by Ibn Katheer vol.5, p.209, Tafseer Al-Durr Al-Manthoor by Soyooti vol.2, p.519, Shawaahid Al-Tanzeel by Al-Hasakaani vol.1, p.157, Tareekh Al-Khulafaa by Soyooti p.200,Al-Khasaa’is by Al-Nisaa’ee p.28 and many others.

E)The Prophetic Hadeeth stating O Ali you are from me and I am from you) Saheeh Al-Bukhari vol.5, p.278, as well as the Prophetic Hadeeth stating Ali is from me and I am from him, and he is the leader of every believer after me) Sunan Al-Tirmithi vol.5, p.632, Al-Mustadrak by Al-Haakim vol.3, p.110, Al-Manaaqib by Ibn Al-Maghaazili Al-Shaafi’ee p.152, Al-Khasaa’is by Al-Nisaa’ee p.25. and many others.

F)The Prophetic Hadeeth:(Whosoever believed in me and had faith that I brought the truth, must follow Ali Ibn Abi Talib,because following Ali is following me, and following me is following Allah) Muntakhab Kanz Al-Ummaal with Munad Ahmad vol.5, p.32, Tareekh Dimishq by Ibn Asaakir Biography of Imam Ali vol.2, p.91.

7- Where Is The Real Sunnah?

All Muslims claim following the Prophetic Sunnah, but the majority of such claims are clearly baseless with the vast differences and contradictions between many Islamic sects in faith and practice, keeping in mind that the Prophet’s Sunnah can not contardict itself. The differences are based on different Hadeeths stating different statements in the same matter and situation. These are the fabricated Hadeeths which were made to meet wordly benefits of certain people or governments or groups etc. The fabricating of Hadeeths started during the time of the Prophet (sawa) and was so much that He declared on the pulpit that :Lying on me has become so much, beware , whosoever lies on me deliberately should be sure of his place in the fire.

No doubt, Hadeeth fabricating was much more after the departure of the Prophet (sawa) since many governors like Mu’awiyah and Hajjaj and many others were paying money to fabricators like Abu Hurairah and many others.Hundreds of thousands of fabricated Hadeeths were mentioned in the books and on pulpits to please the governors or to oppose their opponants.Sunni Ulama’ admit this unfortunate fact.

The big question for all Muslims who really want to follow the Prophet (sawa) is : from where can we get the real Sunnah and be away from the fabricated Hadeeths?

The most authentic source for getting the real Sunnah are Ahlul-Bayt , not only because they were living with Him most of the time, but also because their highest degree in truthfullness and nobleness, beside the Prophetic statements that (I am the city of knowledge and Ali is it’s gate, so, whosoever wants the city must come through it’s gate.)(Al-Mustadrak by Al-Haakim vol.3, p.126, Shawaahid Al-Tanzeel by Al-Hasakaani vol.1, p.81 Hadeeth no. 118, Al-Jaami’ Al-Sagheer by Soyooti vol.1, p.108 and many others).

Following the Quran and Ahlul-Bayt means taking the Prophetic Sunnah from Ahlul-Bayt(as) and leaving anything away from them.If all Muslims follow the real Sunnah, there will be no disputes or differences among them, because of the fact that One Prophet’s Sunnah is just One Sunnah which leads all into The One Islam.

The followers of Ahlul-Bayt take the Real Sunnah from the most authentic sources who are Ahlul-Bayt and the authentic Sahaba, while the followers of other Islamic sects take their religion from sources which are never strong and authentic as Ahlul-Bayt .

So, these are the main two differences between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims:

- Islamic leadership from Allah(swt)? or from anybody else? Shia believe it from Allah(swt).

-From where to get the Real Sunnah? Shia take it from the most authentic sources who are Ahlul-Bayt(as) and authentic Sahaba.

May Allah (swt) guide and keep all of us on the sraight path of the Prophet (sawa) and Ahlul-Bayt .

Wassalamu alaikum wr wb

Sayyed Mohammad Musawi

World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League(WABIL)

London

wabil@wabil.com

Unity, Love and Tolerance – Islamic Perspective”

Shia Sunni ulema Reciting Namaz Together.

Imam Ali in Western views:

Imam Ali in Western views:

1- Philip Hitti In his book History of the Arabs, Professor Hitti assessed the character of Hadrat Ali as follows: “Valiant in battle, wise in council, eloquent in speech, true to his friends, magnanimous to his foes, Ali became both the paragon of Muslim nobility and chivalry, and the Solomon of Arabic tradition around whose name, poems, proverbs, sermonettes and anecdotes innumerable have clustered. He had swarthy complexion, large black eyes, bald head, a thick and long white beard, and was opulent and of medium stature. His sabre Dhul Fiqar, which was wielded by the Prophet on the battlefield of Badr, has been immortalized in the words of this verse found engraved in many medieval Arab records, “no sword can match Dhul Fiqar, and no young warrior can compare with Hadrat Ali.” A later Fidayan movement which developed ceremonies and insignia savouring of medieval European chivalry and the modern scouts movement, took Ali for its father and model. Regarded as wise and brave by all the Islamic world, as the idealistic and exemplary by many Fidayan and dervish fraternities, as sinless and infallible by his partisans, and even held to be the incarnation of the deity by the Ghulah (extremists) among them, he whose worldly posthumous influence was second only to that of the holy Prophet himself. The throngs of pilgrims that still stream to his Mashhad at Najaf and to that of his son Husain, the Shi’iah arch-saint and martyr at nearby Karbala, and the passion-play enacted annually on the tenth of Muharram through the Shi’iah world, testify to the possibility that death may avail a Messiah more than life.”

2- Sir William Muir In his book, The Caliphate, its Rise, Decline and Fall, Sir William Muir paid his tribute to Hadrat Ali in the following words: “In the character of Ali, there are many things to commend him for. Mild and beneficent, he treated Basra when prostrate at his feet with a generous forbearance. Towards theocratic fanatics, who wearied his patience by incessant intrigues and senseless rebellion, he showed no vindictiveness. Excepting Muawiyah, the man of all others whom he ought not to have estranged, he carried the policy of conciliating his enemies to a dangerous extreme. In compromise indeed and in procrastination lay the future of his caliphate. With greater vigour, spirit, and determination, he might have averted the schism which for a time threatened the existence of Islam, and which has never ceased to weaken it. Ali was wise in counsel and many an adage and astute proverb have been attributed to him. But like Solomon, his weakness was for others more than himself.

3- Charles Mills In his book A History of Muhammadanism, Charles Mills assessed Hadrat Ali as follows: “As the chief of the family of Hashim, and as the cousin and son-in-law of him whom the Arabians respected almost to idolatry it is apparently incredible that Ali was not raised to the caliphate immediately after the death of Muhammad p.b.u.h. In the advantage of his birth and marriage was added the friendship of the Prophet. The son of Abu Talib was one of the first converts to Islam, and was Muhammad’s favourite appellation of him, the Aaron of a second Moses. His talents as an orator, and his intrepidity as the warrior commanded to a nation in whose judgment courage was virtue and eloquence was wisdom. But the pride and loftiness of his spirit endured not to caution inseparable from the schemes of policy, and continually precipitated him into rashness. His opposition to Abu Bakr would not have ceased if Fatima had lived. But upon her death, six months after that of her father, the Companions of Muhammad relaxed in their friendship to his family. In the reign of Abu Bakr, Umar and Othman, a dignified independence was preserved by Ali. On the invitation of the Caliphs, he assisted in the councils of Medina, but he was principally occupied in the tranquil pursuits of domestic life and the various duties of his religion. On the murder of Othman the Egyptians who were at Medina offered him the caliphate. Indignant that the power of nomination should be usurped by the strangers, Ali declared that the suffrages of the inhabitants of Mecca and Medina alone could be available. The public voice soon echoed the opinion of the murderers, and the scruples of Ali were soon removed. In apprehension of the enmity of A’isha, his relentless fall, and of the whole family out of Muawiyah, he declined to receive in private the proffered allegiance of the chiefs. With his accustomed simplicity, he proceeded to the mosque clad in a cotton gown, a coarse turban on his head, his slippers were in one hand, and a bow instead of a staff, occupied the other.”

4- Professor Nicholson In his book A Literary History of the Arabs, Nicholson remarked: “Ali was a gallant warrior, a wise counsellor, a true friend and generous foe. He excelled in poetry and in eloquence. His verses and sayings are famous throughout the Muhammadan East, though few of them can be considered authentic. He can be compared with Montrose and Bayard in the fineness of spirit. He had no talent for the stern realities of statecraft and was overmatched by unscrupulous rivals who knew that war is the game of deceit. Thus his career was in one sense a failure – his authority as Caliph was never admitted while he lived, by the whole community. On the other hand he has exerted down to the present-day a posthumous influence only second to that of Muhammad himself. Within a century of his death, he came to be regarded as the Prophet’s successor jure divine; as a blessed martyr, sinless and infallible, and even by some as an incarnation of God. The Ali of the Shi’ite legend is not a historical figure glorified, rather he symbolizes in a purely ethical fashion, the religious aspirations and political aims of a large section of the Muslim world.”

5- John J. Pool In his book Studies in Muhammadanism, John J. Pool observed: “The fact is that Ali was too mild a man for the stirring times in which he lived. He was too slow to resolve and too undecided in action. At any time he preferred compromise and delay to energy and promptness, and with fatal results. The death of Ali was an epoch-making event. We come now to the parting of ways. Henceforward the Commanders of the Faithful ceased to be elected by the votes of the people of Medina and Mecca. Arabia was no longer to be the seat of temporal power. For the future, in Islam, might was to take the place of right.”

6- Edward Gibbon In his book Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon observed the following about the assassination of Hadrat Othman and the succession of Hadrat Ali: “A tumultuous anarchy of five days after the martyrdom of Othman was appeased by the inauguration of Ali. His refusal would have provoked a general massacre. In this painful situation, he supported the becoming pride of the chief of the Hashimites; declared that he would rather serve than reign; rebuked the presumption of the strangers and required the formal, if not the voluntary, assent of the chiefs of the nation. He has never been accused of promoting the assassination of Othman, though Persia indirectly and secretly celebrates the festivals of that holy martyr. The quarrel between Othman and his subjects was assuaged by the early mediation of Ali, and Hasan, the eldest of his sons, was insulted and wounded in the defence of the Caliph.”
While commenting on the failure of Hadrat Ali and matters pertaining to statecraft, Gibbon observes as follows: “A life of prayer and contemplation had not chilled the martial activity of Ali, but in a mature age, after a long experience of mankind, he still betrayed in his conduct the rashness and indiscretion of youth.”

7- Thomas Carlyle In his book On Heroes and Hero Worship, Thomas Carlyle observed: “As for this young Ali, one cannot but like him. A noble minded creature, as he shows himself, now and always afterwards, full of affection, of fiery daring something chivalrous in him, brave as a lion, yet with a grace, truth and affection worthy of Christian knighthood. He died by assassination in the mosque at Kufa, death occasioned by his own generous fairness, confidence in the fairness of others. He said: if the wound proved not unto death, they must pardon the assassin, but if it did, they must slay him straightaway, so that the two of them in the same our might appear before God, and see which side of that quarrel was the just one.”

8- Dr. Henry Stubbe In his book An Account of the Rise and Progress of Muhammadanism, Dr. Henry Stubbe observed: “Ali was of a brown complexion, a little man with a somewhat large belly, he had a contempt of the world, its glory and pomp. He feared God much, gave many alms, was just in all his actions, humble and affable, of an exceedingly quick wit, and of an ingenuity that was not common. He was exceedingly learned, not only in those sciences that terminate in speculation, but those which extend to practice.”

9- Major Price In his book Memoirs of the Principal Events of Muhammadan History, Major Price observed: “His virtues and extraordinary qualities have been the subject of voluminous panegyrics, and his war-like exploits from his youth upwards have been particularly celebrated in the “Khawer Nama,” a poem well-known in the East and which may perhaps contend in extravagance with the wildest effusions of European romance. With his acknowledged talents and magnanimity, it is however, difficult to account for the train of civil mischief and perpetual discontent which continued to disturb him for the whole of his reign. His gallant spirit was probably incapable of bonding to the ordinary shifts of political craft, and it is perhaps true that the Arabian chiefs were not yet sufficiently disciplined to see the sovereign authority quietly monopolized by any particular family.”

10- J.J. Saunders In his book A History of Medieval Islam, J.J. Saunders observed:”His moral qualities were respectively recognized. He was a brave fighter and an eloquent orator and a loyal friend. Many things of his are quoted to prove his mastery of proverbial wisdom, a gift highly honoured among the Semites. He displayed towards his foes a patience and magnanimity expressive of a humane and generous disposition. His religion was founded on genuine piety. He was shocked by the growing luxury and corruption of the age, and to his many doubts whether Othman was an upholder or a violator of the law may be attributed to the hesitating and ambiguous attitude he adopted towards the regicides, which proved so fatal to his rule and reputation. As his temper was indolent, he drifted rather than led. He was easily outmatched by the astute and the forceful, and he lacked the commanding personality to impose his will on a turbulent society. His authority was challenged by the political shrewdness of Muawiyah, and the furious zealotry of the Kharajites, his inability to overcome either delivered Islam to schism and grave believers were driven to see in a reunion of the Empire under the Umayyads the only escape from tribal and sectarian anarchy. Yet he has been raised by a powerful sect little below that of Muhammad himself, the Shi’ah or party of Ali laid down as an article of faith that he was designated by God and the Prophet to be the lawful Caliph and Imam of the Islam, his three predecessors being treated as usurpers, and that Divine Revelation continued to be interpreted by his descendants, and his supposed grave at Najaf, a sandhill on the edge of the desert six miles west of Kufa, is annually visited by thousands of devout pilgrims who curse his supplanters and revere him as the friend of God and the first of Imams.”

SOME HEALTH GUIDELINES FOR RAMADHAAN

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SOME HEALTH GUIDELINES FOR RAMADHAAN

This article provides useful advice on how to avoid some common problems encountered in Ramadhan. If followed, it would enable one to fast comfortably and enjoy fully the spiritual benefits of Ramadhan.

During the holy month of Ramadhan, our diet should not differ very much from our normal diet and should be as simple as possible. The diet should be such that we maintain our normal weight, neither losing nor gaining. However, if one is over-weight, Ramadhan is an ideal time to normalise one’s weight.

In view of the long hours of fasting, we should consume slow digesting foods including fibre containing-foods rather than fast-digesting foods. Slow digesting foods last up to 8 hours, while fast-digesting foods last for only 3 to 4 hours.

Slow-digesting foods are foods that contain grains and seeds like barley, wheat, oats, millet, semolina, beans, lentils, wholemeal flour, unpolished rice, etc. (called complex carbohydrates).
Fast-burning foods are foods that contain sugar, white flour, etc. (called refined carbohydrates).
Fibre-containing foods are bran-containing foods, whole wheat, grains and seeds, vegetables like green beans, peas, sem (papry), marrow, mealies, spinach, and other herbs like methie, the leaves of beetroot (iron-rich), fruit with skin, dried fruit especially dried apricots, figs and prunes, almonds, etc.

The foods eaten should be well-balanced, containing foods from each food group, i.e. fruits, vegetables, meat/chicken/fish, bread/cereals and dairy products. Fried foods are unhealthy and should be limited. They cause indigestion, heart-burn, and weight problems.

17a.jpgAVOID

Fried and fatty foods.
Foods containing too much sugar.
Over-eating especially at sehri.
Too much tea at sehri.

Tea makes you pass more urine taking with it valuable mineral salts that your body would need during the day.
Smoking cigarettes. If you cannot give up smoking, cut down gradually starting a few weeks before Ramadhan. Smoking is unhealthy and one should stop completely.

i-dates-medjool.jpgEAT

Complex carbohydrates at sehri so that the food lasts longer making you less hungry.
Haleem is an excellent source of protein and is a slow-burning food.
Dates are excellent source of sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium.
Almonds are rich in protein and fibre with less fat.
Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates.

DRINK

As much water or fruit juices as possible between iftar and bedtime so that your body may adjust fluid levels in time.

CONSTIPATION

Constipation can cause piles (haemorroids), fissures (painful cracks in anal canal) and indigestion with a bloated feeling.

Causes: Too much refined foods, too little water and not enough fibre in the diet.

Remedy: Avoid excessive refined foods, increase water intake, use bran in baking, brown flour when making roti.

INDIGESTION AND WIND

Causes: Over-eating. Too much fried and fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods that produce wind e.g. eggs, cabbage, lentils, carbonated drinks like Cola also produce gas.

Remedy: Do not over-eat, drink fruit juices or better still drink water. Avoid fried foods, add ajmor to wind-producing foods.

LETHARGY (‘low blood pressure’)

Excessive sweating, weakness, tiredness, lack of energy, dizziness, especially on getting up from sitting position, pale appearance and feeling faint are symptoms associated with “low blood pressure”. This tends to occur towards the afternoon.

Causes: Too little fluid intake, decreased salt intake.

Remedy: Keep cool, increase fluid and salt intake.

Caution: Low blood pressure should be confirmed by taking a blood pressure reading when symptoms are present. Persons with high blood pressure may need their medication adjusted during Ramadhan. They should consult their doctor.

HEADACHE

Causes: Caffeine and tobacco-withdrawal, doing too much in one day, lack of sleep, hunger usually occur as the day goes by and worsens at the end of the day. When associated with “low blood pressure”, the headache can be quite severe and can also cause nausea before Iftar.

Remedy: Cut down caffeine and tobacco slowly starting a week or two before Ramadhan. Herbal and caffeine-free teas may be substituted. Reorganise your schedule during the Ramadan so as to have adequate sleep.

LOW BLOOD SUGAR

Weakness, dizziness, tiredness, poor concentration, perspiring easily, feeling shaky (tremor), unable to perform physical activities, headache, palpitations are symptoms of low blood sugar.

Causes in non-diabetics: Having too much sugar i.e. refined carbohydrates especially at suhur (sehri). The body produces too much insulin causing the blood glucose to drop.

Remedy: Eat something at sehri and limit sugar-containing foods and drinks.

Caution: Diabetics may need to adjust their medication in Ramadan, consult your doctor.

MUSCLE CRAMPS

Causes: Inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium foods.

Remedy: Eat foods rich in the above minerals e.g. vegetables, fruit, dairy products, meat and dates.

Caution: Those on high blood pressure medication and with kidney stone problems should consult their doctor.

PEPTIC ULCERS, HEART BURN, GASTRITIS AND HIATUS HERNIA

Increased acid levels in the empty stomach in Ramadhan aggravate the above conditions. It presents as a burning feeling in the stomach area under the ribs and can extend upto the throat. Spicy foods, coffee, and Cola drinks worsen these conditions.

Medications are available to control acid levels in the stomach. People with proven peptic ulcers and hiatus hernia should consult their doctor well before Ramadhan.

KIDNEY STONES

Kidney stones may occur in people who have less liquids to drink. Therefore, it is essential to drink extra liquids so as to prevent stone formation.

JOINT PAINS

Causes: During Ramadhan, when extra salah are performed the pressure on the knee joints increases. In the elderly and those with arthritis this may result in pain, stiffness, swelling and discomfort.

Remedy: Lose weight so that the knees do not have to carry any extra load. Exercise the lower limbs before Ramadhan so that they can be prepared for the additional strain. Being physically fit allows greater fulfilment, thus enabling one to be able to perform salah with ease.

Dr. Farouk Haffejee
Islamic Medical Association of South Africa – Durban

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