Thursday, August 26, 2010

How to Fast Healthily During Ramadan

With the fast of Ramadan upon us, we thought it might be useful to look at ways of trying to maintain a healthy diet whilst fasting. Fasting for 12 to 24 hours or more can lead to dizziness and fatigue and a lowering of metabolic rate as a means of conserving calories or energy. Here are some simple guidelines to make sure that your diet remains balanced and healthy during this fasting period:

Don't skip breakfast

Even though the thought of sleep may be far more appealing than waking up to force down some food, don't skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For years, research has shown that breakfast (the breaking of the overnight fast) provides the essential nutrients and energy needed for concentration while keeping hunger symptoms like headaches, fatigue, sleepiness and restlessness at bay. In addition, it also gets our metabolic rates up and going - it is therefore vital to ensure an adequate intake at breakfast time.

Eat a wide variety of foods

Especially now, when your daily intake is limited to two meals per day, you need to put extra effort into including foods from all the food groups. Our bodies need at least 40 different nutrients every day to ensure that we grow adequately and maintain good health. Although most foods contain more than one nutrient, no single food provides all the necessary nutrients. Moreover, foods have benefits that can't be replicated by a pill. It is thus important to eat a wide variety of foods every day, so as to ensure that we get all of these nutrients. The way to ensure variety, and with it a well-balanced diet, is to select foods each day from each of the five food groups:

Breads, cereals and other grain products
Fruit and vegetables
Meat, fish and poultry
Milk, cheese and yoghurt
Fats and sugars (these contain very little nutrients and are high in calories and therefore their intake should be limited).
Use low glycaemic (GI) foods at breakfast to help control blood sugar levels

Carbohydrates are now classified according to their glucose response or glyceamic index. The GI measures how fast the carbohydrate of a particular food is converted to glucose and enters the bloodstream. It therefore tells you which carbohydrate foods satisfy hunger for longer. The lower the number of the GI, the slower the food is converted to sugar and the better it is. Selecting low GI foods therefore helps maintain normal blood sugar control, minimizes hunger pangs and satisfies appetite without providing excess calories. Also, by controlling blood sugar levels, you prevent excessive eating binges as a result of low blood sugar levels. Click here for a list of common food products and their actual GI values. Remember to include low GI foods at each meal, and to avoid eating high GI foods on their own, but rather to mix them with low GI foods, which will give an intermediate GI overall.

Be aware of your cooking methods

By making small changes in your cooking habits, you can create great-tasting foods that are also healthy for you. Although special recipes are an important part of family tradition, many of those treasured favorites have too high a fat content for today's generation of health-conscious cooks. You do not have to give up those old favorites - convert them! Here's how:

Always trim off all excess fat from before cooking or use veal, venison, chicken and Soya as lower fat options. Remove poultry skin before or after cooking. Choose light meat (breast) instead of dark meat (leg, wing).

Cut down on fat intake during cooking wherever possible:
cook onions in a small amount of water or even vegetable stock rather than oil or butter
use non-stick frying pans and non-stick sprays (like Spray 'n Cook) rather than oil or margarine if frying
bake, grill or roast foods rather than frying
cook roasted meat or poultry on a wire rack so that the fat can drip off
vegetables should be steamed or boiled with as little cream or margarine as possible
when preparing rice, noodles and other grains, season with herbs, spices and broths rather than added fat
prepare soups, gravies and sauces in advance, so that they can be refrigerated and the layer of fat that forms on top removed
experiment with herbs and spices to add flavor and zest to low-fat cooking. Herbs, such as basil, bay leaf, oregano, or rosemary adds distinctive flavors and colors to meat and vegetables. Spices, like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg enhance the sweet taste of foods, and seasoning blends, such as chili powder, curry powder provide a complex array of flavors

Avoid taking in too much salt
Use garlic, dry mustard, pepper, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes to add flavor to meat and vegetables
Add sliced lemon or lemon juice to white meats and fish
Use herbs and spices instead

Make healthy changes to recipes
Use your regular recipes, but start cutting the fat in half. If a recipe calls for cream or whole milk, use evaporated or fresh skim milk. If a recipe calls for a whole egg, use two egg whites, etc.
Eat enough carbohydrate foods - especially those rich in fiber

These foods provide the body with energy. They are often incorrectly labeled as fattening and unnecessarily limited. They are rich in vitamins belonging to the B group, and are an excellent source of fiber. Bear in mind that hi-fiber foods have a greater effect on satiety than their low-fiber counterparts. Examples of foods high in fiber include brown rice, whole grains, fresh fruit and raw veggies.

Remember your fruits and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables add colour and variety to the menu. They are often termed our "protective" foods as they help the body fight off sickness and disease. This is because they are rich sources of a variety of vitamins and minerals. An added benefit is that they are relatively low in calories and also contribute to our daily fiber intake.

Drink sufficient fluid

Always include water in your diet and limit your intake of caffeine-containing beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic and will not provide adequate hydration.

We all know that maintaining a balanced diet by eating healthily has a vital influence on your well being. Try following the above principles so that this fast period does not sway too much from the principles of good nutrition.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Ramadan Nutrition and Workout Plan for Success

The Ramadan Nutrition and Workout Plan for Success: Men

By Rehan Jalali, C.S.N.

I am frequently asked, “How can I workout and eat properly while fasting?” Most people see the blessed month of Ramadan as a time when they will lose strength and muscle mass; some think they can only “maintain” themselves during this month, while many women actually gain weight! If you use some of the strategies I am about to share with you, you can make some of your best gains during Ramadan. It’s all about maximizing nutrient uptake, maintaining proper hydration, and modifying key fat-burning and muscle-building hormones in your favor–and of course PREPARATION — if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail! Plus, how can you truly maximize this month spiritually if your body is sick, tired, and your mind isn’t sharp?

First of all, let’s look at what happens to your body during Ramadan. While you are fasting, you become more dehydrated at rest – but actually less than if you had exercised aerobically for over an hour (so exercise causes greater dehydration for that time period versus fasting). Your main metabolic fuel source for bodily function during fasting is mainly fat, which is a good thing. So the goals during Ramadan are to maximize metabolism (even though your metabolism will slow down due to less frequent meals); preserve and enhance as much lean muscle mass as possible (which will inherently increase metabolic rate and allow you to burn more calories at rest); and maximize your workout (both cardio and weight training). During Ramadan, depending on your goals, I really recommend that you limit cardio to 2 days a week at the most. This is again to preserve as much lean muscle tissue as possible. There is actually research showing the health benefits of fasting. It is truly a physical purification. According to a study published in the reputable European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers concluded “no detrimental effects on health have as yet been directly attributed to negative water balance at the levels that may be produced in Ramadan.”Other research has actually shown cardiovascular benefits of fasting during Ramadan — that is, IF you can avoid the IBS. No, that’s not irritable bowel syndrome – it’s the dreaded Iftar Binging Syndrome! It is vital to eat moderate to small meals even after iftar.

Training Times

Ok, enough of the background, let’s get to the meat of it! I am going to set the record straight here. The best time to do a weight-training workout is NOT while fasting. This can create way too much muscle breakdown and cause a significant rise in the catabolic hormone cortisol. Training while in a state of dehydration can decrease strength significantly. In fact, research indicates that dehydrating a muscle by as little as 3% can cause a 12% loss in strength. Training while you are fasting can actually be more detrimental than beneficial! The best time to weight train during Ramadan is after taraweeh prayers at night. This will ensure that you will have several meals and plenty of water in your system before going to the gym. This will also allow you to consume your all-important post workout meal or shake which is essential muscle growth which leads to fat loss. If this is too late then the next best time to weight train is about 1 hour after iftar before tarawih prayer. You could do a short but intense 30 minute workout. The best time to do cardio work for maximum fat loss is before suhur – yep, that’s the truth. Of course, most people I know will not want to get up at around 3:30am and do cardio! If you CAN pull this off then the best thing to do is get up and drink plenty of water with a cup of coffee, green tea, or oolong tea, wait 30 minutes and perform 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio work like a brisk walk on a treadmill. If this is out of the question for you, then the next best time to do cardio is approximately 30-45 minutes after a “light” iftar (I will define this shortly). Short, high intensity cardio like sprinting is actually great to do during Ramadan. It takes less than 10 minutes and provides maximum benefit in terms of fat burning and lean muscle preservation! This isn’t “driving Miss Daisy” cardio – it’s very intensive: an example would be sprinting for 20-30 seconds at full speed (like a crazy dog is chasing you!) and then walking for one minute. Do 4-5 cycles like that and you’re good! Start slow, of course, and work your way up.

So now you know when to train, it’s time to learn what to eat and drink (think water, water, and more water!

Suhoor (The Pre-Dawn Meal)

For suhoor, it is imperative to drink plenty of water, eat a good blend of protein, carbohydrates, and essential fat. That’s right, “good fats” have many fat-burning and muscle-building properties, and their importance is even greater during Ramadan. Some good suhoor foods include:

•Egg whites (1 yolk)
•Chicken breast
•Cream of wheat
•Protein shake
•Raw, dark Honey
•Raisins or dates
•Fibrous vegetables –This will help increase the feeling of fullness as well.
•All natural peanut butter
•Flax seed oil – A great and tasty brand is Omega Swirl from Barleans –There’s a version for Women as well. (
•Olive oil – preferably extra virgin (which means it’s cold processed and the essential fatty acids are preserved)
•Plenty of water
It is important to take a solid multi-vitamin, multi-mineral supplement with suhoor as well to make sure daily minimum requirements of key nutrients are met. One good source for women is the Women’s Blend by Super Nutrition and a good one for men is Opti-Pack by Super Nutrition. Taking extra vitamin C and vitamin E can also be helpful. A great product is Emergen-C from Alacer. It is very important to watch your sodium intake at this time as high sodium can cause greater dehydration plus increase thirst during the day – not good for fasters. Avoid high sodium foods like soups, sauces, condiments, gravies, high sodium bread products, and canned meats. Of course eating fried foods and heavy oil items can cause heartburn and problems for you all day so it is best to avoid those if possible!

Iftar (Sunset Meal)

This is a key time for rehydration. The wisdom in Islam is never ending. We break our fast with dates and water but if you investigate this nutritionally, you will see that dates are very unique in their nutrient content. They contain very high levels of potassium (much more than a banana), a key re-hydration mineral and a special carbohydrate blend that enhances hydration above and beyond water alone. They contain a special blend of glucose and fructose for short and long term energy. They also have a special nutrient called beta D-glucan that is a soluble fiber that can enhance satiety and digestive health. So basically when you eat a date and water for iftar your body gets hydrated again much faster than with water alone (this is a complex topic but I don’t want to bore you with the details – You can think of dates and water as a very advanced form of Gatorade®). In fact, clinical research published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition entitled “The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future?” concluded that “dates may be considered as an almost ideal food, providing a wide range of essential nutrients and potential health benefits.”

You should also eat some quality protein at iftar time as well. I would first recommend three dates. For men, I recommend a meal replacement protein powder like Protein Rush from VPX Sports, Lean Body by Labrada, or Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori and for women, one scoop of a protein powder like Pro-Blend 55, Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori, and Low Carb protein from MRM. Of course, drink plenty of water – in fact, keep a water bottle with you at all times after sunset! Then 1-1.5 hours later have a food meal (or follow the schedule above for cardio). Then during taraweeh, depending if you pray 8 or 20 rak`at, have a protein bar (like Power Crunch) or ready-to-drink protein shake in the middle (not while you are praying of course!); or you can have another small protein and complex carbohydrate meal after the 8 rak`at. If you have a protein bar, drink plenty of water and then go train for about 30-45 minutes. For women, you can actually do 20 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weight training at this time. For men, you can take a BCAA (branched chain amino acid) product like BCAA-G from MRM before, during and right after the workout to preserve lean muscle. After the workout, also have another nutrition shake with plenty of water. Eating small meals at night can trick your body into speeding up metabolic rate (not to mention increase nutrient absorption and stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels). Your body loves homeostasis and wants to maintain a certain balance – you literally have to shock it constantly to lose fat and gain muscle over the long run! There is so much wisdom in “Eat and drink but not to excess” and we should try and follow that especially during Ramadan.

Sample Ramadan Meal Plan for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

*This plan is for a 170 lb MALE, please adjust amounts for bodyweight


•Eat 6-8 egg whites (with one yolk)
•One bowl of plain oatmeal w/cinnamon, raisins and a banana
•1 teaspoon all-natural peanut butter or olive oil or flax seed oil (1 tablespoon Barlean’s Omega Swirl)
•Plenty of water (16-24 oz.)
•Opti-pack by Super Nutrition (one pack) multi-vitamin/mineral

•Three Dates and a Nutrition Shake (Protein Rush from VPX Sports, Lean Body by Labrada, or Eat-Smart MRP from iSatori)
•Plenty of water

Following these simple workout and nutrition tips can really help you make great gains during this blessed month. May Allah help give us patience and strength in this month and throughout the year and make us strong mentally, internally, spiritually, and physically!

Top 5 Healthy Foods to eat During Ramadan

1.Dates – They contain a unique blend of glucose and fructose and have a very high potassium content (about 64% more than bananas). They have a nutrient called beta-D-glucan which is a soluble fiber that has health benefits and can increase the feeling of fullness.
2.Raw, Unfiltered Honey – This contains many phytochemicals and flavonoids that can enhance health. Honey is very good for increasing energy. It is an excellent source of antioxidants. In fact, ORAC tests show it has the highest level of antioxidants of virtually any natural food on earth! It even has anti-bacterial effects. Take 1-2 tablespoons daily.
3.Fish – Eating fish regularly can have positive effects on health. The fish oils EPA and DHA have been shown to improve brain function, enhance cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation among other things. Some of the best fish are cold water wild salmon, orange roughy, deep sea cod, sea bass, ahi tuna, mahi mahi, and tilapia.
4.Figs – They contain key mineral such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. They are also a great source of fiber and can support healthy blood sugar levels. Figs are an alkaline food which means they help balance the Ph of the body making it less acidic.
5.Olive Oil - Contains omega 9 or oleic fatty acids. It has been shown to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL). It also seems to have some antioxidant effects. Look for extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed). Cooking with it can lower some of its benefits. Add it to food after it is cooked!
Happy Healthy Ramadan!

*The content of this article is for information purposes only. Please consult a physician before starting any nutrition, training, or supplementation program.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ramadan And Weight Lifting

Ramadan & Weight Lifting: How to Maintain Muscle &  Strength
By Mahdi

Weight lifting can be hard during Ramadan. Especially since it falls during the warmer summer months this year and the following ones. This post will teach you how to train and what to eat for best results during Ramadan.

What Is Ramadan? The 9th month in the Islamic calender is the Ramadan. All practicing Muslims drink and eat nothing from dawn till dusk. The goal of fasting is to teach you patience, discipline, modesty & spirituality.

Ramadan stresses prayers, fasting, charity and self-accountability. You want to gain awareness and empathy for the poor. Practicing Muslims pray 5 times per day, including at dawn and dusk.

The Islamic calender is 11-12 days shorter than the solar year. This is because it’s a lunar calender, based on moon cycles. That’s why the Ramadan migrates through the seasons. Example:

Ramadan 2009: 21st August – 20th September
Ramadan 2010: 10th August – 9th September
Ramadan 2011: 1st August – 30th August
Ramadan 2012: 20th July – 19th August
Ramadan 2013: 9th July – 8th August
Ramadan during the summer is harder: longer fasts and shorter feeds. Weight lifting gets harder too because you can’t drink during the fast. And your nights are shorter which can cause sleep deprivation.

Common Mistakes During Ramadan. Lack of planning is the biggest mistake you can do during Ramadan. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Make a plan for your diet, training, job, sleep. More errors to avoid:

Not Training. You won’t lose much muscle & strength if you stop weight lifting during Ramadan. But you’ll tend to stick to your diet less. And this can cause more muscle/strength loss and fat gains than not lifting.

Not Eating Healthy. Lots of people gain fat during Ramadan. The main reason for this is that a lot of the Ramadan foods are high in sugars & fats. Example: harira soup, often served with bread/dates.

Not Eating Enough. Food is energy. If you don’t eat enough you’ll lack energy at the gym and won’t recover well. You must focus on caloric dense foods to get the most out of your feeding window.
Not Sleeping Enough. Short nights can cause sleep deprivation. This can kill your motivation to go to the gym. Consider naps.

Popular Fasting Myths. I highly recommend you get a copy of Eat Stop Eat. It has all the research regarding fasting and its benefits. Some myths:

Metabolism Slows Down. Studies show that fasting doesn’t decrease your metabolism. And more frequent meals don’t increase it neither.
Muscle & Strength Loss. Fasting doesn’t cause muscle loss. You’ll most likely feel stronger & more aggressive training fasted.
Low Energy. You’ll have energy if you eat enough during your feeding window. Productivity will increase since you’re not wasting time on food.

When To Lift Weights During Ramadan. Train fasted: 2 hours before you break your fast. This way you can eat several times post workout to help recovery. You also maximize your feeding window since you don’t spend it training.

You should feel stronger and more aggressive training fasted. If you don’t: you’re not eating enough food during the feed. Or it’s psychological.

Predators in the wild only hunt when they are hungry.

- Ori Hofmekler, The Warrior Diet.

How to Lose Fat During Ramadan. Fasting improves fat loss. You can get away with more carbs than you would usually, without gaining fat. Tips:

Get Stronger. Strength training prevents muscle loss. Keep lifting weights and work at getting stronger. Check StrongLifts 5×5.
Eat Healthy. Eat whole, unprocessed foods 90% of the time. Ground round, chicken breast, tuna cans, oats, rice, pasta, bananas, eggs, …
Drink Water. Avoid coffee & green tea: they’re diuretics. Drink water to avoid dehydration. Aim for 1 gallon between dawn & dusk.
Avoid Junk Food. Lots of people gain weight during Ramadan because they gorge themselves with foods that aren’t healthy. Avoid.
Avoid Cardio. You can’t drink water during the fast so cardio or HIIT is a bad idea. Stick with lifting only until Ramadan ends.

How to Gain Weight During Ramadan. Gorging yourself with food goes against the spirit of Ramadan. Meet your daily caloric needs but don’t be a pig. Tips:

GOMAD. Drink 4 liters whole milk per day. Spread your intake between dawn and dusk. Read the GOMAD guide for more info.
Eat Caloric Dense Foods. White paste is the best food you can choose: 250g contains 1000kcal. Try also: rice, mixed nuts, bananas.
Get Stronger. The fastest way to build muscle mass is to get stronger. Squat heavy & frequently. Check the StrongLifts 5×5 routine.
Make Liquid Meals. Digest faster than solid meals. Drink lots of whole milk. Make smoothies: banana, oats, plain fat free yogurt, milk.
Drink Water. Milk is 87% water so you won’t need to drink that much water on top of your daily gallon of whole milk.
Use Fitday. Track everything. Aim for +5000kcal/day. 1 gallon whole milk and 500g pasta per day equals 4500kcal.

Ramadan & StrongLifts 5×5. Training fasted works if you eat well during the feeding window. Thirst can be a problem if you’re used to drinking a lot or if it’s warm. Best is to cut down your workout time. Tips:

Train Fasted. Train 2 hours before breaking your fast. This way you can eat several meals post workout to help your recovery.
Switch to 3×5. Do 3×5 instead of 5×5 on all exercises (Deadlift 1×5). Keep doing the StrongLifts 5×5 routine 3x/week.
Drop The Assistance Exercises. Do Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Press, Bench Press, Inverted Rows only during the Ramadan period.

Example Ramadan Training & Diet Plan. The length of fast/feed changes as the days go by and depending on the season. In 2009 these are the starting and ending times of Ramadan in Brussels, Belgium:

First day: 21st August 2009: 4:22am – 8:57pm
Last day: 20th September 2009: 5:32am – 7:50pm
Ramadan gets easier as the days go by since the fast gets 2 hours shorter. Sleep deprivation can be problem and will kill your motivation. Consider naps. Example schedule during Ramadan:

7pm: lift weights. 3-4 compound exercises for 1 hour max.
9pm: break fast. Proteins & carbs. Pasta, tomato sauce, ground round.
10pm: proteins & carbs. Example: tuna, brown rice, pineapple.
11pm: light pre-bed meal. Cottage cheese, berries, ground flax seeds.
11:30pm: bedtime
3:30am: breakfast: eggs, veggies, meat. Back in bed after 1st prayer.
7am: wake up, get ready for work
1pm: 30mins nap
5pm: 1 hour nap pre-workout
While Ramadan is challenging this summer with the short feeding times, don’t let it get into your head. You can progress regardless.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Those who Fast will be Called from the Gate of al-Rayyaan

Praise be to Allaah.


Allaah has enjoined upon the Muslims fasting the month of Ramadaan, and He has promised a great reward to those who fast. Because the virtue of fasting is so great, Allaah has not specified the reward for it, rather He said – in a hadeeth qudsi –
“… except for fasting, for it is for Me, and I shall reward for it.”

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The virtues of the month of Ramadaan are many. For example, that which Allaah has promised those who fast, namely the gate of al-Rayyaan. This is the name which was narrated in the hadeeth whose authenticity is agreed upon. Sahl (may Allaah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“In Paradise there is a gate called al-Rayyaan, through which those who used to fast will enter on the Day of Resurrection, and no one but they will enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are those who fasted?’ They will get up, and none will enter it but them. When they have entered, it will be locked, and no one else will enter.” (al-Bukhaari, 1763; Muslim, 1947).

Among the ahaadeeth which explain the reward for fasting are the following:

It was narrated from Abu Salamah that Abu Hurayrah said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and seeking reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Eemaan, 37).

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Allaah says: “Every deed of the son of Adam is for him, except for fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it.” Fasting is a shield and when one of you is fasting he avoid sexual relations with his wife and quarreling. If somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’ By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allaah than the smell of musk. The fasting person will have two moments of joy: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.’”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1771)


It is known that Paradise has many gates, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), which they shall enter and (also) those who acted righteously from among their fathers, and their wives, and their offspring. And angels shall enter unto them from every gate.”

[al-Ra’d 13:23]

“And those who kept their duty to their Lord (Al-Muttaqoon – the pious) will be led to Paradise in groups till when they reach it, and its gates will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keepers will say: Salaamun ‘Alaykum (peace be upon you)! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.”

[al-Zumar 39:73]

In the saheeh ahaadeeth it says that there are eight gates:

It was narrated from Sahl ibn Sa’d (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “In Paradise there are eight gates, among which is a gate called al-Rayyaan, which none will enter but those who fast.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3017).

It was narrated from ‘Ubaadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever bears witness that there is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, and that ‘Eesa (Jesus) is the slave of Allaah and His Messenger, and a word which Allaah bestowed on Maryam and a spirit created by Him (cf. al-Nisa’ 4:171), and that Paradise is true and Hell is true, will have the right to be admitted by Allaah to Paradise through whichever of the eight gates he wishes, because of his good deeds.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3180; Muslim, 41)

One of the bounties that Allaah has bestowed upon this ummah is that He opens all the gates of Paradise during the month of Ramadaan, not just one gate. Whoever says that there is a gate in Paradise called Baab al-Radwaan has to produce evidence for that.

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When Ramadaan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3035; Muslim 1793)

We ask Allaah to make us among those who will enter Paradise. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


No one ever thinks about the characteristics of a Muslim husband. It is always what a wife should do for the husband...and the list never ends; home management, tutoring, ferrying the kids, caring, cooking, cleaning, washing, working, you name it, she is doing it. so what about the brothers?

Our beloved Prophet SAW was not like this. So, why the men of this ummah? It is quite interesting. so I thought I'd share it with you !!! What a Muslim husband should be like...

1. Dress up for your wife, look clean and smell good. When was the last time you went shopping for designer pyjamas? Just like the husband wants his wife to look nice for him, she also wants her husband to dress up for her too. Remember that the Prophet (PBUH) would always start with Miswak when returning home and always loved the sweetest smells.

2. Use the best names for your wife. Call your wife by the most beloved names to her, and avoid using names that hurt their feelings.

3. Don't treat her like a fly. We never think about a fly in our daily lives until it 'bugs' us. Similarly, a wife will do well all day - which brings no attention from the husband - until she does something to 'bug' him. Don't treat her like this; recognize all the good that she does and focus on that.

4. If you see wrong from your wife, try being silent and do not comment! This is one of the ways the Prophet (PBUH) used when he would see something inappropriate from his wives (R.A). It's a technique that few Muslim men have mastered.

5. Smile at your wife whenever you see her and embrace her often. Smiling is Sadaqah and your wife is not exempt from the Muslim Ummah. Imagine life with her constantly seeing you smiling. Remember also those Ahadith when the Prophet (PBUH) would kiss his wife before leaving for Salaah, even when he was fasting.

6. Thank her for all that she does for you. Then thank her again! Take for example a dinner at your house. She makes the food, cleans the home, and a dozen other tasks to prepare. And sometimes the only acknowledgment she receives is that there needed to be more salt in the soup. Don't let that be; thank her!

7. Ask her to write down the last ten things you did for her that made her happy. Then go and do them again. It may be hard to recognize what gives your wife pleasure. You don't have to play a guessing game, ask her and work on repeating those times in your life.

8. Don't belittle her desires. Comfort her. Sometimes the men may look down upon the requests of their wives. The Prophet (PBUH) set the example for us in an incident when Safiyyah (R.A) was crying because, as she said, he had put her on a slow camel. He wiped her tears, comforted her, and brought her the camel.

9. Be humorous and play games with your wife. Look at how the Prophet (PBUH) would race with his wife Aisha (R.A) in the desert. When was the last time we did something like that?

10. Always remember the words of Allah's Messenger (PBUH): 'The best of you are those who treat their families the best. And I am the best amongst you to my family.' Try to be the best!

In conclusion: Never forget to make Dua to Allah - ta'ala to make your marriage successful. And Allah ta'ala knows best!!