Ramadan is the month in the Islamic calendar when the Qur’an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). During the month, Muslims abstain from all sensory pleasures (like food and drink, sex, TV and music) from dawn to dusk. The time is centred on prayer, the Qur’an, deep mindfulness and spiritual reflection. The duration of fasting varies from 13 to 18 hours a day, depending on the daylight times in a country.
Muslims believe that fasting helps to develop their submission to God, empathy with the poor and repentance for past sins. Registered dietitian, Dr Nazeeia Sayed, spoke to Faaizah Laher, also a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, about the healthiest approach to the fast.