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Monday, July 16, 2012






The Fasting Month For Muslims
 

As we all know, our Muslim friends practice fasting for a month before Hari Raya. It is compulsory for all the able-bodied Muslims to practice fasting for a month, where they are forbidden to eat or drink in the period between sun-up and sun-down.

It is also known that Muslims are prohibited in ‘sensual pleasures’ such as smoking, sex and even listening to music during their fasting period. It is to their belief that all the gates of hell will be closed, hence the devil will not be able to tempt them during the month of Ramadan. They need to be disciplined, have self-control and at the same time also perform charitable activities during the month.

Prophet Muhammad reportedly said, "He who does not abandon falsehood in word and action in accordance with fasting, God has no need that he should abandon his food and drink." The fast helps them to purify their hearts and minds as well as understand the hardship of less-fortunate people. It is as much a period of self-growth as of self-denial.

Sahur, the predawn meal which is usually rich in protein and carbohydrates, will be taken by Muslims to kick-off their fasting on a typical day. The Sahur acts as the energy meal for the foodless day later on. Muslims spend the rest of the day reciting prayers and reading the Koran.
Muslims who are fasting are encouraged to finish the entire holy book within the month. However, many mosques split it into 30 portions and recite at every day.

The fast is broken with a small meal called iftar, which is followed by the Magrib prayers before the fasting muslims join their families and invite the poor for a larger celebratory meal, (which is also called Buka Puasa). It is the time for meal when it's too dark to "distinguish a white thread from a black thread," according to the Koran.

In some of the Muslim countries, fasting carries the law where those who fail to practice the fast or restaurants that are still operating during this holy month will face a penalty by law. However, for some northern countries where the Ramadan month falls in the summer months, where they face fasting through as many as 19 hours of daylight, Muslim scholars have suggested that worshippers in these climates follow the daylight hours of the nearest Muslim-majority nation.

The end of Ramadan is signaled by the sighting of the new moon that indicates the start of the next lunar month. It is celebrated by a huge festival called Aidilfitri (the Feast of Fast-Breaking) where entire nations celebrate together.



Ramadan Specialties : Food Galore


Celebration and food can never be separated. Food is the one thing that somehow connects everyone together. For the upcoming festive season, the day the Muslims in the whole wide world including Malaysia, celebrates the end of the fasting month. Preparation for luxurious food is a really big deal. It is like a reward after a whole month of fasting.

Many type of food whether it is the traditional or modern fusion will be prepared for a family feast. Preparation of food feast will start on the last day of Ramadan, which is the Syawal eve. This is the most major celebration for the Muslim community. Family members from far and near will make the extra effort to make it back to their hometown by that night. It is especially grand for those with huge family.
Then come the best part – the feast! Plenty of food will be prepared for welcoming the Syawal. All sorts of food from biscuits, cakes and other types of delicacies will be on the banquet table. With the culture of Malaysian where it is a norm to have the ‘open house’, a lot of food will be found! Consider yourself very much blessed having many Malay Muslim friends.
It is the food galore that makes the celebration even more exciting. From the traditional lemang, ketupat, rendang, satay and all sorts of other special delicacies, you will find yourself easily gaining a kilo or two along the days of celebration (depending on how many ‘open houses’ you attend). People of all walks of life will throng the national ‘open house’ event. This is usually held by ministers and the Prime Ministers. The most virtuous act will be to see those who are unfortunate will also be rewarded with and invited to these ‘open houses’. Not any one of the community whether they are rich, poor or average will be left behind in this celebratory of being thankful for being able to have something to fill the empty stomachs.

Preparing For Ramadan


While the holy month of Ramadan is getting closer, all Muslims are preparing themselves for the biggest even of the year. Preparing well will ensure all Muslims to gain the best of benefits and blessing from the month. Besides preparing for the celebration and the vast varieties of food for the occasion, a Muslim will also have to prepare themselves, therefore there are a few tips that will help you out to prepare your mind, body and soul for the month and reap the maximum benefit from it:
 
1)      Preparing your body and heart

As a Muslim, it is needed for them to make up for any missed fasts from the previous years before the next period start and it is also called the ‘sunnah of fasting’ on Mondays and Thursdays in Sha’ban(Islamic calendar). By doing so, this will help Muslims to accustom their body to bear with the physical demands of fasting, improving spiritual state and also helps them to make a smooth transition into the Ramadan month. This will also avoid any shock to your body of sudden change of eating habit.

2)      Get your worldly affair settled

Before the Ramadan month arrives, it is strongly advised for all Muslims to settle their personal, domestic, social or work-related affair to avoid any distractions. So make arrangement with your work and organize your daily routine to ensure you will have full focus on carrying out the religious duty in the Ramadan month. This also involves adjusting your working lunch hours and taking time off from work to practice the beautiful sunnah of spiritual retreat, especially during the last ten days. In Malaysia, most companies will allow all Muslims that are fasting to leave work early in order for them to prepare for breaking fast period and to balance back, all Muslim employees will come into work earlier during the month.

3)      Visiting the mosque as often as possible

Quran is a way of life and a guide for Muslims and reading it regularly will benefit all Muslims by getting closer to Allah (name of the Islamic god). Practicing and reciting Quran will improve a Muslims knowledge and personal character, plus it’s also a way to seek refuge.

4)      Make a list 

Make a list to remind yourselves to pray for anything or anyone in the holy month. This also includes everything big and small, for other as well as yourself. This will also help us to remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves in our prayers.

5)      Practice the technology of diet

Muslim is also encouraged to go on a ‘technology diet’ which also means less TV, internet and entertainment. This also mean they can maximize their time for more productive thing and activities such as praying, charity work, exercise and as simple as helping out your mother in the kitchen. Start this now to help deal with the lifestyle change when Ramadan begins. Keep yourself busy and active!

6)      Do self evaluation

Every day before going to bed, it is best to do self evaluation on what you have done. Be honest to yourselves about your actions and assess which good deeds can be repeated and avoid bad ones from repeating plus setting yourself a goal for the Ramadan.

Be extra careful on words spoken such as foul languages, lying and slander which are always unlawful and even worse while fasting. As mentioned by the Prophet(peace be upon him) said, ‘Whoever does not give up lying speech, acting upon those lies and evil actions, Allah has no need for his leaving food and drink. Allah will not accept his fasting’ (Bukhari).

7)      Plan a breaking fast meal together with family and friend

It is good to plan a breaking fast meal with your neighbor together with family and friends as sharing will help improve the relationships among love ones. In Islam, it is much encouraged but not to be too extravagant or wasteful, even for just a glass of water will be fulfilling.

8)      Share the blessings

It is great to familiarize with all the rules and etiquette of fasting, this will help to raise community awareness about Ramadan among Muslims and non-Muslims including children. By doing so, we can share its value of spirituality, generosity and kindness with everyone.

You can also plan or join in a charity work during the Ramadan month such as feeding homeless or picking up litter.

9)      Share a helping hand

This is a month to share a helping hand, help other and yourself. Focus on people that regularly go without food and water by sharing with the less fortunate with the beauty of sharing. Donate to a good cause will also help to make a change.

10)   Give your Zakat

Every Muslim has to fulfill their Zakat responsibility and these days everything is made easy. You can choose to pay your Zakat by booths available in mosques and even in almost all supermarkets; on top of that if you don’t have the time you can always pay online. It is also the best time to take advantage of multiple charities or you can even set up a regular donation to help Islamic Relief’s humanitarian works around the world.
Have a good Ramadan!


Benefits Of Consuming Dates
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Dates are often associated with Muslim’s when breaking fast and it is seen more often on sale during the holy month of Ramadan. The reason why it is the tradition for Muslim to break their fast by eating dates is because they are rich in fibers, vitamins and minerals. These natural products contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are beneficial for health. Therefore, breaking fast by eating dates helps Muslims to avoid overeating when breaking fast. When the body absorbs the nutritional value of the dates, the feeling of hunger is reduced. It is said that consumption of at least one date daily is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet.

Dates are termed as king of sweets and are ideal food which easily balances and aids in digestion. It gives extra energy to a tired human body within half an hour after taking it. Dates are also considered to be the best diet for women during the confinement period. Below are some examples of benefits which dates can bring for our body:
 
  •  Constipation: The reason that dates are beneficial for people suffering from constipation is because dates are characterized as a laxative food. For getting the laxative effect from dates, you need to soak dates for one full night in water. You should consume these soaked dates in the morning like syrup to get their actual advantages
  • Intestinal Disorders: Constant intake of dates can help to increase the number of friendly bacteria in the intestine which can cure many kinds of intestinal disorders.
     
  • Weight Gain: Due to the high content of sugar, fats and proteins, as well as many essential vitamins, if dates are consumed with cucumber paste, one can easily overcome the problem of over-slimming. One kilogram of dates contains almost 3,000 calories and these calories alone are sufficient to meet the daily requirements of a human body.
     
  • Healthy Heart: Also, it helps in strengthening weak hearts and best results are achieved when soaked for a night and crushed in the morning and consumed. They help in fortifying the heart if taken twice in a week.
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  • Sexual Weakness: Dates are also beneficial for increasing sexual stamina in the human body. A handful of dates, when soaked in fresh goat's milk for the night and then grinded in the same milk with the mixture of cardamom powder and honey, becomes a very useful tonic for increasing sexual endurance and sterility caused due to functional disorders.
     
  • Diarrhea: Potassium, which can be found in ripe dates, is beneficial for curing diarrhea. They are easily digestible, which helps to cope with the problems of diarrhea.
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  • Intoxication: Dates provide quick relief in the case of alcoholic intoxication. They should be rubbed and soaked overnight for getting more nutritious values from them.
     
  • Abdominal Cancer: Abdominal Cancer can be avoided if dates are consumed regularly. They present the most economic tonic for all age group and might even be better than some medicines, with the extra benefit of being a natural product. Besides, it doesn’t leads to any side effects in the body, and can be easily digested and used for supplying extra energy when required.
Though dates are extremely good for health, one should be extra careful when choosing the dates. Only dates that are processed and packed properly should be consumed. Remember to wash it thoroughly and remove the impurities present in them
9 Tips For Ramadan And Working Out


There are more and more workout and fitness enthusiasts among Muslim and Ramadan is coming soon. The biggest question for the Muslims is how they fast and at the same time achieve their goals. Here are some simple pointers:
  1. Consistency of working out
The first and for most tip is to don’t stop working out. Your body maintains muscle mass as long as it feels it is needed and when you stop exercising, it will slowly build back with fats. So plan you workout well, walk, jog or hit the weights to preserve your muscle mass during the Ramadan.
  1. Adjust intensity
In the regular days you may be able to jog for 1 hour straight, try jogging to less that than. If you are fasting, you may not be able to pull off your usual routine. You don’t have to feel guilty, after a long day, your carbohydrates reserves are probably depleted and that is what you need to work out intensively.
  1. Protein timing
If you are in a protein diet and you are required to have several small doses of protein over the day, you may not be able to do that during Ramadan.  But you can always have a high protein meal to cover up the whole day and have the same protein in the evening when you break your fasts. You can also choose to eat natural food with high protein to make up to your diet.
  1. Carbohydrates in the morning
Another reason for a morning meal is that you can not only have protein at that time. There must be a balance of carbohydrates as well. Carbs will let you workout intensively during the day and gives you energy throughout to counter the lack of carbs during the day.
  1. Adjust your workout times
This would work well if you can adjust to have your workouts within a couple of hours after your morning meals before fasting, as you carbs reserves will then be quite high. However if your workout take place after a long day of fasting, you might find yourself feeling a bit drained.
  1. Workout when it feels best
Definitely people would not simply go and hit the gym when they would not most beneficial, especially during Ramadan. A bit of flexibility will help you a long way. Instead of your normal daily workout, during Ramadan do your workout when you feel the most energetic. Working out when you feel energetic will benefit you more than a workout which is forced.  
  1. Get enough fluids
Besides nutrition and foods to get your energy level up for workouts and the whole day. Getting enough fluid is much important as well. Therefore, it is advices to load up on fluids preemptively, before thirst take place; especially for those living in a hot climate this is rather important.
  1. Don’t go all out in the evening
Strangely enough, during the fasting month, I’ve known a good number of Muslims that gains weight during the month. This is because many of their families serve in the evening to make up for what was lacking during the day. Of course, it is rather easy to overeat when you went without food for 14 hours but do exercise some self control.
  1. Ramadan is tougher in summer
In oversea, Ramadan is more difficult for Muslims in summer than winter. Because during the summer daylight which lasts much longer, you will have less time to eat and drink or even sleep. Therefore during the years where Ramadan takes place during summer, be prepared that you may not be able to put out the same workout performance you get when Ramadan takes place in winter.
There are challenges to stay in top shape during the Ramadan, but I can assure you that the result will be great when Ramadan ends and when you are celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri feeling fit and looking good.

Ramadan Recipe : Lal Murgh
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In the month of Ramadan, grilling is also a favorite of the month. Particularly grilling chicken for the breaking fast event, it is usually done in a get together event where they will wait for the sunset and break their fasts together. This event is really important for family and friends in the month of Ramadan to strengthen their bond and relationship, at the same time strengthen their faith to god.

This grilling is called Lal Murgh, and the best part about this dish is the taste and the aroma that it will bring when you grill it. The main key of the taste are held responsible by the process of marinating the chicken. In Malaysia, when you visit the Ramadan Bazaar you will rarely see this type of dish, mainly you will see are roasted chicken which is cooked on the spot but you can’t control how they marinate the chicken, as some may be generous and some may not.
The key of this dish is the process of marinating, so if you are in for some chicken I would strongly advise you to do it yourself in order to fully control the cooking process and ensure top notch aroma and taste.

This dish is not hard, instead it is really simple but may be a little time consuming and a lot of concentration. Let’s begin with the ingredients, firstly get ½ kg of chicken breast, choose the boneless type and request from the market to cut into chunks (estimated about 1 inch per chunk).  Then, prepare 1 medium sized onion that is peeled and coarsely chopped, also prepare 4 cloves of garlic peeled and coarsely chopped, and 1 inch of ginger that is peeled and coarsely chopped as well.  Get a hold of half a teaspoon of red chili powder, 1teaspoon of red chili whole, 2 to 3 medium sized tomatoes that is thinly chopped and ½ teaspoon of garam masala powder. Other than that, also prepare ½ teaspoon of cumin powder, ½ teaspoon of coriander powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder, 2 teaspoon of yoghurt and finally some lemon juice for sprinkling.

Next will be the method, firstly mince the onion, garlic, ginger, red chili and tomatoes in the food processor or blender.  Then add all the spices and yoghurt for a second spin in the blender. Once it is blended well, transfer the batter in to a bowl and instantly add the chicken cubes in it to toss and mix with. Then cover the bowl and refrigerate the chicken mix for 4 hours or longer.

After a 4 hour or more, the marinated chicken is ready to be grilled. Lift the chicken out from the marinade and thread on the skewers.  After threading all the chicken to separate skewers, place the skewers on a medium hot grill. Now you will have to turn the skewer occasionally till the meat is tender and slightly brown (estimated about 8 to 10 minutes per side). It is very important to pour the leftover marinade over the skewers as they cook. When the chicken is done, uncover it then you will turn up the heat and cook the skewers with the heat on to a platter.

Finally, sprinkle the dish with some lemon juice you’ve prepared earlier and decorate the dish with cucumber, tomatoes, spinach and long beans. This dish is really great for main course, the end aroma will be fantastic and the taste of close to burn meat drench with lemon juice will give you an incredible experience.
Happy trying!

Healthy Fasting During Ramadan
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There is a lot of misconception about how one is allowed to break fast after a day of fasting. In fact, one should carefully watch his or her diet even more during the Ramadan period. Iftar (evening meal) and Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) are the most important meals and rather than having a heavy meal during these two times, it is better to have several well-balanced, nutritious meals before and after your fast.

Suhoor plays the role of giving energy to the body to decrease the hunger pangs, headache and sleepiness. There is no exact guideline on how a Muslim should consume their Suhoor meal. Ideally Suhoor should include wholesome, moderate meals that provide energy for many hours. Try eating food with a higher content fiber and complex carbohydrates because the body takes a longer time to break down the food, thus providing you more energy during the long fasting hours. Such foods are like whole wheat bread, cereal, banana and dates.

It is good to always break your fast slowly with three dates and juice (good for bringing your sugar levels back to normal), semi-skimmed milk and clear-based soup. Having a heavy meal is not advisable for Iftar, instead a balanced meal should include salad as a starter, followed by protein from chicken, meat, fish, lentils, chickpeas or beans. Complex carbohydrates can come in the form of brown rice, wholemeal pasta and wholewheat bread. An intake consisting of plenty of vegetables is never bad for your body.  Avoid high fat meals like fast food as it will only fill you up with poor nutrition.

Coffee and tea should be avoided too during this holy month. Coffee and tea contains caffeine which can make you lose more water when you urinate because it is a diuretic. Drinking tea with food can reduce the amount of iron your body is able to absorb, so stick to water when you're eating. If you find water boring, try adding a slice of lime or lemon to liven it up. A fruit smoothie made with milk, yoghurt, ice and fruit makes a refreshing drink and gives you plenty of your daily fruit allowance.
Selamat membuka puasa!


The Blessed Month Of Ramadan


 
If you have heard of Muslim fasting in a particular month, not having a single drop of water or food for almost 14 hours in each day for the whole month (but they will have a good meal before they start), you may be shock and puzzled wondering why such practices exist and wondering why they have to starve themselves like that. Well, let me enlighten you on the reason behind the month of Ramadan.

First and for most, Islam (name of the religion) is a beautiful religion and it does not practice a religious duty that will harm themselves. All the practices have their own benefits and reasons. Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and this is when all Muslims will fulfill their religious duty of fasting for the sake of Allah (name of Islamic god). It is actually the time for all Muslims to seek forgiveness and also an opportunity to reap great spiritual rewards for the act of devotion and a reminder to acknowledge the less fortunate. This is a why Ramadan is a blessed month for Muslim:

Getting closer to Allah

In every year the Ramadan month begins with the first sighting of the new moon and for Muslims, fasting means more than abstaining from food and drinks between sunrise and sunset, but it also means practicing self-discipline and restraint, plus it will also increase a person’s devotion to God and improve one’s character and good deeds.

This time of the month is also the time where all Muslim’s will take meticulous care to avoid any actions that will make one’s fast invalid. Muslim will be expected to maintain purity of thoughts with the hope of acquiring noble character traits. Therefore, they will have to be careful of their words, their actions, and also their reaction to anger or any negative reactions.

Following the footsteps of the Prophet

Muslims take this opportunity in the month of Ramadan to draw closer to their believe and in order to do that, they can only realizes it through acting and practicing the sacred law and sunna of the Prophet. This also includes having pre-dawn meal, even it is only consists of just water and breaking fast when one is certain that the sun has set. It is also encouraged for Muslims to brake their fast with a nod number of Kurma(dates), but if dates are not available then water is the best.

Month for good deeds

This is also one of the main reasons why Ramadan a blessed month for Muslims and also to all mankinds, as it is also a month for good deeds. This practice will help to improve a person’s character where all Muslims are recommended to recite the holy Quran, celebrating Quran and attending mosque for taraweh prayers for each night in the month.  It is also stated by the Prophet that, “Whoever stands for prayer during the nights of Ramadan will have his prior sins forgiven” (Bukhari and Muslim).

Muslim is also encouraged to spend the last 10 days in the mosque to grab the opportunity of seeking the Laylat al-Qadar(The night of Divine Decree) which is, as stated in the holy Quran, ‘better than a thousand months’(Qur’an 97:3), this actually means that prayer or spiritual works therein are better than works of a thousand months.

Now for the benefit of this practice, as it will help to improve relations with family, friends and neighbors, and breaking fast with other after sunset will enhance the unity among people. Muslim’s will be especially generous in giving charity since it expiates sins, as follow the Prophets footsteps as a most generous of people and even more generous in Ramadan. Muslims will also try their best to pay their annual zakat in Ramadan each year, and all the collected zakat will be used to help all the unfortunate people in the world.

So now you have the idea of why Ramadan is called the holiest and blessed month, as it is the month full with happiness and positive energy.

The True Objective Behind Fasting During Ramadan

As opposed to other holidays, where people often indulge, Ramadan is by nature a month of sacrifice. The word "Ramadan" comes from the Arabic root word for "parched thirst" and "sun-baked ground." It is expressive of the hunger and thirst felt by those who spend the month in fasting.

While other holidays have become a commercialized event, Ramadan remains true to its religious intentions. It is through fasting where reflection, devotion, generosity and sacrifice is observed by Muslims around the world. Through observing fasting during this holy month, Muslims are able to learn to be more virtuous based on the teachings of Islam.

Though the experience of hunger and thirst, Muslims learn to be more sympathetic to those who are less fortunate around the world. And through that feeling, Muslims are able to feel much closer to their Creator where everything they have is a blessing to them. Also, through increased charity, Muslims develop feelings of generosity and good-will towards others. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once said, "A man's wealth is never diminished by charity." During this very holy month, Muslims practice self-control, good speech as well as good habits. Muslims have a chance to establish healthier lifestyle habits -- particularly with regards to diet and smoking. Muslims tend to have more outings and gatherings during the time of breaking fast, thus strengthening the bond of brother and sisterhood among their society.

Even though Ramadan is a very special time for Muslims, but the feelings and lessons we practice should live with us throughout the year. In the Qur'an, Muslims are commanded to fast so that they may "learn self-restraint" (Qur'an 2:183). This restraint and devotion is especially felt during Ramadan, but we all must strive to make the feelings and attitudes stay with us during our normal lives. That is the true goal and test of Ramadan.

Raya Shopping Tips
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Ramadan is closing to the end and Hari Raya AIdilfitri is coming, I can assure you that just about anything can trigger you to shop mode. From celebrating the festive seasons, to simply just having a bad day, shopping seems to be one of the most favourite past time not just for women, but also for men. Hari Raya Aidilfitri will be quite meaningless without new cloths, new shoes, new bags amd basically anything that is new! In addition with all the malls, bazaars and boutiques having sales, it will be worse time if you are on a tight budget or looking for some clothes last minute when the places are filled with people. So here are some tips that could help you out.
Attires of Hari Raya

Shoppers throng malls, bazaars and boutiques in search for the trendiest baju kurung and kebayas (traditional Malay women attire), latest tudung (scrafts), fashionable shoes, sleekest baju melayu (traditional Malay men attire) and much more. But just remember that you are not the only family that is in a mission for all of the mentioned attires, when there are just too many people and you need to find alternatives, please consider the following to avoid the war zone.
  • Opt for a family color every year for each Raya, making it easier to hunt for the same material color.
  • Make own attire or send to tailor.
  • You can even get ready made as it is easier and sometimes cheaper.
Don’t be spoiled by choices

Even the tudung for women’s have the choices after their local celebrities such as Wardina, tudung Ekin, tudung Mawi (who is actually a male singer and why a scarf is named after him remains unknown) or just simply just a normal scarf. Ladies are spoilt for choices with different styles to suit their taste. Not to forget men as well, they have many choices of songkok (Muslim headgear for men) such as kopiahs, dastars and even warrior like tengkoloks to choose from. Baju Melayu Teluk Belanga and Baju Melayu Cekak Musnga prove to be the popular choices. But Baju Melayu, no matter what will have the same simple design cut, loose fitting are being the accepted concept and fashion. So as a tip, don’t be so choosy and plan your attire earlier before you go shopping or else you will be wandering around like a lost goose wasting much time and money.
 
Control your spending and be physically prepared

Though is fasting month, many shopper don’t seem to feel the fatigue when hunting for the best deals. Instead of shopping at night after the breaking of fasts, many would prefer to shop during the day where they can find better bargains.

Not only shoes and clothes, even the Hari Raya delicacies are on sale along with the apparel. There will be serunding with choices of beef and chicken, traditional cookies like bahulu and kuih bangkit, modern selections are such as chocolate almonds and pineapple tarts that are usually sold 3 containers at only RM10. Usually, on the night before Hari Raya, these items will goes extremely cheap and sometimes you can even get RM1 per container.
Huge shopping complex are also offering discounts and bargains for Hari Raya and of course with the air-conditioning is very much appealing, but one thing that the shopping complex lack is the opportunity to haggle the prices to the most minimum which is something one can do at the bazaar and roadside stalls.

Ultimate tip before your shopping journey

Here are a few tips for you before embarking on a Raya shopping:
  • Wear a pair of comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk for hours to look for the best bargains.
  • Haggle the price to the lowest minimum and usually the price tags stated are meant for the tourist.(Just a reminder that this is only done in bazaars and not in shopping malls)
  • Be careful of your handbags and belongings, as pickpockets and snatch thieves are on the prowl.
  • Never count you money bill in front of a public view, be discreet.
As for some places that you can go for Hari Raya shopping includes:
  • Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur
  • Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur
  • Senawang Taipan, Negeri Sembilan
  • Nilai 3, negeri Sembilan
  • Larkin Central, Johor
  • Kota Tinggi, Johor
  • Pasar Wan Khadijah, Kelantan
  • Chendering and Pasar Payang, Terengganu
Have a great shopping experience!

Fasting During Pregnancy

There are an increasing number of pregnant Muslim ladies choosing to observe fasting during Ramadan. The question is, “should one fast during pregnancy”? The answer is dependent on individuals. Some choose to fast due to their personal beliefs and for the well-being of husbands and children. 

Ideally, a pregnant lady should not suffer from hunger pangs when they are bearing children. Different individuals might suffer from different conditions, which include headaches, fatigue, fainting, dizzy spells or severe acidity. It is best to check with your doctor for advice and also to have a review on the history of your physical health, obstetric history, and any other complications, such as gestational diabetes, anemia or multiple pregnancies, before going ahead with the fasting. However, there is no clear answer on how safe it is to fast during pregnancy. Some suggest that there is little to no effect on the new-born child, while others think that the child might have more health problems later in their life if the mother has fasted during Ramadan when still bearing them.

To make fasting during pregnancy a more pleasant experience, pregnant ladies who choose to fast are warned to avoid sugar and caffeinated food such as coffee and tea. Instead it should be replaced with water, juice or milk. Avoid excessive exercise or work during the day and it is best to stay indoors to avoid dehydration. Talk to your superiors about managing your tasks during this fasting month. Also, fasting will cause the digestive system to slow down; therefore it is good to break fast slowly by sipping a small glass of fluid first followed by a light meal. However, if any of the symptoms mentioned above is happening to you, it is the best to seek the advice from your doctor immediately.

In terms of food, pregnant ladies should adopt a healthy food intake when breaking fast. Choose foods that release energy slowly such as dates, beans and lentils. Take a lot of protein such as well-cooked meat, nuts, beans and eggs as this will help in baby growth. Drink plenty of water as you might get dehydrated very quickly due to the high heat levels in our country. Remember to avoid sugary food such as kuih-muih, which is made from a high quantity of sugar, as this will raise and lower your blood sugar level very quickly and make you feel dizzy.

It understandable that some women might be disappointed from the fact that they have to give up their fasting. There are actually some options which they can adopt and these include:
  • Instead of a daily fast, can you fast on the first and last day of the fasting period
  • It is possible to fast weekly or on alternate days instead of a daily fast
  • Choosing a fruit fast instead of giving up all food and drink
  • Exemptions or allowances for pregnant women, such as breaking the fast early or making up by fasting later
  • Sharing the fast with another family member. Some husbands offer to keep the fast for half a day while their wives fast for the other half.
  • Substitute fasting with other forms of sacrifice, such as abstaining from certain foods like non-vegetarian fare, sweets, or salt?
  • Some women choose to offer penance by giving up things they enjoy most such as watching movies, shopping or other forms of entertainment. Some also choose a fast of silence or a Maun Vrat on certain days. Some choose to donate money they would normally splurge on themselves as an offering.
In a nutshell, only the pregnant lady herself can judge how healthy she is. In Islam, a person who is unwell can be excused from fasting. One should not ignore this permission if you think fasting can harm you and your baby. 

Things To Avoid During Ramadan
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Ramadan is just around the corner, let us all prepare ourselves to make this Ramadan a more meaning and blissful month than the last year. This festive will only come once a year, therefore Malay Muslims must appreciate it, while the chance to celebrate is here. So make it a great and meaningful one.  In order to do so, these are the few things to avoid during the Ramadan period. This is based on the normal phenomena among Malaysians and by doing so; one Muslim can hope to make the best out of this holy month.

1.       Don’t buy and eat food excessively

During the Ramadan period there will be the presence of the Ramadan bazaar which offers a great variety of food ranging from chicken, meat, fruits and drinks. Lots of the authentic traditional dishes are sold there and you would find it hard to get at any other time of the year. But try not to go to stall that have a lot of people, as this month of the year is the time where most people would just want to earn easy money and may not cook the food well. Remind yourself to not follow your temptation (nafsu) by buying a lot of foods. Plan your purchase, buy within your budget. It will not be a good thing if you buy too much; it will promote wastage and over consuming, will make you feel very uncomfortable and lazy. Because of laziness, you may even skip your night prayers. 

Ramadan should be the month that you can save money since you will not be eating during the whole day. But much people tend to over spend in Ramadan for breaking fast. Therefore, control your spending and eating.

2.       Avoid skipping Taraweeh prayers

The Taraweeh prayers only happen during the Ramadan month, even though it is not compulsory for Muslim, but they should grab this opportunity and maintain till the end of the month. What usually happen every year is that people tend to get excited and maintain to perform only in one week, so you have to try and avoid that act.

Therefore, it is advisable to keep your spirit till the end of Ramadan especially the last 10 days. Though all parts of Ramadan are full of blessing and rewards, it is the last 10 days that holds a special status reflected in the recommendations and practices of the Messenger of god and his companions.

3.       Improper dressing

This section is for the ladies. In Islam is not all about pray, fasting and etc, but it is about everything that cover the individuals life. So for ladies, if you are fasting it is very important to ensure that you also cover your aurat (not to expose yourself). Besides following the Islamic way, the purpose of this is to ensure ladies to have a good image for themselves and respecting the others that is fasting as well.

4.       Avoid prohibited items

Muslim should avoid items or actions that are prohibited by their religion. One should always remind themselves of god and avoid the entire prohibited thing that will only make their fasts invalid and tarnishing their purity.  A Muslim that is fasting should avoid laying, cursing, spreading rumors, false swearing, drinking alcoholic liquids, having sexual intercourse, getting angry and of course eating and drinking before the period of fasting ends.

5.       Over spending on festive items

When it comes to the end of Ramadan, supermarket, hypermarket and all textile stores, electronic store and furniture stores will offer incredible low prices for their products. It is something that you will never get during normal months which makes it even more tempting.

You will surprise with the entire offer that will allow people to pay in a form of installment, and by following their enthusiastic, they will buy a lot of offers that will consequently burden their debt after Hari Raya. Always remember what is most important about Hari Raya is not the new items or furniture that you purchase, solely to show off to people who visit your home during Hari Raya, but it is more of a day to celebrate for your success of fasting for the whole month and gain forgiveness from all your sins. An advice is to buy on your means, plan before buying. Don’t fall for traps of mega sales that may lead you to a high debt situation after Hari Raya. 
Have a meaningful Ramandan and Selamat Hari Raya!

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