Ramadan will take place between the evening of Wednesday 22 March and evening of Friday 21 April this year. This is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a time for fasting, reflection and community.
Fasting is a fundamental part of Ramadan. Between dawn and sunset, healthy adults must not eat, drink, or smoke. Muslims fast during Ramadan to practice self-discipline, self-improvement, patience, sacrifice and empathy for those less fortunate.
Tips for those partaking in Ramadan
- Keep hydrated from sunset to sunrise: During the hours you are allowed to eat and drink, makes sure to stay as hydrated as possible. Take small steady sips rather than drinking large amounts of fluid in short periods of time.
- Keep rested: Organise and manage your sleep routine to ensure you have energy throughout the day. Try having a nap after work or at some point during the day. A lack of sleep can make you feel tired during your fasting hours.
- Take regular breaks: This is especially important if you are working or have a busy day ahead. Plan your day and schedule in little break times.
- Ensure you are well enough to fast: If you have a health condition, feel unwell or require medications throughout the day, talk to your GP to get the support you need around fasting and health.
- Have a balanced diet: Does your Suhoor/Iftaar plate look balanced? Make it balanced with foods you enjoy using different fruits/vegetables, carbohydrates, protein, and dairy.
- Have a balanced morning meal pre starting the fast (Suhoor): Include foods which release energy slowly throughout the day such as: oats, wholegrain cereals, granary breads, barley, fruits, and vegetables (with the skin left on where possible), nuts, beans/pulses, eggs, dairy/dairy alternatives.
- Try to avoid regular consumption of fried/sweet foods: Avoid having these foods every day as they will not necessarily provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs. These foods may also make you feel hungry and/or thirsty quicker during your fasting hours.
If you’re fasting and you start to feel unwell (nauseous, disoriented, faint or even collapsing) the general advice is to stop and have a drink of water. The Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed that this is acceptable under Islamic law.
It’s important to remember that there are several exemptions allowed to fasting. Anyone who is unwell due to conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or anyone who is on medication, pregnant or elderly.
Find out more
Read about keeping patients with diabetes healthy during Ramadan, on the NHS website (opens new browser tab)
Read about Guidance to support your workforce during Ramadan 2023, on the NHS website opens new browser tab)
Read about a healthy Ramadan, on the British Nutrition Foundation website (opens new browser tab)
Read about Ramadan and Eid Guidance 2023, on the NHS Muslim Network website (opens new browser tab)
We wish all our Muslim colleagues and patients a blessed and happy Ramadan.