The prestigious month of Ramadan has started from Thursday in most countries around the world, while other countries observed their fasts from today.
Ramadan is the Muslim month which is marked as the 9th month of their lunar calendar.
The beginning of Ramadan beckons a month of intense and devoted worshiping as the 1.6bn Muslims of the world observe dawn-to-dusk fasts throughout the month. The fast is broken by a special meal, Iftar, which traditionally contains date and water, and ranges in variety all over the globe.
The Holy city of Saudi Arabia is fasting for a manageable 15 hours and 47 minutes, while the Pakistanis too would observe a fast approximately 15 hours long.
The religious month of Ramadan this year has arrived in the peak of summers and so the Muslims living in the Northern Hemisphere would have to endure unbearably long abstention.
The topper on the list of countries with the longest fasting hours is the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik where the fasting lasts a torturous 22 hours!
The Muslims residing in Anchorage, Alaska, are not lagging far behind and have to observe their fasts for around 19 hours while the duration lasts for 18 hours in Helsinki.
However, the Muslims in the cooler Buenos Aires, would fast for only 9 hours.
A fast is started with suhoor, a meal prior to dawn, which is to last till Iftar, the breaking-the-fast meal.
Here are a few healthy suggestions for both suhoor and iftari:
The best item to eat during sehri is yogurt and a boiled egg, which helps fight thirst. A banana, being thirst-quenching, serves the same purpose too.
An iftar should be broken with a date, as per the sunnah, and a fruit salad would not only be a healthy option for iftar but a delicious one too.
Remember the key to a healthy month of Ramadan is to avoid over-eating, both for suhoor or iftari.