Thursday 3 September 2009

Ramadan Hacks

Okay so that is a really stupid title (inspired by the popular blog Life Hacker), especially as Ramadan is not about doing things by shortcut, but about taking the time to do them properly and conscientiously.

Having said that if you are getting up at dawn to eat, getting up early for work, spending ages in the kitchen to prepare the evening meal, then trying to get the kids into bed and pray the evening prayer and taraweeh (additional prayers for Ramadan) whilst wondering how you are going to catch up in with your sleep (by falling asleep at 4pm every day in my case), then the shortcuts start sounding good.

I haven’t seemed to be able to get away from lots of cooking this Ramadan because the in-laws are staying, but I have been able to sneak in a few short-cuts:
  • I found that we had run out of fruit one day, so fished around t the back of the cupboard for a tin of fruit cocktail. I mixed this with whatever was left in the fruit basket that was going soft and served.
  • I saved the syrup from the fruit cocktail and put it into a milkshake the next day with milk and some apples and banana’s and that were going soft to add sweetness.
  • Another easy milkshake for iftar (breaking of the fast) is a can of mango with the syrup, some milk and a handful of ice-cubes whizzed in the blender. It’s sweeter that the mango milkshake that my husband likes to make from fresh and quicker ( and no-one has clocked yet!!)
  • I had the remnants of a box of mithai (Indian sweets) that were going hard in the fridge, this usually gets thrown away, so on hosting an iftar, I sliced the pieces of mithai into thin bite-size pieces and arranged them on a plate with dates and with almonds scattered in between. It got eaten (I wish I had taken a picture, because it looked really pretty).
  • Something my aunty does is freeze half of the curry she makes and serve it up at a later date. I really like this idea and might start doing the same.
  • Sticking left-over chapatti in the hot-pot and re-heating it in the morning. My mother-in-law has this technique where you wet the chapatti with a little water and re-heat it and it comes up soft.

Other things that have helped are:

  • Feeding the children an hour before we eat and then sending them up to bed where they play in their room until I come up later.
  • Coming home from work and napping for exactly one hour. This means I still wake up in time for Asr prayers and to prepare for the iftar but it also mean that I am more awake for the taraweeh prayer.
  • A big mug of milky coffee after dinner also means that my eyes stay open through taraweeh.
  • Sometime providing smaller prayer-mats and kufi’s/a scarf for the children to copy me. This certainly stops the baby from trying to muscle in on my prayer mat or head-butt me as we both head for sujood (prostration) in opposite directions! It’s also a nice way to introduce the kids to the movements and positions of prayer.
  • When the kids dinner is running late and they end up eating with us, they inevitably start misbehaving and squabbling around the time to break the fast, thereby irritating everyone who is starting to become a little shorter tempered around then anyway. I find it helps to give them a tasbeeh (prayer beads) and ask them to sit down and make dhikr of something as simple as the word “Allah”. It helps that their gran will sit with them and gently encourage them.

If I think of anymore as Ramadan moves along, I’ll post a Ramadan Hacks 2

image source

What are your tips to help Ramadan go more smoothly and free up more time for ibadah?


  1. My most helpful tip is:

    -not cooking a separate 'iftar' and 'dinner'; Iftar in our house is: dates, a glass of juice (readymade, storebought) and maybe a slice of fruit. We pray Maghreb and then have dinner.
    -Dinner is usually very simple because you've no appetite left by 9Pm anyway.
    -We had no samosas or any fried foods this year, for that matter, and we felt much better.
    -Cooking double and alternate-day at least on some days is helping a lot.

    I really think cooking is overrated during Ramadhan :).

  2. I do the same - cook for two days at a time. Luckily hubby is not too fussed (not that he has a choice) and there's only 3 of us anyway. Only difference is I still have my samosas - even if it's just one!

  3. Assalamu Alaikum sis,
    Hope you're doing fine. You have been awarded here: