For Muslims fasting during the month of Ramadan, sunset is an important time. As soon as the Maghrib (sunset prayer) azaan (call to prayer) goes off, we all plunge into the bowl of dates and sip on our water.
After all, not being able to eat or drink anything since the break of dawn can make a person hungry!
Whether you are arranging an Iftar for friends and family (iftari), or just for yourself, here are some tips and tricks to help your evening meal be stress-free and enjoyable.
Plan a lecture or a religious discussion before the Iftar
- The main goal is to keep the conversation about God and the here after. We need to make sure our fasting days are filled with productive conversations not idle talk. There have been so many gatherings that I’ve gone to where it might be an Iftar but most of the conversation is around what people are wearing for Eid, how difficult someone’s mother in law is during Ramadan or unnecessary gossip.
Prepare in advance
- The one piece of advice I use and hold dear to my heart is to prepare in advance. I know not everyone is comfortable with freezing meals and going on a light diet during Ramadan. Preparing in advance for Ramadan can come in many different shapes and forms.
- I always chop up veggies and put them in the freezer for when we want stir frys or vegetable based meals. I also will package up some fruits for smoothies if we feel like staying light on dinner. Additionally, I’ve frozen some spring rolls and samosas for quick iftars that I just need to toss into the oven.
- Use the weekends to meal prep. I make a big salad at the beginning of the week and roast a chicken so that we can do chicken salads, and chicken sandwiches. Other times, I’ll use the weekend to make a fruit salad and marinate some meats so that I can cook them during the week.
- Lots of people miss out on Taraweeh prayers because they are attending Iftar parties at their friends/family’s houses. As the host, you should focus the Iftar and the dinner around Taraweeh. Acknowledge that there is only a short amount of time between Maghrib and Isha. Keep in mind that heavy meals during iftar might hinder the performance of salah. You don’t want the guests to feel too stuffy so stick to light meals, such as salads, and eliminate a lot of the fried options. IA this will be beneficial to the guests and allow you to get a part of their good deeds through their prayers.
Do Dhikr while you prepare iftar
- Don’t miss out on an opportunity to gain good deeds when you prepare iftar. Make sure you start preparing your iftar with proper wudu, then use the time it takes to prepare the iftar meal and say the following supplications.
May Allah swt accept our fasts and fulfil our duas. Please keep my husband and I in your prayers.