We are now in the Islamic month of Ramadan – a time when Muslims across the world observe a fast during daylight hours.
Growing up in East London and having a Muslim Dad (and Mum for a bit…don’t ask) it’s something I’ve been around a lot but that doesn’t mean I understand it very well.
In many predominantly-Muslimcountries across the world, there are certain regulations put in place in order to make the fasting period go as smoothly as possible. However, in the Western world, many people are still unaware of the effects that fasting can have on the body.
The Effects of Fasting
Of course, every individual’s body will cope with fasting in different ways. Everyone is different and no two people will have the same experiences, therefore, it is important to remember that there is no one size fits all approach to managing the fast during Ramadan.
However, there are a number of common effects that fasting can have on the body. These include:
While these can understandably not be good at any time, when it comes to driving, they can become increasingly more problematic. Similarly to driving when you are tired, getting behind the wheel during a fast can be hazardous and potentially even dangerous.
Therefore, it is vital to ensure that you are fully prepared and ready to face the challenge of driving during Ramadan without compromising your safety of that of the other road-users around you.
We all know that driving can be dangerous at the best of times, but if you are not able to fully focus and concentrate on the task at hand, these dangers can multiply tenfold. Since the last thing you want to do is lose concentration or even fall asleep behind the wheel, there are certain steps you should take in order to ensure you are as awake and alert as possible.
It may seem obvious, but it is essential to remain as calm, collected and focused as possible before you even set foot in the car. No matter how long or short your journey is, if you aren’t completely focused on driving, the chances are that you won’t be paying full attention to the road.
Although you will not be consuming food or water during daylight hours, it is still vital to feed your mind and body with all the essential nutrients needed to get you through the fast to come. Drinking plenty of water will keep you hydrated whereas fruit and vegetables, alongside sources of protein and slow-releasing carbohydrates, will ensure your body remains nourished throughout the day.
In addition, although your regular sleep schedule may be disrupted to make time for prayers and suhoor – the morning meal eaten at dawn before the fast begins – it is still important to ensure that you get plenty of sleep and feel well-rested in order to start your day on the right footing.
Staying Safe on the Roads
If you have been taking care of your body and are well-placed to be able to drive safely and comfortably, the next step is to ensure that you are taking the precautions necessary to drive safely.
If you feel yourself drifting or losing concentration when driving, you could try winding down the window to let some fresh air into the car. Allowing a breeze to circulate should help to keep you feeling fresher and reduce the negative effect that stuffy, stale air can have on your levels of concentration.
In addition, if you are on a long drive, you should try to take regular breaks in order to enable you to stretch your legs and have a change of scenery. If you are really struggling, though, it may be safer to take a longer break and have a nap to rejuvenate yourself before continuing your journey. After all, safety should always be your top priority.
So, whether you are a Muslim observing Ramadan and preparing to pay you zakat (or zakah) or simply looking to learn more about a different culture, we wish you a Blessed Ramadan and hope you stay safe on the roads this year.
Although these tips are aimed towards people fasting they are important for us all to remember. Drive safe!!
Until the next post,
Are and Pops.
This is a sponsored post.