By Khaled Dardir
1. Start Ramadan by making the right intentions.
What is your intention this Ramadan? Create realistic goals for yourself, and your community!
2. Have a healthy Ramadan through proper diet.
Ramadan is a time to detox ourselves: mind, body and soul. Add more vegetarian options, do not over-eat, use locally sourced foods. Avoid fizzy drinks, or anything high in sugar content, as an alternative use honey. Avoid deep fried foods or enjoy in moderation (once a week). Start and end your fast with green or herbal tea to cleanse the stomach after a day of fasting in order to help flush the toxins out.
3. Give up your CO2 contribution by traveling light and smart.
You can walk or ride your bike to the nearest mosque and earn both spiritual reward and help the planet. No need to drive 5 times a day for every prayer.
4. Spend meaningful energy, conserve wasteful energy.
Consider conserving more water when making wudu. Conserve electricity by shutting off the television and computer and opening the Holy book.
5. Charity is more than giving money to a good cause.
For Zakat, consider a local organization that is doing good work to protect the under privileged or the environment. Starting an initiative at your school, workplace or local mosque to make a real difference.
6. Host an Eco-Iftar that will be the talk of the town.
Show you care for the environment, host an Iftar that produces no waste, recycles, uses biodegradable cutlery and dishware or invite others to bring their own dishware! Most importantly, serve a healthy locally sourced Iftar meal.
7. Green your Eid, celebrate in style.
By all means, treat yourself to a nice new outfit, just be sure you are supporting local industry, and that the dyes used are not polluting the water streams. When giving Eid gifts to children, highlight the importance of using it responsibly: buying nothing unnecessary or that will harm planet, your body or community, consider paying it forward earn extra reward.
8. Commit random acts of kindness
Try smiling at people that pass by, greet the street guards, or just randomly express your gratitude for a friend. Volunteer your time at the local mosque, or in the community for an initiative you are passionate about or start a new one!
9. Celebrate Ramadan by breaking a bad habit
We all face our own challenges and bad habits. Ramadan is the perfect time to end that sugar or nicotine addiction, watch less TV, walk more, give up bad language, fix your sleeping cycle.
10. Reflect on what you’ve achieved this month.
By staying focused, observing your behaviour, lifestyle and habits you will have become much more mindful and aware by the end of the month. Make sure you stay consistent!
Khaled Dardir has recently completed a Master of Science specializing in the chemistry and is currently enrolled as a student in Mishkah pursuing a bachelors in Islamic Studies. He is the founder and Chief Coordinator of the non-profit organization The Building Blocks of New Jersey whose mission is: “To aid self development, promote activism, and bolster community building”