Parenting Ramadan Studio Arabiya Blog

A Muslim Teen’s First Ramadan: 10 Tips

A Muslim Teen’s First Ramadan: 10 Tips

A Muslim teen asks: “This Ramadan will be my first one to fast the entire month, I’m nervous!”

Masha’Allah, you have come of age and are now able to fulfill the pillar of fasting in Ramadan! Perhaps you have already been fasting before, a few hours, or a whole day at a time, but the idea of fasting the entire month feels a little overwhelming to you right now. That’s completely normal, and here are 10 tips to help you through this major step in your life as a believer: a Muslim teen’s first Ramadan!

A Muslim Teen's First Ramadan - 10 Tips
“This Ramadan will be my first one to fast the entire month, I’m nervous!”

 

Tip #1: Make dua’

 

Dua’ is part of worship and it is the best way to start anything that we undertake. Ask Allah SWT to make fasting easy for you and something that you will love doing for His sake. Looking for special Ramadan duas? CLICK HERE to download our FREE My Ramadan Duas!

 

Tip #2: Try fasting before Ramadan

 

If you have never tried fasting before, you could do some voluntary fasting before the month of Ramadan begins. You can start with only a few hours and extend that until you can try and fast the whole day. Make the most of the shorter winter days while they last! It will be great practice for you and will increase your confidence in your ability.

 

Tip #3: Focus on your own experience

 

You might have friends around you – or even adults – who do not like fasting in Ramadan or have had negative experiences when fasting in Ramadan. Do not let their narrative influence your own. Each person’s experience of Ramadan is different and unique, so focus on yourself and your relationship with Allah SWT.

 

Tip #4: Understand that it is permissible to break your fast if needed

 

Fasting can be challenging, even when the days are shorter. It is important for you to know that, even though fasting in Ramadan is obligatory on all Muslims who are of age and are healthy, it is also permissible – and sometimes even recommended or mandatory – to break your fast if it affects your health in a serious way, or if you otherwise feel ill in any way. No one can feel what you feel in your own body, so trust your instinct on this, and Allah SWT knows your intention.

We also recommend young people to talk to their parents and even their general doctor to make sure fasting is okay.

 

Tip #5: Try to put away “temptations” like sweets

 

When you fast, make sure to keep food items out of sight to avoid thinking about eating – at least until you get closer to iftar time!

 

Tip #6: Keep busy during the day

 

Taking an Arabic or Quran online class, attending a special Ramadan class at the local mosque, preparing food baskets for the needy, or doing board games are great ways to do that. Taking a nap is also usually a good idea – as long as you don’t end up sleeping all day! However, make sure to avoid activities that need high levels of energy as it will deplete you and possibly make you feel sick.

 

Tip #7: Make sure you have a healthy sahoor

 

There are many narrations attesting to the importance of this pre-dawn meal (sahoor), which will help us get through a day of fasting. Help your family plan and prepare sahoor so that you will enjoy that early morning time as much as possible and take advantage to fill up your energy levels.

 

Tip #8: Be smart about your iftar choices

 

It is very tempting to jump on all your favorite sweets and fast food meals after a whole day fasting, but it is best to avoid unhealthy foods like fried foods, treats and drinks loaded with sugar. This type of food could upset your stomach, make you sleepy for ishaa (and taraweeh if you plan on praying it), but more importantly, it will not set yourself up for success for the following fasting day, and the whole month of fasting that lies ahead. Your body needs all the good nutrients and vitamins that can only be found in healthy foods: fresh fruits, soups, grilled meats, grains, etc.

 

Tip #9: Remember that fasting is not only about food

 

Fasting is important in Ramadan, of course. But Ramadan is not just about eating and drinking. Your behavior, the words you use, your attitude towards others, and especially your relationship with Allah SWT and His Book are important as well. So make sure to work on these aspects as well. For instance, feeling hungry is not a reason to lash out on your little sister because she wants you to play with her!

 

Tip #10: Have realistic expectations and be prepared for challenges

 

Fasting for a whole month is like a marathon: it’s not about how fast you can go at the beginning, it is about reaching the finish line. You might feel great on some days, and others might feel a bit more difficult. Perhaps you will need to break your fast at some point, or your period might kick in an hour before maghrib prayer and you will feel frustrated that you will have to make up that day. Those feelings are okay, and in those moments, remember that Allah SWT is so Merciful that He allows us to make up for those missed fasts at a time that might be easier for us (hello, short winter days!). So ask Him for ease and to accept your intention even though you had to break your fast!

One important thing to remember is that fasting is for Allah SWT – not for your parents, not for your friends, not for your teachers. It is between you and Allah SWT. There is no need to lie or try to eat while hiding in a closet, like you might have done when you were younger!

 

 

May Allah SWT make your first fasting Ramadan easy and successful, and make this a means for you to grow closer to Allah SWT, ameen!

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Reach out to us at magazine@studioarabiya.com to ask a question about Islam and keep an eye out for a response in a future magazine issue insha’Allah!

 

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This article was originally published in our Studio Arabiya Times magazine (Winter 2023-24). CLICK HERE to read the whole magazine!

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