LIVE: Taraweeh prayer from Makkah

Time: 07 May, 2020

MAKKAH: Watch Isha and Taraweeh prayers live from the Grand Mosque in Makkah, empty this year due to the coronavirus outbreak in the Kingdom.

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LIVE: Taraweeh prayer from Makkah

Time: 05 May, 2020

MAKKAH: Watch Isha and Taraweeh prayers live from the Grand Mosque in Makkah, empty this year due to the coronavirus outbreak in the Kingdom.

This article was first published in Arab News

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LIVE: Taraweeh prayer from Makkah

01/05/20

MAKKAH: Watch Isha and Taraweeh prayers live from the Grand Mosque in Makkah, empty this year due to the coronavirus outbreak in the Kingdom.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=236573640994307

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LIVE: Taraweeh prayer from Makkah

Time: 30 April, 2020

MAKKAH: Watch Isha and Taraweeh prayers live from the Grand Mosque in Makkah, empty this year due to the coronavirus outbreak in the Kingdom

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Intermittent fasting: The health trend Muslims have been practicing for centuries

Time: 30 April, 2020

Kitchen staff prepare Ramadan meal orders for takeaway and delivery at a restaurant in Riyadh on April 26, 2020. (REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri)
  • Fasting can be effective for weight loss, disease prevention

JEDDAH: Muslims have been practicing eating patterns similar to intermittent fasting for centuries.

Intermittent fasting has been around for over five decades and there are different forms. It is a popular health and fitness trend, with people using it to lose weight, improve their health and simplify their lifestyles as a number of studies show that it can have positive effects on the body and brain.

It is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It does not specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them.

Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.

Saudi clinical and sports dietitian and lecturer at King Abdulaziz University, Sundos Malaikah, said elderly Muslims held onto the habit of fasting twice a week as it was Sunnah (the way of the prophet).

“I appreciate the fact that we’ve been practicing this method of fasting years before it became cool and popular,” Malaikah told Arab News. “Many of the older generation continue to fast all year long because they’ve seen how good it makes them feel. A lot of our grandparents fast Mondays and Thursdays, and it’s part of their lifestyle. They don’t know the scientific health benefits of fasting, they merely follow it because it’s Sunnah and makes them feel good and lighter and I like that. There’s even a two-five fasting method where you fast two days a week only which is what the Sunnah recommends – to fast Mondays and Thursdays.


Popular intermittent fasting methods

  • The 16/8 Method, also called the leangains protocol, involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to eight hours, such as 1 to 9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between.
  • Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
  • The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500 to 600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other five days.

Ramadan fasting involves refraining from drinking or taking any form of food during sunrise and sunset, whereas in intermittent fasting zero-calorie liquids such as water, tea, and coffee are usually allowed.

Malaikah said that, when done right, there were many health benefits to fasting. It could help reduce excess body weight, improve glucose control, enhance insulin sensitivity, reduce blood lipids, and reduce risk of chronic disease.

“People usually say they feel ‘lighter’ when they fast because we’re giving our digestive system a lot of time to digest food and eliminate waste.”

Intermittent fasting was much easier than Ramadan since there was less chance of dehydration.

“However, some would argue that proper fasting as it is done during Ramadan shows even more pronounced benefits since it’s more rigorous.”

She added that the problem was that some people lost all the health benefits of fasting by binging when they were finally allowed to eat “which is exactly the opposite of what we want to achieve.”

In order for people to make the most out of Ramadan from a health perspective they should eat home-made meals as much as possible.

“Unfortunately, during Ramadan we observe many wrong eating behaviors such as binge eating, buying too much dessert, preparing more food than what the family needs and so on. To make fasting easier, our meals should be carefully planned so that they’re highly nutritious, have enough protein, healthy fat and complex carbohydrates.”

Clinical dietitian, Arwa Bajkhaif, said Ramadan fasting was a time-restricted intermittent fasting practiced by adult Muslims for a whole lunar month every year.

“In my opinion, they both would have similar health benefits if implemented healthily and correctly, since the main similarity for both of them is the practice of abstinence or restriction of food, calorie-containing drinks and or water for a certain period regardless of the aim or the reason behind the fasting whether it’s for religious, spiritual reasons or aiming for losing weight,” Bajkhaif told Arab News.

She said there was no ideal number of hours for intermittent fasting when it came to weight loss advantage but that practicing was worth a try.

“Unfortunately, currently, there is not enough evidence for us to neither generalize what the ideal number of fasting hours nor to tell whether intermittent fasting is a sustainable treatment for obesity as well as if it’s health-related benefits are maintained for a long time. But it’s still worth trying.”

She said many people found intermittent fasting to be more flexible than strict calorie counting and that, since there was a certain eating window and less time for eating was required, less planning was required too. By eating fewer and burning more calories, intermittent fasting caused weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation. Ramadan fasting could be an effective approach for weight loss as well as for diabetes and disease prevention.

Bajkhaif warned that intermittent fasting was not recommended for children, teens, people on medication that required food intake, diabetic patients, those with eating disorders, pregnant and breastfeeding women.

She said Islam was a great teacher for every Muslim. “It prompts us to avoid many problems before they happen. Its benefits are great to us as Muslims, including feeling for those in need, and it promotes self-control and avoiding the health problems caused by extravagance. Our religion also urges us to take care of our health – that is one of God’s blessings on us – and this is an individual responsibility of all Muslims,” she added.

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3-Islam’s holiest sites emptied by coronavirus crisis as Ramadan begins

27/04/20

The Dome of the Rock, part of the Temple Mount coumpound is pictured at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, early on April 24, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. The Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock and and Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, are closed to worshippers by Israeli authorities under the threat of the COVID-19 / AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND

A picture taken on April 24, 2020, shows Saudi policemen standing guard next to the Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. / AFP / STR

The Temple Mount coumpound stands empty of worshippers at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, early on April 24, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. The Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock and and Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, are closed to worshippers by Israeli authorities under the threat of the COVID-19 / AFP / Emmanuel DUNAND

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Safe prayers: Makkah promotes social distancing for worshippers

26/04/20

Worshippers observe proper distance while praying at the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Sunday. (SPA)

MAKKAH: Social distancing measures have been introduced for worshippers during Taraweeh prayers in the Grand Mosque.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques launched the measures as part of its strategy to combat coronavirus.

The move, which was implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Health, comes after King Salman approved the holding of Taraweeh prayers in the Two Holy Mosques while reducing them to five Taslims.

The Qur’an is to be read during the Tahajjud prayers with the continued suspension of the entry of worshippers.

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Any Ramadan socializing can lead to COVID-19 spread

25/04/20

Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia confirms 124 new virus recoveries, bringing the total to 2,049
JEDDAH: Any Ramadan gathering can lead to the spread of coronavirus, the Saudi Ministry of Health spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said, as he reminded people about the importance of social distancing.

Ramadan is associated with family reunions over iftar and group prayers at mosques but, due to COVID-19, people are being urged to practice social distancing.
“As you all know, any socializing in the name of religion or family could create an opportunity for the virus to spread,”Al-Abd Al-Aly said as the fasting month got underway in the Kingdom.
The spokesman encouraged people with chronic diseases to speak to their doctors about fasting and how their medication intake worked with fasting hours.
A total of 1,172 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Kingdom on Friday — 25 percent Saudis and 75 percent expats — bringing the total number of cases to 15,102. There are now 12,926 active cases, 93 of which are critical.

FASTFACTS
• 15,102 is the total number of coronavirus cases.

• 93 is the number of patients in critical condition.

• 127 is the total number death in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Abd Al-Aly announced 124 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 2,049. Six new deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 127.
The latest deaths were of two Saudis and four expats from Jeddah and Makkah. They were aged between 35 and 65 and had chronic diseases.
Al-Abd Al-Aly recalled King Salman’s words about Ramadan, in which he shared people’s longing to take part in Ramadan’s worshipping rituals but was thankful for them adhering to the preventive regulations in the hope that the pandemic would pass sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, Saudis coming from Vienna arrived at Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Qassim on Friday.
They were received upon arrival by officials. The flight carried Saudis repatriated from Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary.
All passengers from overseas must abide by a 14-day quarantine, according to the precautionary and preventive measures adopted by authorities to combat the pandemic.

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Islamic minister launches online Ramadan lecture series

Time: 23 April, 2020

Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh announced a Ramadan program on Wednesday. (SPA)
  • The program will start on the third day of Ramadan

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh announced a Ramadan program on Wednesday, which is organized by the ministry’s office in the Northern Borders region.

The program will start on the third day of Ramadan and offer a range of educational and dawah lectures shared on the ministry’s social media accounts. The lectures focus on topics including the etiquette and rules of fasting, the virtues of the month of Ramadan, and the importance of worshipping God throughout the month.

“We launch this Ramadan program, in which a group of distinguished officials, sheikhs and scholars participate, as part of the ministry’s role in providing knowledge and dawah, the Muslims’ role in investing in this Holy Month through good deeds, and to fulfill the directives of the Saudi leadership,” Al-Asheikh said. This program is just one of the programs organized by the ministry during Ramadan through its branches in the Kingdom’s regions. This is part of the ministry’s dawah duty and indicative of its desire to promote the noble values and teachings of moderate Islam.”

He thanked the director general and the staff of the ministry’s Northern Borders branch for their efforts in organizing the program. He also mentioned that it is an example of integration between the government and the private sector, in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

The program will commence on Sunday with a lecture entitled “Ramadan and the Purification of Souls” by the Deputy Minister of Islamic affairs, Dawah and Guidance Dr. Yusuf bin Mohammed bin Saeed. A number of scholars and sheikhs will contribute to the lecture series, including Dr. Abdulsalam Al-Suleiman, member of the Council of Senior Scholars and the Standing Committee for Scholarly Research and Fatwa, and Sheikh Hussein Al-Asheikh, the imam and preacher of the Prophet’s Mosque.

The program also includes a competition, open to participants from inside and outside the Kingdom, with a prize fund of more than SR50,000. For more information on the competition, visit: mr.moia.gov.sa.

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