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How to Deal With Ramadan When You Have an Eating Disorder

Content Warning: This article deals with eating disorders.

An eating disorder can negatively impact an individual’s health and often hinder their ability to make the correct eating choices. People who suffer from an eating disorder experience a range of biological and sociological side effects. Hence, anyone suffering from eating disorders such as bulimia, binge eating, anorexia, etc should seek professional help.

Muslims who suffer from eating disorders may find it difficult to participate in Ramadan as fasting can trigger harmful eating patterns.

Unfortunately, many eating disorders within the Muslim community are overlooked and the conversation around eating disorders is absent. Muslims who suffer from eating disorders may find it difficult to participate in Ramadan as fasting can trigger harmful eating patterns. Therefore, Muslim communities need to be mindful of those who cannot fast due to their eating disorders as they already feel ostracized.

Taking care of one’s mental and physical health is very important in Islam and this is the narrative we need to implement for anyone struggling with an eating disorder. Muslims with eating disorders want to fast during Ramadan and feel conflicted over potentially missing out. However, many Islamic scholars agree that giving importance to one’s physical and mental health is acceptable and even recommended in Islam. If fasting will negatively affect one’s health, it is okay to not fast. 

That doesn’t mean an individual has to miss out on all the amazing benefits Ramadan has to offer. There are so many ways to reap the benefits of the blessed month. Here are a few examples of how Ramadan can be a month of blessings even if one cannot fast:


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Spending time praying salah and supplicating is an amazing way to increase rewards during Ramadan. The more one engages in these acts of worship, the more one will feel connected to Allah (SWT.)

connect with the quran

Reading the Quran is one of the best things to do during Ramadan! In Ramadan, it is said that one letter has three times as much reward as it normally would. Take advantage of this and spend time reading every day. Sit in a comfy place, focus on recitation, and bring yourself closer to Allah (SWT.) 

Do dhikr

Reciting duas, and the names of Allah (SWT) is a great form of worship, or Ibadah. Reciting the ninety-nine names of Allah (SWT) is one way to engage in remembrance of Allah (SWT,) or Dhikr.

give charity

Ramadan is all about caring for others. Giving charity, or sadaqah, is a wonderful way to remember Allah (SWT) and help others. All Rizq (provision) is from Allah (SWT) and giving to others, donating to charities, and volunteering your time are all ways of giving thanks and helping the community.

make iftar for others

Do you have a talent in the kitchen? Or do you struggle to even make a cup of chai? Regardless of your skill level in the kitchen, making iftar for those fasting is a great way to earn good deeds.

Zayd ibn Khalid reported: The Messenger of Allah (SWT,) peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever helps break the fast of a fasting person, he will have the same reward as him without decreasing anything from the reward of the fasting person.” (Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 807)

Ramadan is a blessed month for all Muslims around the world. Whether or not you are able to fast, you should never think that you cannot make the most out of this Holy month. Take advantage of the varied blessings of this month, and don’t forget the different ways to come closer to Allah (SWT.)

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, remember that you are not alone and help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorder Helpline for more information and help.

salaam! i'm fatimah, a student and writer at Muslim Girl! i'm interested in medicine, anthropology and learning more about the world.