The Dangers of the “Iftar Belly”

Ramadan Da’wah at its finest.

Ah, Ramadan. A blessed month of spiritual refinement, faithful devotion, mental cleansing, and rising cholesterol. For a month so dedicated and devoted to NOT eating food, food in general seems to always be a topic of conversation or a continuous subject of our thoughts during Ramadan.

And as we here at Muslim Medicine pointed out last year in our critically-disapproved article on Healthy Ramadan Weight Loss which you can read here, here, here, and here thanks to our utterly shameless self-promotion, Ramadan is clearly not the weight-loss dream month that all of our bellies wish it was.

But our insatiable appetites during iftar point towards a rather alarming trend in the Muslim community. A trend, like planking, duck-face making, and not-gaze-lowering at One Direction’s Zayn Malik, has warped the minds of our youth and driven humanity closer towards a darker path.

Zayn Malik making a duck-face? Someone grab something sharp and just zabihah me right now.

I’m talking of course, about the hip new youthful trend of “iftar bellies” – a visually disturbing new element plastered all over the Internets, the Facebooks, and the Twitters that brings not only a painful sight to the eyes, but points towards a clear medical condition that needs our attention.

WARNING– some of the clinical images we’re about to show you may be traumatizing. Women who are nursing or pregnant are strongly advised to discontinue reading onwards, as some of the images displayed are disturbing and may cause mental distress. Men who are nursing or pregnant are strongly advised to seek immediate medical attention, as something is clearly very wrong with you.

 

 

 

 

The trusted online medical reference WebMD defines “iftar belly” as the following:

Absolutely shocking. A medical condition so stealthy that even WebMD can’t define it. Thankfully, we here at Muslim Medicine have the untrained staff capable of making up a definition of this terrifying disease.

Iftar Belly is a condition manifested by an inflated belly size due to an over-consumption of food at iftar time. Characterized by bloatedness, immobility, stomachaches, and deep shame, this condition leads many to often collapse on the ground beside their table or mats in a fashion depicted below:

Do thoubes come in size “extra-shameful regret?”

 

Iftar Bellies seem to be widely prevalent world-wide, occurring mostly during Ramadan, since doctors speculate that iftars are mainly served during Ramadan, hence iftar bellies would logically occur during this month. Research has yet to verify these outlandish claims.

Interestingly enough, research publications have shown that developing an iftar-belly is something only men are capable of. Sisters in particular don’t seem to develop the same condition when they gorge on food at iftar, but these research findings were obviously skewed since the “data-collection” of female weight gain resulted in the unexpected injury and in some cases, death of researchers.

 

How do you know if you’re at risk for developing an iftar belly? Well… it’s a matter of deep personal self-reflection. Literally. You have to look at a reflection of yourself in a mirror and honestly ask yourself: “on a scale of one to fat, how unsightly horrifying does my belly look?” If you rank anything above a 4 or 5, then perhaps its time to cut back on the grand feasts at iftar time.

 I gotta pray at least 8 rakaahs?! Oh God… what’s the fiqh ruling on praying while lying down…?


Iftar bellies have negatively impacted us as a global community. Each and every one of us has been witness to its effects in one way or another, whether it be through ourselves, or seeing a close loved one struggle with it. Patients who begin to exhibit tell-tale signs of iftar belly tend to express laziness, immobility, drowsiness, and constant groans with thoughts such as “is this how my wife felt when she was 8-months pregnant? Yeah, this is probably exactly the same thing.”

But one of the most disastrous effects of the iftar belly is the sad attempt to pray afterwards. Iftar bellies tend to make going into ruku and going into sajdah a battle against gravity pulling your body weight down, and often when praying next to someone afflicted with an iftar belly, you can hear audible groans of ruined khushoo’.

If you’ve ever over-stuffed yourself, you know how much of a trial it is to assume these positions.

 

Despite how detrimental it is to get an iftar belly, it’s actually quite easy to treat, with a number of advanced medical instruments to help assist those with mild to severe symptoms:

Wheelbarrows

An iftar belly’s best friend- unable to get up and move to the prayer mat? Hop in a specially-designated wheelbarrow and roll your way towards success! Because unlike Muslims who actually do have physical impairments and need assistance to pray, your self-inflicted over-eating should definitely be complaint-worthy.

 

Bane Niqab

WHEN GOTHAM IS IN ASHES, YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO SPEAK TO MY WALI

Looking for a sure-fire way to stop the temptation of over-eating, or even eating anything at all? Consider wearing the patented Bane Mask, which prevents the entry of any kind of food or drink into your mouth! And ladies… don’t think we didn’t forget about you- the Bane Niqab is looking to be a hot summer season item for all you fashionable niqabis!


Over-eating during Ramadan and bloating your stomach at iftar time in reaction to a day-long fast is completely disingenuous to the purpose and aim of your fast. Not only does it negatively impact your health and well-being, but it induces laziness, sluggishness, and difficulty in physically performing salah. Take a page from the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (saws):

“No human ever filled a vessel worse than the stomach. Sufficient for any son of Adam are some morsels to keep his back straight. But if it must be, then one third for his food, one third for his drink and one third for his breath.” [Ahmed, Tirmidhi]

Your food isn’t going anywhere, friends. Just take it easy, relax, and eat in moderation. And as always- keep in mind your brothers and sisters abroad who may not be as fortunate as you are to even have the luxury of eating to their fill.