BBC News – Indian states oppose cow slaughter ban

Several Indian states have opposed the federal government’s decision to ban the sale of cattle for slaughter.

New Delhi, 30 May 2017. West Bengal in eastern India and Kerala in the south said they would not follow the “arbitrary” order which bans the sale of cattle at livestock markets.

The federal government said the order was aimed at “preventing uncontrolled and unregulated animal trade”.

But critics say the move is aimed at protecting cows, considered holy by India’s majority Hindu population.

West Bengal and Kerala are among several Indian states where beef is part of local cuisine.

Correspondents say the order will hurt farmers, and industries like food processing and leather.

Many states have actively started enforcing bans on cow slaughter after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party formed India’s federal government in 2014.

The western state of Gujarat passed a law in March making the slaughter of cows punishable with life imprisonment. In addition to government bans, several vigilante groups who portray themselves as protectors of cows have also been active in several states.

Such groups have even killed Muslim men over suspicion of cow slaughter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year criticised the vigilantes, saying such people made him “angry”.

However, this has not stopped attacks against cattle traders.

Mr Modi’s critics say the new order is aimed at appeasing India’s Hindu community.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the centre was “encroaching upon state matters” with such orders.

“Prevention, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases come under the state list. So do markets and fairs and also trade and commerce,” she said.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to all non-BJP ruled states to unite against the order.

He said it violated India’s federal constitution and also violated “the basic right of a person to freedom of choice regarding his food”.

The union territory of Pondicherry has also decided to formally oppose the ban.

The southern states of Karnataka and Telengana as well as Meghalaya in the north-east have also protested the order.

Advertisements – Leaked Call of Two Prominent Sikhs in UK

Sikh24 Editors

London-UK, 30 May 2017. Sikh24 has obtained a phone recording between Mr Harjit Singh ‘Sarpanch’, the trustee of Sangat Television and vice-president of Singh Sabha Gurdwara Southall, with Mr Ragbhir Singh, an employee of Akaal Channel and spokesman for International Panthik Dal.

The phone recording highlighted plans and political maneuvers against Bhai Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale, Sikh Missionaries, and Sikh Federation UK.

Mr Harjit Singh ‘Sarpanch’ revealed that in a recent meeting called by the trustees of Sangat Television, there were calls for Bhai Ranjit Singh Dhandrianwale’s recordings to be aired on the channel.

Mr ‘Sarpanch’ asked that neither Bhai Dhadrianwale nor the controversial Bhai Harnam Singh Dhumma should be given air time, to avoid upsetting either party. But he reveals the real reason is to prevent Bhai Dhadrianwale from getting exposure on television.

In the phone recording, whilst laughing he claims that he is “playing the game”, and that he is really allied with the controversial Bhai Harnam Singh Dhumma, who had last year declared open support for the Badal family, a move that wider Sikh masses had strongly denounced.

Mr ‘Sarpanch’ raised questions against Mr Amrik Singh Gill of the Sikh Federation UK, and why he had not given Bhai Dhadrianwale air time on the new channel, K-TV, a channel run by associates of SFUK.

Mr Raghbir Singh expressed that too many Missionary preachers are being given air time on Akaal Channel. In defending his own position, Mr Raghbir Singh stated that he only worked for Akaal Channel and is not part of any decision-making, but keeps quiet to keep his position there.

Later the pair talked about Bhai Avtar Singh ‘Missionary’ who speaks on Sikh Channel UK, and who’s daughter is married to the son of Bhai Amrik Singh Gill (SFUK). Mr Raghbir Singh claims that Avtar Singh Missionary is the root cause of the problem of Missionaries [in the UK].

Bhai Sadhu Singh of Sikh Channel is criticized for being a Sant follower but yet a problem-maker [in aiding Missionaries]. This comment is most likely due to the fact that Bhai Sadhu Singh co-host’s a show on Sikh history and philosophy with Avtar Singh Missionary.

Harjit Singh ‘Sarpanch’ accuses a Trustee of Sangat Television who is also a Trustee of Kalgidhar Trust UK linked to Baru Sahib, as causing financial problems for the channel. ‘Sarpanch’ claims that Sangat Television has closed all adverts and air time for raising money for Baru Sahib or Kalgidhar Trust.

He further revealed they are not doing any fundraising for any charity or organization until they are financially stable, and will be in the future taking 21% of all donation appeals done on behalf of any organization or group.

Harjit Singh revealed that he was contacted by a journalist, but he didn’t realize until later that it was the Hindustan Times. He was questioned by the journalist on his views on the Punjab Elections 2017.

He says he told the reporter, “Captain Amrinder Singh has won, not Congress… Congress has lost all over the rest of India”. When asked to comment on Aam Admi Party (AAP), he said, “This is a party of Mirasis (peasant singers)… does anyone vote for peasant singers?

Ghuggi and Bhagwant Mann are singers, and Punjab doesn’t accept singers… Punjabis have honor and don’t give votes to singers.”

He was then asked by the journalist about the NRIs involvement in the Punjab elections. He responded, “NRIs should not go to India [for election campaigning] … [for NRIs] all parties are the same, and they should not take side of any party.

We should talk about the countries we live in, and talk to whoever wins [in Punjab].” This statement seems a U-turn, considering Mr Harjit Singh ‘Sarpanch’ can be seen in the photographs below rallying support for Aam Admi Party in Southall in the run up to the elections.

He further revealed, “These Missionary and Akhand Kirtanis are irritated by me.” Raghbir Singh responded, “We irritate everyone.” Harjit Singh ‘Sarpanch’ boasted that it is because he up straight with these people openly. Raghbir Singh revealed “People know that we really the same [party] people.”

Harjit Singh ‘Sarpanch’ said that Mr Amrik Singh Gill of Sikh Federation UK was left feeling disturbed after International Panthik Dal held an event at Singh Sabha Gurdwara Southall.

Mr Raghbir Singh said they will put full efforts in Southall. Harjit Singh ‘Sarpanch’ revealed plans to stump out any clout that the SFUK holds, and plans to pressurize Gurmel Singh Kandola of the Sikh Council UK in upcoming events. The phone recording ends with further criticism of the Sikh Federation.

Liège Gurdwara – Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan

Liège Gurdwara – Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan
30 April 2017

Divan Hall – Palki Sahib

Rue St Léonard – Palki Truck

Rue St Léonard – Palki Truck

Rue St Léonard
Water tank to sprinkle the road ahead of the Nagar Kirtan

Rue St Léonard
Water tank to sprinkle the road ahead of the Nagar Kirtan

Rue St Léonard – Palki Truck

Gurdwara Guru Nanak Prakash
Rue St Léonard 625
4000 Liège/Luik – Province de Liège

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Vancouver Sun – How the Liberals’ alleged support of Sikh separatists is fuelling Canada-India tensions

Tom Blackwell

Vancouver, 29 May 2017. When Prime Minister Trudeau headed to the stage at the Sikh-Canadian community’s annual Khalsa Day celebration last month, he was thronged by a cheering, photo-seeking crowd.

It was little surprise, given the Liberal leader is not only a staunch supporter of multiculturalism but also has four MPs of Sikh origin in his cabinet.

Thousands of kilometres away in New Delhi, however, Trudeau’s appearance struck a decidedly more sour note.

The appearance was the latest irritation for an Indian government reportedly worried that the Liberals are too cozy with a peaceful but “growing” Sikh-separatist movement in Canada.

It came three weeks after the Ontario legislature passed a private-member’s motion, introduced by a Liberal MPP, that called the 1984 Sikh massacre in India an act of genocide, a politically explosive label.

India’s Foreign Ministry has issued separate protests to the Trudeau government about each episode, as the Liberals’ traditional politicking among a vote-rich community, combined with the sub-continent’s fraught history, throws a wrench into the two countries’ burgeoning friendship.

“All of those things add up (and) present a picture that isn’t particularly pretty when India is looking at it,” said Anirudh Bhattacharya, Canadian correspondent for the Hindustan Times newspaper.

“There was always a concern (in New Delhi) that this particular government would be somewhat beholden to the gatekeepers to the Sikh community, to some of the more radical groups.”

Tossed into the mix have been unsubstantiated allegations by Amarinder Singh, Punjab state’s newly elected “chief minister,” that Trudeau’s Sikh ministers are themselves separatists; and a thwarted terrorist cell in Punjab with alleged Canadian links.

Indian media reports suggest New Delhi was livid about Trudeau’s appearance at the Khalsa Day event April 30, though the public language was more circumspect. “We have taken it up with Canada in the past and the practice has not been discontinued,” said Vishwa Nath Goel of India’s high commission in Ottawa.

Quoting a Foreign Ministry statement, he was more blunt about the Ontario legislature’s Sikh genocide resolution on April 6.

“We reject this misguided motion which is based on a limited understanding of India, its constitution, society, ethos, rule of law and the judicial process,” said Goel.

But a spokesman for the group that organized the event Trudeau attended, and which backs the Ontario motion, said it’s only natural for the prime minister to appear at such functions, regardless of the religion.

The reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP government simply follows a pattern of suppressing Sikhs and other minorities, which itself fuels widespread support in Canada for the creation of a separate Sikh country called Khalistan, said Balkaranjit Singh of the Ontario Sikhs and Gurdwara Council.

“There is a certain underlying policy and current going on (in India) that is continuously discriminating against a minority,” he said. “Yes, the Sikhs are left with no choice but to push for a separate homeland.”

Andrée-Lyne Hallé, the prime minister’s press secretary, argued that ties remain strong between the two countries, and portrayed Trudeau’s appearance at the commemoration of a Sikh holy day as routine.

“‎The prime minister marks and celebrates events and holidays celebrated by Canadians of all backgrounds,” she said.

The Sikh separatist cause had largely fallen quiet after years of turmoil that culminated in the bombing of an Air India flight from Canada in 1985, killing 329 people.

The attack was blamed on Canadian-based Sikh extremists, enraged by Indian troops storming the Golden Temple, Sikhism’s holiest site, to oust armed rebels in 1984, and incident’s bloody fallout.

After two Sikh bodyguards murdered prime minister Indira Gandhi, a wave of pogroms saw at least 3,000 Sikhs slaughtered by rampaging Hindus.

Sikh terrorism is a thing of the past in Canada, but most of the major Ontario gurdwaras (temples) are today controlled by non-violent Khalistanis, says Balraj Deol, editor of the Punjabi-language newspaper Khabarnama.

“Support for separatism is growing; it has grown considerably,” he said.

Yet Canadian Sikhs are in a different “silo” from the millions who live in Punjab itself, and have largely abandoned the struggle for an independent homeland, Deol said.

In March, Punjabis even elected the Congress party, perpetrators of the Golden Temple attack and implicated in the later massacre, to state government.

But Indian authorities are concerned that if the Khalistani movement builds in Canada, “it bleeds into the Punjab,” said Bhattacharya.

Singh argued that separatist sentiment is alive in Punjab, but vocal Sikh activists there have either been killed or emigrated, and those who remain are cowed into silence.

Meanwhile, Canada’s 460,000 Sikhs, politically active and concentrated in a few Ontario and British Columbia ridings, have long been courted by all parties.

Navdeep Bains, a leader of Sikh Liberals and now innovation minister, backed Trudeau in the 2013 leadership race.

The Liberal-sponsored resolution in Ontario’s legislature declaring the 1984 massacre a genocide, also supported by the NDP and Conservatives, was the first of its kind in the world and was seen as a jolt for the independence movement, said Deol.

An Indian prime minister did apologize for the riots in 2005 amid growing evidence of Congress party complicity in the savagery, but no one has ever been prosecuted for it.

Whether the episode qualifies as genocide is another question, and in New Delhi the terminology is seen as dividing religious groups at a time of relative peace, said Bhattacharya of the Hindustan Times.

Meanwhile, Indian police announced last week the arrest of two alleged Khalistani terrorists in the Punjab and a small cache of weapons, purportedly overseen by an Ontario-based “hardliner.”

Gill said the case looks on the surface like a fabrication, designed to cast aspersions on Canada.


The Hindu – Confiscation of properties begins in disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa, 3 others

Tamil Nadu government initiates the process in compliance with the trial court order that was upheld by Supreme Court

S Vijay Kumar

Chennai, 30 May 2017. The Tamil Nadu government has quietly initiated the process of confiscating properties attached in the disproportionate assets (DA) case against former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and three others in compliance with the trial court order that was upheld by the Supreme Court in February.

Instructions to Collectors

Collectors of six districts, including Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, have been told to take physical possession of 68 properties registered in the name of six firms owned then by Jayalalithaa and her then close aide V K Sasikala, J Elavarasi and V N Sudhakaran (who are in jail).

Acting on the instructions of the government, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC), which is the prosecuting agency in the case, wrote to the Collectors marking a copy to the State Vigilance Commissioner to confiscate the properties.

Identification of land

The lands located in the six districts were worth several hundreds of crores of rupees, DVAC sources said on Monday.
After identifying and marking the lands, revenue officials would put up boards indicating that the land belongs to the Tamil Nadu government and also write to the registration authorities not to entertain any transaction on the properties that were earlier attached by a Government Order in the wealth case.

Though 128 properties were actually attached in the case, the trial court ordered the confiscation of only 68.

“These are prominently located properties in Chennai, Kancheepuram and other districts. The purchase price, equivalent to the guideline value prevailing almost 20 years ago, is very less compared to the current market price,” a senior official told The Hindu.

“The Tamil Nadu government will become the owner of these properties, which can either be used for official purposes or sold in public auction,” the official said.

The case of the prosecution was that as on July 1, 1991, Jayalalithaa was found in possession of properties and pecuniary resources in her name and in the name of Ms Sasikala to the extent of only ₹2.01 crore.

But after July 1, 1991, there was a sudden spurt in the acquisition of assets and during the check period (July 1, 1991-April 30, 1996) when she was Chief Minister.

The prosecution submitted that Jayalalithaa, a public servant, and her associates amassed assets to the tune of ₹66.65 crore, which was grossly disproportionate to their known sources of income.

The trial court in Bengaluru, which held the value of the disproportionate assets to be ₹53.60 crore, convicted all the accused to four-year imprisonment and imposed a fine of ₹100 crore on Jayalalithaa and ₹10 crore each on Ms. Sasikala, Mr. Sudhakaran and Ms. Elavarasi.

After the order was set aside by the Karnataka High Court, the State of Karnataka went on appeal to the Supreme Court that upheld the order of the then trial court judge, John Michael D’ Cunha.

The Times of India – SGPC panel to inquire into errors of Mahankosh

Bharat Khanna

Patiala, 29 May 2017. Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) on Saturday formed a four member committee to inquire into the errors found in Mahankosh, the encyclopaedia of Sikhs, and its bulk publication by Punjabi University.

“The committee is formed to inquire into the entire matter including the recent decision of the university to stall its sale and then revoking it the next day. SGPC will file a case in high court if errors are found in the copies printed by the university.

We will also probe that why the copies were published in bulk and who were the committee members to rectify the publication by university,” SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badunagar said.

The committee comprises scholars like Chamkaur Singh, Prabhjot Kaur, Amarinder Singh and SGPC secretary Avtar Singh, under whom the committee will coordinate. It will analyse the volumes of Mahankosh published in Punjabi, English and Hindi languages.SGPC has already purchased copies of each volume published in all the three languages.

Last week, TOI had highlighted that thousands of copies of Mahankosh, a reference book, were published in one go by the publication department of the Punjabi University. The university usually print not more than 550 copies of its own reference books in one go.

Sources revealed that out of more than 20,000 copies (5000 of each volume) printed in Punjabi by the university, only 747 copies of Mahankosh have been sold in last 13 years.

The university printed around 5000 copies of each of four volumes in Punjabi language, 1100 copies in English whereas in Hindi the university printed 550 copies of only the first volume.

The university received state grant of Rs 40 lakh each in 2002 and 2006 for publication of Mahankosh while in 2011 the Punjabi university decided to spend Rs 60 lakh on printing of copies in Hindi language.

The university provide Mahankosh at Rs 1350 after 50 per cent concession whereas the one being provided by the Punjabi language department is available for only Rs 375.

The Tribune – Panthic groups out to corner Badals

Varinder Singh, Tribune News Service

Bathinda, 28 May 2017. Panthic outfits are making a pitch for a united front against the Badals’ Shiromani Akali Dal in the SGPC poll.

Akhand Akali Dal (1920) chief and former Assembly Speaker Ravi Inder Singh said, “We give a call to all Sikh outfits and parties opposed to the Badals to get united so that the SGPC can be freed from their clutches. People of Punjab, particularly Sikhs, are anguished over the incidents of desecration during the SAD-BJP rule.”

The five-year term of the SGPC General House had expired in December 16 last year, but the elections have not been announced by the Centre so far. Former Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar and Akhand Akali Dal (1920) patron Balwant Singh Nandgarh said the time was ripe to end the Badals’ interference in SGPC affairs.

When contacted, United Akali Dal secretary general Gurdip Singh Bathinda said, “We are in favour of a united front. Any person or outfit which is against the Badals and their autocratic style of functioning is welcome to join.” He said SAD (Amritsar) could also be part of the proposed conglomerate.

Liège Guillemins & Liège Gurdwara – Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan

Liège Guillemins
30 April 2017

Hasselt / Antwerpen Centraal
Gouvy / Luxemburg

Liège Gurdwara – Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan
30 April 2017

Decorated Palki truck

Decorated Palki truck

Gent Gurdwara banner

Langar – Cha pakore

Langar – Cha pakore

Gurdwara Guru Nanak Prakash
Rue St Léonard 625
4000 Liège/Luik – Province de Liège

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The Times of India – Tories play ‘Theresa ke Saath’ for desi votes

I P Singh

London-UK, 29 May 2017. With around 1.6 million British Indians, many of them Sikhs, voters in mind ahead of the June 8 UK general elections, UK’s Conservative party came out with a Hindi campaign song “Theresa ke Saath”, on Sunday. The song was released by Conservative Friends of India, and it is the second time that a Hindi song is part of the Tories’ poll campaign.

The song which opens with “Dosto Dhanyawad shukria meharbaani, Ab Phir samay aaia hai saath nibhane ka” (Thanks, friends, now it’s time to show our support), urges the Indian community to support British premier Theresa May as she will provide a strong and stable leadership to Britain and boost the British economy.

Following Cameron’s resignation on June 24, 2016, May successfully contested the Conservative leadership contest and became PM on July 13.

The video of the song with the punch line, “Paanch Saal Theresa ke Saath”, features British Prime Minister with Indian community members and shows her visiting a Hindu temple and participating in ‘Aarti’.

She is also shown paying tributes at Amar Jawan Jyoti in India and with PM Narendra Modi. The song also features entrepreneur and Conservative Friends of India co-chair Ranjit Singh Baxi.

“Every vote for Theresa May is a vote for stronger Britain with the benefits reaching everyone across the country. We need a country that works for everyone. May wants to build strong trade partnership with India and engage actively with the British Indian community ” said a statement issued by Conservative Friends of India on Sunday.

The song has been written, composed and produced by Pandit Dinesh, while Navin Kundra, Rubayyatt Jahan, Urmi Chakraborty, Raja Kasaf and Ketan Kansra have lent their voices. The song has been produced by Ranjit Singh Baxi, and the music rendered by Milan Handa, Chris Nolan and Mauro.

It was in the last general election that a Hindi song revolving around then PM David Cameron was released.

That song’s opening lines, “Neela Hai Aasman Gagan Vishal, Yahi Rang Hai Britain Ki Shaan”, symbolised the blue colour associated with the party, in which Cameron’s interaction with the Indian community, including Sikhs, and his visit to the Golden Temple figured very prominently.

This time, the Labour Party has fielded six Sikh candidates, including two turbaned ones and a woman, from the three winnable seats.

Dawn – Five golden rules of healthy eating in Ramazan

Good eating advise, not just for Muslims !
Man in Blue

Here’s how you can combine fasting and healthy food choices to reset your metabolism and shed some weight in Ramazan :

Salima Feerasta

The spiritual blessings of Ramazan are manifold but when done right, the holy month of fasting also comes with tangible physical benefits. Combining healthy food choices with fasting resets your metabolism and can help you shed a few pounds and lower your cholesterol.

Ramazan shouldn’t be the season of pakoras, parathas and all-you-can-eat buffet iftars. Those afternoon naps are certainly not going to help you burn off the nightly half-kilo of jalebis. Fasting is not a license to eat with abandon, and nor should it be according to Sunnah.

The blessed Prophet (PBUH) said, “The children of Adam fill no vessel worse than their stomach. Sufficient for him is a few morsels to keep his back straight. If he must eat more, then a third should be for his food, a third for his drink, and a third left for air.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhî)

There’s no need to sink into a food coma after every iftar or slosh to bed after drinking litres of fluid at sehri – only to spend the next two hours peeing it all out. And healthy eating in Ramazan doesn’t have to mean boring, bland, unfamiliar “diet food” either.

Quinoa for sehri or grilled salmon at iftar will make fasting seem like a penance instead of a blessing if those are not the sort of foods you’d eat anyway. It’s perfectly possible to incorporate your favourite Ramazan treats and the sort of food you would normally eat into a sensible, nutritious eating plan.

Here are 5 golden rules of healthy eating in Ramazan:

1) Stagger your hydration

Dehydration is the toughest part of fasting, especially in summer, but loading up on water at sehri isn’t the best plan. Filling your stomach like a water balloon results in one of two things, throwing up or multiple visits to the loo.

It’s far smarter to stagger your hydration through the night. Start with two glasses of water at iftar, and follow with a glass every hour till bedtime. By the time you sleep, you will have had 6 glasses of water. Aim for a manageable two glasses at sehri and you’ve had 8 glasses in the day, which is usually sufficient.

Do stay out of the sun to minimise moisture loss through sweating. Remember tea and coffee are dehydrating and shouldn’t be counted in your fluid intake.

2) Avoid sugar, like it’s the mother of all evils

We all crave something sweet when we open our rozas but sugar results in highs and lows that leaves you with more cravings and thus messes up your metabolism. Sugar gives you empty calories without nutritional benefits and is key in Ramazan over-eating.

Totally giving up sugar may be a stretch but limiting it is essential.

Stay away from those giant special-offer bottles of Coke or Pepsi. If you’re like me and Ramazan wouldn’t be the same without Rooh Afzah, gradually reduce the amount you use to limit the sugar hit.

Load up on fruit before letting yourself touch any mithai or chocolate. Use grapes in your fruit chaat for sweetness and stay away from the sugar jar. Switch your Gulab Jamun for Ras Malai, which has more milk and less sugar.

3) Have all things in moderation

If you really must have parathas and pakoras, limit them to a once-a-week treat rather than a daily indulgence. Instead of pakoras at Iftar, try a healthy channa chaat with loads of veggies and spices or dahi vaday which are much less oily. Try baked samosas instead of fried ones or little grilled chicken shashliks instead of pakoras.

Keep choice to a minimum to help avoid over-eating. Accompany your dates with one snack item at iftar and then eat a simple evening meal, with one meat dish and one vegetable dish or salad accompanied by rice or roti.

For Sehri, parathas are a poor choice in any case and likely to cause heartburn. Full of processed flour and fat, they lead to lethargy rather than providing a slow release of energy to keep you going through the day. Aim instead for complex carbs in your morning meal, wholemeal roti, bajray ki roti, daal, sujji (semolina) or oatmeal (dalia).
Eggs are great if cooked in very little oil but add more protein in the form of milk, yoghurt and nuts to your morning meal.

By all means, indulge in your Ramazan favourites but limit unhealthy food to bite-size portions that you savour rather than platefuls that you wolf down. And beware of the buffet Iftar as the Qur’an is categorical on waste:

“Eat and drink freely: but waste not by excess, for He does not like the wasters.” (Chapter 7, verse 31)

4) Befriend fibre

With mealtimes askew and without that morning hit of caffeine, constipation becomes a major issue for many, with attendant gas making things even worse.

Add fibre to your diet to keep your gut moving. Fresh fruit and veggies are ideal, especially pears, but sprinkle wheatbran on your cereal or eat a couple of dried prunes every night to up your fibre intake.

5) Save the oil for your hair

Good fats in moderation are an essential part of a balanced diet but we tend to have too much oil in our diets as a nation. Those super-sized cans of oil that fill the advertising slots every Ramazan? All they do is fill the brands’ coffers and our hips and arteries!

Decant your oil into small bottles and keep an eye on how much you use. Save fried food for special occasions and bake or grill your food when you can.

Grilled kebabs, baked filo pastries and baked samosas are all delicious and use a lot less oil. As for the carts of samosas and pakoras on every street-corner, give them a miss – chances are the oil has been re-fried to toxicity.

Changing the way we eat in Ramazan takes small changes that have a huge impact. For example, we only serve pakoras once in a while in our house and try to keep our iftar meal as close to a usual evening meal as possible. Sehri is full of dairy, complex carbs and fruit.

I’ve found over the years that, Masha’Allah, I lose weight every Ramazan. The only year I didn’t fast, I put on ten pounds over the course of the year, which compounded my belief that fasting resets your metabolism.

Last year, I combined fasting with daily walks and bloodwork at the end of the month showed a 20% decrease in my blood cholesterol.

Not adding too many ‘special’ time-consuming foods to your meals in Ramazan has another benefit too. It frees up the people (usually women) preparing the food, giving them more time for prayer and spiritual matters. And after all, that’s what Ramazan is really about. Ramazan Mubarak – May this Ramazan be full of blessings for us all.