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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Ramzan: Less-known benefits of fasting

Fasting is designed to cleanse, regenerate, rejuvenate and restore a person’s sense of well-being, in body, mind and soul. Hence, fasting leads to a longer life-span by curing many illnesses. Here are all the surprising benefits of fasting.

Ramzan is one of the most sacred months of the Islamic calendar. In this blessed month, the holy Quran was revealed and fasting was declared as mandatory for every Muslim who enjoys sound mental and physical health. Muslims, in this month, are admonished to re-double their efforts to pay alms and perform good deeds — for the reward of doing good during Ramzan grows two-fold.

Spiritual benefits of Fasting 

There are numerous spiritual and physical benefits of fasting. Those who observe fast religiously witness immense metamorphosis in their life. Spiritually, It is an established fact that Allah’s messenger used to inform his companions about the commencement of Ramzan.

Read more: Asia’s Muslims see great test as Ramadan arrives amid virus

He also used to say them that: When it is the first night of Ramzan, the doors of Jannah(Paradise) are opened and none of them is closed; and the doors of Jahanam (Hell) are closed and none of them is opened; the devils are chained; and a caller calls saying: “ O, those who seek righteousness, get closer; O those who seek evil, be you at a loss, it is upon Allah to bar(Hell) fire and that happens every night of Ramzan”.

At another occasion, The Prophet (SAW) said: Ramzan has come to you, the month of Barkah(blessing); Allah covers you with his kindness during the month, descends Rahma (grace), removes sins and answers the invocations.

It is also reported by Abu Hurrairah (R.A) that Allah’s Messenger said, “Allah said, all the deeds of Adam’s son (people) are for them, except Saum (fasts) which is for me, and I myself will give recompense for it.

In another Hadith, Holy Prophet said, “By him in whose hand is my soul, the smell coming out of the mouth of the person observing Saum is better than the smell of Musk.” There are two pleasures for the person observing fasts”, the holy Prophet (SAW) added “one at the time of breaking fast and the other at the time when he will meet his Lord.”

To add, in another tradition of Holy Prophet (SAW) we read: Paradise has a door by the name of “Rayan” and none shall enter paradise through it except those who fast.”

Read more: Corona threatens to snatch Ramadan charm this year

Physical effects: Detoxification of the body

Physically, fasting offers myriad miraculous benefits. The Holy Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said: “Fast, you’ll be healthy”. The founding fathers of western medicines (Hippocrates, Galen & Paracelsus) prescribed fasting as the greatest remedy and the physician within.

The outstanding physicians named fasting as being; the medicine for the 21st century. They believe that the human body is designed to heal itself, if only given the opportunity. Dr Otto Buchinger; Germany’s great fasting therapist after more than 100,000 fasting cures says: “Fasting is, without doubt, the most effective biological method of treatment… it is the operation without surgery… it is a cure involving exudation, redirection, loosening up and purified relaxation.”

He adds that fasting cures many of our modern illnesses, including the following: Allergies, cardiovascular disease, chronic diseases of the digestive system, degenerative and painfully inflammatory illnesses of the joints, myriad disturbances in one’s eating behaviour, glaucoma, initial malfunction of the kidneys, tension and migraine headaches, as well as skin diseases.

Preventively, it’s designed to cleanse, and to regenerate, rejuvenate and restore a person’s sense of well-being, in body, mind and soul. Another renowned Doctor namely Buchinger concluded: “When the body fasts, the soul is hungry; when the body becomes lighter, the soul also craves relief.” Further, Dr Joel Fuhrman in Fasting and Eating for Health notes: “Fasting has been repeatedly observed to alleviate neuroses, anxiety and depression.”

Read more: Muslims in the US are annoyed following Trump’s Ramadan restrictions

Scientific evidence

Surely, Fasting marvellously decomposes and burns all the cells and tissues that are aged, damaged, diseased, weakened or dead, a process called in medicine autolysis or self-digest or detoxification.

Michael Rosenbaum, M.D., Director of the California-based Orthomolecular Health Medicine Medical Society, notes on the significance of fasting as a detoxification program: “The hidden cause of many chronic pains, diseases and illnesses may be invisible toxins, chemicals, heavy metals and parasites that invade our bodies . . . Chances are slim that your doctor will tell you that toxins may be the root cause of your health problems. He or she may not even know about how these toxins are affecting your body . . . As your cells go, so goes your health. If your cells have been invaded by toxins and dangerous chemicals, your resistance to disease is diminished. Clean and nourish your cells, and you’re on the road to better health.”

Admittedly, when by fasting, you stop the input of nutrition for a while, then a flurry of cleansing starts up, the rugs are lifted and the dirty dishes are brought out of the cabinet where they were stashed. Cleansing begins in earnest.

Moreover, the researchers have concluded that there is solid evidence that bearing fasting may fight against cancer. They believe that short-term fast starves cancer cells and facilitates the chemo drug therapies to better target the cancer. Specific to the new study, the researchers found following a fasted diet, particularly when used with chemotherapy drugs, raises the levels of bone marrow cells that generate immune system cells that infiltrate tumours.

Fasting leads to a longer life-span

It is also a proven fact that fasting fosters longevity. Scientists from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) added to the body of what is already known about fasting, in which they found health and longevity improved with increased fasting time. Regardless of what the mice ate or how many calories they consumed, “This study showed that mice who ate one meal per day, and thus had the longest fasting period, seemed to have a longer lifespan and better outcomes for common age-related liver disease and metabolic disorders,” said NIA Director Dr Richard J. Hodes.


In addition, fasting also improves memory. Higher glucose levels have been associated with poor cognitive performance on tests of inhibitory control, especially among individuals with pre-diabetes levels. There is corresponding evidence showing intermittent fasting improves brain functions and structures in mice and hence, improves retention power.

Read more: Should Muslims fast in Ramadan during Corona?

Furthermore, fasting shows to augment move and sleep quality. Additional findings suggest fasting markedly reduces negative emotions, including tension and depressive feelings.

However, the people fasting sometimes initially experience side effects. The side effects may vary from fatigue, malaise, headaches, vomiting to the symptoms of cold and flu. These reactions are sometimes called in medicine healing crises, which are temporary and caused due to elimination and cleansing of toxins. A fasting person should be patient and let this period pass.

May Allah grant us the strength to observe fasts and passion to do good deeds in this holy month of Ramazan.

Abdul Rasool Syed is a Legal Practitioner & columnist based in Quetta. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.