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Benefits of fasting covers various angles in a person’s life. Fasting has been practiced by different people of different religions as a means of healing strategy spiritually and physically. However, intentions of fasting differ from religion to religion and person to person. Some people are fasting to be healthy while some are fasting to be pious and get near to Allah. In this article, we will talk about its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, and also, we will ponder on the benefits of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
Fasting is abstaining from food and drinking from dawn to sunset. There are various types of fasting, including:
Fasting has several physical, mental and spiritual benefits, but we will focus in this article on the important factors for each of them below.
There are a number of physical benefits of fasting, including the following:
Fasting for several days helps in preventing obesity and weight loss. It helps in protecting against the hazard of a fat and sugar-rich diet.
As per the Mayo Clinic, “Researchers aren’t sure why, but it seems that regularly fasting — severely restricting food and drink for 24 hours on one to two days a week — can potentially improve your risk factors related to heart health.”
As per the research on curing cancer, there is evidence that fasting can fight against cancer. Researchers from USC states that evidence shows short-term fast starves cancer cells and facilitates the chemo drug therapies to better target cancer. Specific to the new study, the researchers found a fasted diet, particularly when used with chemotherapy drugs. This raises the levels of bone marrow cells that generate immune system cells that infiltrate tumors.
Fasting improves the levels of proteins providing insulin resistance. It lowers blood cholesterol and prevents heart attacks, strokes, and other disorders. If a healthy diet is maintained after fasting, the body will retain the newly reduced cholesterol level.
Based on a report published in the BMJ, shows that fasting may be a safe alternative to insulin. More specifically, the report shows fasting reversed insulin resistance, which resulted in the ending of insulin therapy while maintaining control of blood sugars.
Fasting positively impacts the digestive system. The human body naturally detoxifies after a month of flushing out the toxins in the body. Further, it balances the heat generation and acidity levels in the human stomach.
There are many benefits of fasting that provides imposing advantages to mental health and are as follows.
According to a study published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, fasting protects against Alzheimer’s disease and relieves its symptoms. Fasting is a therapy option that is rapidly gaining traction outside of the domain of pharmaceuticals and treatments.
As per the research conducted in the Current Neuropharmacology, fasting shows to boost moving and sleep quality. Additional findings suggest fasting markedly reduces negative emotions, including tension, and depressive feelings.
Every religion observes fasting in their own ways as per the scripture. But Islam is the last and complete religion for all humanity and has made obligatory fasting for the whole month of Ramadan in its utmost format. As we have discussed the health and mental benefits of fasting, Muslims considers the spiritual benefits of fasting as compared to the other benefits.
Fasting is one of the best ways to clean your soul. As fasting abstains you from eating and drinking, similarly it abstains you from evil deeds and minor and major sins. This is the right time to keep the objectives of fasting even when we are not fasting. This way we can clean our souls from all the evil dirt and get closer to the Almighty Allah.
When someone is fasting, a desire for authentic supplication to the Almighty Allah arises which makes the person to claim more and more from Allah. It gives a feeling of nearness to the Almighty as one abstains and frees him/her selves from all sins and worldly values. When the body does not have to focus on digesting food, there is more energy allotted to devoting and praising Allah on a deeper level.
During fasting, while abstaining from all sins and worldly values, we ponder more to listen, practice, and implement what Allah has commanded us by reciting the Holy Quran. We spare more time for supplications and learning Islam. This way Allah is giving us chances every year to keep a balance in our lives with this world and the hereafter.
At the end of fasting in the month of Ramadan, you will feel renewed, full of energy, and empowered with a new desire, praise, and sensitivity to Allah’s commandment. You will find that worldly values are nothing in comparison to what you have gained in the past 30 days of fasting. It gives you a feeling as if you are newly born.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar and the most sacred month of the year. In it, the Holy Quran was revealed and fasting was made obligatory for Muslims. The Islamic months are as follows:
3- Rabi Al-Awal
4- Rabi Al-Thani
5- Jamdi Al-Awal
6- Jamadi Al-Thani
11- Dhul Qadah
12- Dhul Hijjah
Allah says in the Holy Quran in Surah Baqarah, verses 185:
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًۭى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍۢ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍۢ فَعِدَّةٌۭ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِكُمُ ٱلْيُسْرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ ٱلْعُسْرَ وَلِتُكْمِلُوا۟ ٱلْعِدَّةَ وَلِتُكَبِّرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ (١٨٥)
Ramaḍân is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺. So, whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then ˹let them fast˺ an equal number of days ˹after Ramaḍân˺. Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful.
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) also emphasized in fasting during the month of Ramadan:
“There has come to you Ramadan, a blessed month, which Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has enjoined you to fast. In it the gates of heavens are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and every devil is chained up. In it, Allah has a night which is better than a thousand months; whoever is deprived of its goodness is indeed deprived”. – Sunan an-Nasa’i 2106
“Fasting is a shield, so when one of you is fasting, he should neither indulge in obscene language nor should he raise his voice in anger. If someone attacks him or insults him, let him say: I am fasting”. – Muslim
Ramadan is the sacred month of the Islamic calendar and fasting is made obligatory in this month. Muslims fast from dawn to sunset and abstain from eating, drinking, evil deeds, anger, and offensive language. The whole body is fasting during the month of Ramadan. One of the benefits of fasting is that those who fast should not harm either themselves by watching evil acts with their eyes and listening with their ears nor harm others with their hands and tongues.
This is a month of purification from all sins of the past and a rebuilding of oneself with how Allah wants us to be. Apart from other benefits of fasting in Ramadan it teach us many lessons that we will mention a few of them here:
1- Gaining Taqwa (piety)
2- Seeking nearness to Allah
3- Acquiring patience and modesty
4- Cultivating good manners
5- Sensing Muslim Unity
6- Becoming more Disciplined
7- Maintain self-control
8- Experience the pain of hunger and pangs of thirst
9- Understand the situation of the needy people
10- Be grateful for the food and blessings we have
One of the major benefits of fasting in Ramadan is that every good action in this month multiplies. As a result, Muslims prefer paying their charity in the month of Ramadan because the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Every action a son of Adam does shall be multiplied—a good action by ten times its value, up to 700 times. Allah says: Except fasting, which belongs to Me, and I reward it accordingly. For, one abandons his desire and food for My sake. There are two occasions of joy for a fasting person: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord, and the (bad) breath (of a fasting person) is better in the sight of Allah than the fragrance of musk”. – Al Bukhari
At Hayat Orphanage, we accept charity. Since 2013, we have been supporting the orphans in Afghanistan by providing them with proper education, accommodation, food, cloth, and capacity-building programs. We are protecting them from any kind of abuse and harassment by sheltering them and financially helping them in their homes. Take the opportunity of the benefits of fasting and get your good actions multiplied by paying your Zakat and Sadaqah to Hayat Orphanage and support us in this noble cause. Donate now and protect an orphan from abuse.
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