Ramadan: The Month of Boosting Good Health

Fasting in Islam is a divine command from the Lord Who has the right to command His slaves with whatever obligations He wills, by virtue of His Lordship and Divinity. Fasting is a divine command like the other Sharee’ah (Islamic legislative) obligations that show the Lordship of the True Lord and the servitude of the slave. When we say to a Muslim “Allah orders you to fast”, it is enough reason to urge him to do so even without mentioning the benefits or wisdom behind fasting.

This does not mean that there are no beneficial consequences to acts of worship or some magnificent underlying wisdom behind them. On the contrary, they have tangible effects that we can see and realize. However, we cannot decisively say that these interests are the goal behind legislating fasting or making it obligatory; they are effects following the act of worship that increase the souls’ inclination to it.

Allah The Almighty points out the comprehensive wisdom behind legislating fasting when He Says (what means): {O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous -} [Quran 2:183] Hence, the wisdom behind fasting is to attain righteousness and piety.

In every age, people discover new benefits behind Islamic legislation that fit their way of thinking and interests. This indicates that this legislation was made by the Most Magnificent and All-Wise Creator. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {[It is] the work of Allah, Who perfected all things. Indeed, He is acquainted with that which you do.} [Quran 27:88]

One of the benefits of fasting is that one’s general wellbeing improves, especially if the fasting person follows the sound methodology by being moderate in his food and drink after breaking his fast. Fasting has an amazing effect in preserving the external organs and the intrinsic powers of the body, and getting rid of toxins inside the body.

Doctors have mentioned many of the benefits of fasting, such as how it helps in getting rid of the toxins and metabolic waste in the stomach and intestines and in giving the digestive system a rest. Some diseases have no means of remedy except through regulating the diet. Is fasting anything but a kind of diet? In fact, it is even better than dieting. Those who suffer from chronic inflammation in the intestines and colon benefit greatly from fasting. Besides, people who suffer from liver failure can benefit from fasting if they do not eat too much at Iftaar (the fast-breaking meal). In some cases of food allergies, the patient benefits from fasting, as it helps him regulate his food intake, which in turn removes many symptoms of the allergy.

Fasting has a greatly beneficial effect on the nervous system. Dr. Muhammad Muhammad Abu Shawk said in an article entitled Fasting and the Nervous System:

The spirituality of fasting – and what it entails in terms of peace of mind, a disciplined soul, patience to tolerate hardship, kindness towards the poor and the needy, turning away from falling into desires and their subsequent agonies, purification of the soul by virtuous morals, truthfulness, honesty, avoiding anger, revenge, grudges, envy and hatred –adds to the human soul a spirit of peace, amiability, love and happiness that affects the nervous system, which directly affects the body’s state of calmness or rage.

When the nervous system is disturbed, the other systems that regulate and maintain the functioning of the body respond. What divine wisdom this is, that makes the fasting person like an angel, who is pleased with his life and makes others pleased with him! For those who frequent clinics, seeking medication for tension, nervous exhaustion, sleeplessness, depression and other diseases that bewilder the mind, here is Ramadan. If you adhere to its spirituality and the goodness one gains from it, you will never need endless treatment and medication.

We often read about research in newspapers, magazines and periodicals that unveil new benefits of fasting for health. In addition to the aforementioned benefits, fasting is beneficial in the treatment of some conditions like obesity, for it helps one lose weight easily and quickly.

Fasting is very useful in cases of high
arterial blood pressure, acute nephritis, urinary stones, liver diseases, inflammations and stones of the gallbladder, chronic heart diseases which are related to obesity and high blood pressure and stomach disorders. It is also effective in cases of psychological and emotional disorders, as it increases physical activity and slows down senility.

Even non-Muslims, Western researchers and others have proved the benefits of fasting on one's health. They compiled books on this topic and opened clinics where patients are treated by fasting. Astonishingly, fasting has shown excellent results for incurable diseases. A non-Muslim doctor said, “Fasting for one month in the year gets rid of the toxins of one whole year in the body.

The American scientist Bernarr MacFadden is one of the most famous writers on the benefits of fasting on health. He is one of the most famous advocates of physical culture. He founded a large, renowned clinic which was named after him in the United States. He compiled a book on fasting after being amazed by the significant effect of fasting on chronic diseases. Mc Fadden and others said that fasting is useful for the body as it helps refine the body from the toxic wastes, which are included in foods and medicines.

He mentioned that he treated most diseases by fasting and the results vary according to the diseases. The diseases most affected by fasting are those of the stomach, which are quickly treated by fasting. Blood diseases come in the second place and they are followed by diseases of the veins, such as rheumatism.

MacFadden mentioned the names, diseases and medical history of the patients that he treated by fasting. He also said that every healthy human being needs fasting, just like every sick person does. Food and medicines combine in the body making it sick, decreasing its activity and making it heavier. When the person fasts, his weight decreases and toxins break down until his body becomes totally toxin free.

MacFadden described the benefits of fasting and stated that he himself fasted many times in order to renew his strength and gained benefits that he would not have gained except by fasting. Therefore, he advised all people to fast. There is a famous quote by him stating that through fasting “a person could exercise unqualified control over virtually all types of disease while revealing a degree of strength and stamina such as would put others to shame” .

Among the renowned professionals in the field of medicine and education in modern times who used fasting are: Dr. Alan Cott, who used it in the treatment of diabetes and gout; Dr. Carlson who used fasting as a means to renew health and Dr. Genghis who prescribed fasting for his patients. Dr. Robert Bartle, an American physician who is pro-pharmaceutical treatment for syphilis, wrote that there is no doubt that fasting is one of the effective means to get rid of microorganisms, including the microorganism causing syphilis because it destroys the cells and then rebuilds them and this is the starvation theory in treating syphilis.

Thus, we have presented some of the benefits of fasting on health and the opinions of medical specialists, including those from among the non-Muslims. Subhaan Allah (Glory be to Allah)! His Signs appear all the time and they will never come to an end. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?} [Quran 41:53]

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