Millions of individuals worldwide fast from sunrise to sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. However, apart from the spiritual significance, most of them are unaware of the benefits of fasting in Ramadan. It requires immense self-control to remain without food and water for roughly 12-14 hours a day. Muslim health professionals suggest that the ritual has numerous physiological, spiritual, psychological, and scientific benefits. Additionally, it provides the opportunity to empathize with poor and needy people worldwide.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth and the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. Muslims fast, abstain from pleasures, and pray during Ramadan to draw closer to God. It’s also a time for families to get together and enjoy the blessings of Allah. Muslims start fasting from the following day after the crescent moon appears in the sky, signaling the beginning of a new month. As a result, Ramadan does not begin in many countries until religious leaders declare that they have personally seen the crescent moon. The prolonged fasting ends with the worldwide celebration of Eid ul Fitr.
Fasting in Ramadan hadith
Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Worship Allah, and worship none along with Him, offer the (five) prescribed compulsory prayers perfectly, pay the compulsory Zakat, and fast the month of Ramadan”.
Benefits of fasting in Ramadan
More than one billion Muslims globally practice a strict ritual of moral abstinence and fasting during the month of Ramadan. The tradition of fasting dates back more than 1,300 years and started with the formation of Islam. Given below are numerous benefits of fasting in Ramadan:
Spiritual benefits of Ramadan fasting
1. Increases Taqwa
Taqwa is an Islamic phrase that refers to being aware of Allah and the truth and “piety and dread of God”. The term frequently appears in the holy book of the Quran. It bears the deep sense of being cautious over one’s own life and actions, as the angels are constantly on the watch. Additionally, fasting enhances the ability to be mindful of Allah and avoid unintentional offenses against the ways shown by Him. As a result, people lead on the path away from sins and wrong deeds.
2. Fetches greater rewards
All able Muslims are required to fast during Ramadan. It is said that Allah repays the fasting Muslims with great rewards and blessings. Each hour of fasting brings people closer to meeting Allah in the next life. But one should not fast for the gifts; instead, one should focus on its significance and value.
3. Leads to paradise and prevents Hellfire
Only those who fast during Ramadan will be allowed to enter paradise through the Ar-Rayyan gate on the Day of Resurrection. The virtue motivates people to increase their voluntary fasts while preparing for Ramadan. According to Muslim scholars, even a single day of fasting takes an individual away from Hellfire towards Jannah.
Health benefits of fasting in Ramadan
1. Protection from obesity and chronic diseases
Fasting throughout Ramadan may assist in preventing obesity and other chronic diseases such as diabetes. Ramadan fasting requires abstaining from the consumption of food and water between sunrise and sunset. Hence, it enhances the levels of proteins providing insulin resistance. It also offers protection against the hazards of a fat and sugar-rich diet.
2. Lowering cholesterol & improving blood sugar level
As Ramadan Fasting stimulates the lipid profile, it lowers blood cholesterol. Consequently, it prevents heart attacks, strokes, and other disorders. Also, if one maintains a healthy diet after Ramadan, individuals will retain the newly reduced cholesterol level.
3. Improved digestive system
Observing Ramadan and fasting positively impacts one lifestyle and digestive system. A human body naturally detoxifies after a month of flushing out of the toxins in the body. Further, it balances the heat generation and acidity levels in the human stomach.
Scientific benefits of fasting in Ramadan
1. Reduces stress
Fasting throughout the holy month of Ramadan is one of Islam’s most essential commandments. Muslims fast for 12-14 hours each day during Ramadan. They get up early for prayers, eat before sunrise, sleep later, and eat substantial meals after dusk to replenish their energy and fluid stores. Due to this, eating habits, sleep length and sleep pattern change in a constructive way. Fasting throughout the holy month of Ramadan improves mental health by lowering depression, anxiety, and stress levels.
2. Prevents cancer
Many research has been released in the last few years suggesting that Ramadan Fasting can lower health risk factors. It can also reverse the symptoms of severe health illnesses such as cancer. According to the research, this could be attributed to reduced glucose synthesis in the blood, balanced nutritional intake, and increased generation of tumor-killing cells.
3. Assists in Alzheimer
There are few therapeutic choices for those who develop Alzheimer’s, which causes ever-worsening cognitive and behavioral issues. Fasting is a therapy option that is rapidly gaining traction outside of the domain of pharmaceuticals and treatments. Ramadan Fasting, commonly promoted as a weight-loss approach, has been demonstrated in research to significantly relieve Alzheimer’s symptoms and decline in slow cognitive development in rats.
Psychological Benefits Of Fasting In Ramadan
1. Enhances willpower
Fasting during Ramadan requires mental fortitude and the willingness to forego immediate enjoyment for accomplishing long-term goals. Fasting for a whole month induces a sense of happiness, focus, and self-control. These attributes can be utilized in various sects of life.
2. Increases alertness
Individuals who fast appear to have higher levels of vigilance and attention. Food is converted into glucose by the human body, and too much of it causes sluggishness and tiredness. Fasting helps the body regulate glucose levels, reducing sluggishness and increasing alertness.
3. Uplifts the mood
Muslims experience an enhanced sense of achievement, reward, pride, and control after hours of fasting. Fasting can boost self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. At the same time, fasting and the pleasure felt after completing a challenging activity serve as a powerful feel-good stimulant on the brain.
Ramadan fasting rules
- Muslims should fast from day break to sunset right until the evening prayer
- During the fast, they can’t eat food or drink water
- One should not deliberately try to vomit while fasting in Ramadan
- They are not allowed to chew chewing gum during fasting
- One should also refrain from playing loud music during fasting and should not disturb others
- One should try not to take oral medicine during Ramadan fasting
Fasting tips in Ramadan
- When breaking the fast in Ramadan, one should first consume a small quantity of food and avoid sweet or fatty items
- One should try to eat right before the crack of dawn when starting the fast for the next day
- To minimize dehydration at the end of the fast, people should drink plenty of sugar-free and decaffeinated water
Fasting in Ramadan during pregnancy
Pregnant women are excluded from fasting as per the Islamic law. Fasting in Ramadan while pregnant can cause some of the serious pregnancy issues including the dramatic alteration of blood sugar level. However, one can still fast on their own will but is neither recommended by Islam nor health experts. Further, one can make up for their fast by donating fidya for missed fasts during Ramadan.
Millions of Muslims worldwide fast from sunrise to sunset in the holy month of Ramadan. Although fasting may be challenging and uncomfortable at times, the benefits are numerous. Hence, fasting in Ramadan is not just obligatory but also provides health and psychological benefits.
Suggested Read: Ramadan Preparations: Best Tips To Prepare For The Holy Month
Benefits Of Ramadan Fasting FAQs
What are the health benefits of Ramadan Fasting?
Protection from obesity, lowering cholesterol, improved blood sugar level, and improved digestive system are some of the health benefits of Ramadan Fasting.
What are the spiritual benefits of Ramadan Fasting?
An increase in taqwa, fetching greater rewards, doorway to paradise, and prevention from hell are the spiritual benefits of Ramadan Fasting.
What are the psychological benefits of Ramadan fasting?
Enhanced willpower, increased alertness, and better mood are the psychological benefits of Ramadan fasting.
What are the scientific benefits of Ramadan Fasting?
Reduced stress, prevention of cancer and prevention, and Alzheimer are the scientific benefits of Ramadan Fasting.
How does Ramadan Fasting prevent cancer?
Many studies have been published in the last few years demonstrating that fasting during Ramadan can reduce risk factors for major illnesses like cancer. This could be due to decreased glucose synthesis in the blood, a more balanced dietary intake, and an increase in the production of tumor-killing cells.